Working remotely, we find ourselves connecting in new ways. Work-related barriers and geographies begin to fall and we learn to listen and connect in different ways. Whilst a virtual meeting doesn’t fully substitute being together, by giving it your undivided attention, you will better understand aspects of people’s lives you’ll otherwise not be exposed to.
Sometimes when you work from home, you can find the balance between family life and home life blur. As a manager, it’s important for me to ensure my team work together, prioritise connections, and all support each other to maintain the right balance.
Modern mindset conclusion one: There is now a universal lens of empathy being applied to how we live first and work second.
Emphasise mental wellbeing
A University of Oxford study found a direct correlation between employee wellbeing and positive business performance. More and more companies are recognising mental health as important, with 83 percent of businesses addressing it directly in their wellbeing strategies, according to REBA.
Despite this information, only 9.2 percent of the C-level board drives wellbeing agendas. We all recognise there is no price on a healthy mind. Companies that consider how teams can work together and what support employees might need at home will likely see a quicker return to profitability and prosperity.
Modern mindset conclusion two: Mental wellbeing support will be at the forefront of every company’s success moving forwards and no longer an optional ‘tick box’ benefit.
Working from home will become more acceptable
The working from home stigma well and truly has been blown out of the water. Amidst return to work considerations, savvy companies will properly design spaces to be about bringing teams together in safe, collaborative and productive environments.
We won’t encourage employees to be in every day just ‘because’. Office running costs will likely be lower, and this will enable bursaries to help employees set up decent, comfortable work areas at home. We will appreciate each other’s company more, and make more effort to support and reach out over video call, or chat.
Modern mindset conclusion three: Our appreciation of the workplace and colleagues will be invigorated, and mundane routines will be reduced leading to healthier and happier places of work.
Rapid digitisation of companies will help offset our travel carbon footprint.
Whilst I miss being with my teams across EMEA, their cultures, their languages, foods, and customs – I do not miss flying eight hours from Spain to New York for a two-hour presentation or hopping back-to-back across countries to roll out a new methodology.
My teams have quickly adapted to virtual workshops, presentations, and pitches. We meet regularly to reframe, brainsteer, and ideate together and with our clients thanks to Teams. It’s no longer a process of aligning diaries, tag team across weeks, and finally arrive in one physical place. We can get together as a global team quicker, meaning we can better adapt and respond to any changes.
Modern mindset conclusion four: Digital transformation has become more important. Focus on consistency to keep people connected wherever they are and whatever their work task.
The future of work
Empathy and human connections go hand-in-hand in a modern workplace. We will have a higher focus on everyone’s wellbeing. Technology will aid this. It will give us the ability to connect in new and exciting ways, no matter where your team is located. I’m looking forward to it.
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About the author
Karen is VMLY&R’s EMEA Chief Experience Officer. Karen is responsible for developing VMLY&R’s CX capability in the EMEA region and growing clients’ engagement. She drives the creation of world-class consumer engagement experiences and platforms at the intersection of technology, creativity and culture to create connected brands.
With 15+ years’ experience across every sector, Karen has led world-class brands and organisations forwards from both a strategic and implementation perspective, weaving together ideas and people in a politically agile way to gain momentum, both outwardly as a brand and inwardly as an effective organisation.
She previously held roles as Head of Innovation at Adam&EveDDB and Global Client Lead at AKQA. She is also the founder of tech startup THEI.A Cognition. Karen was winner of the IPA’s 2016 Women of Tomorrow awards in Tech & Innovation, named as one Google’s ‘Top 10 Female Creatives to Watch for 2017 and 2018, the Drum’s Most Influential Top 100 Digerati for 2017, 2018, 2019 and one of the Drum’s ‘Top 25 from the last 25 years’ Women shaping digital 2019.