If someone had asked me what 2020’s workplace culture was going to be I would never have said Work From Home. While WFH was gaining popularity among millennials, people thought it would take decades before large companies adopted the practice. Who knew all it would take was a global pandemic to create the biggest work/social experiment we’ve ever seen?!
I was excited to talk to Dan Schawbel about the future of work as we close out 2020 and look to 2021. He’s a Managing Partner at Workplace Intelligence, 3x NY Times Best Selling Author (Back to Human, Promote Yourself and Me 2.0), Podcast Host and trend forecasting expert. My big question, “Where will 2021 take us when it comes to work?”
Companies are still scrambling when it comes to creating new WFH policies. I thought Dan’s points here were interesting as we see a shift of even the oldest, most regimented companies coming around to the idea that flexible working schedules could be built into their business model. It was one of the main points highlighted in his 2021 Workplace Forecast study which is a must read!
While I’ve been seeing the rise of WFH in the startup scene for years I was happy to hear Dan express that in the coming years, employees will expect more from traditional Fortune 500 companies. No longer looking for just a paycheck, employee’s are wanting to see a corporation’s diversity inclusion strategies, mental health support, flexible work hour policies and involvement of the company when it comes to policy and political issues. This same mindset is true of consumers who are making choices with their pocketbook when it comes to supporting brands they believe in.
Both consumers and employees are asking, “What is this company doing for our society?” “Who do they support?” “What do they really stand for?” “How do they show it?” and most importantly, “What are they going to do about it?”
I was curious to know if Dan had any tips on how to feel close with co-workers remotely seeing as he has worked remotely for the past decade. Without afterwork happy hours, water cool recaps or lunches with colleagues it can be hard to build rapport digitally. Dan’s advice: Invest more time in and show more empathy towards the people we already know. Check in with intention and thought. Put time in your calendar to have meaningful conversations and make time to connect with others.
*Tip: Ask for recommendations from colleagues and report back to them what you thought. Ask for recommendations on: movies, tv shows, podcasts, newsletters, apps, exercise routines, or hobbies.
Dan recently led a study with Oracle interviewing over 13,000 people across 11 countries about mental health. The study concluded that CEOs struggle with mental health issues more than anyone else. (I feel like I could have told you that without the study! Ha!) CEO’s have fewer people to confide in and hold a reputation of having it all together. While Dan’s advice to CEO’s and founders was to be transparent about your struggles, it was hard for me to swallow. I’m not sure if sharing while you’re going through something is as beneficial as sharing after.
I come back to this quote often: Share from your scars not from your wounds. I wonder if that still applies in this digital first work we find ourselves working in.
Over one million women have dropped out of the workforce since the start of COVID. I knew it would be a lot but I would have never guessed 1 million. It feels like a punch in the gut. The biggest culprit? The increased cost of childcare. Dan explained from his studies that for women who have a two income household they have a higher likelihood of leaving the workforce to manage childcare. I can’t help but wonder how many amazing learnings and innovations we have lost with these brilliant minds leaving our workforce.
What is something you started using lately or doing lately that you are obsessed with? My new electric desk (allowing Dan to stand up or down throughout the day depending on his mood). I have a dream office setup, which makes working more enjoyable.
What is a gift you’ve given yourself in the past year that you’re so thankful for? My Jabra. (Which is a microphone, speaker & conference call catch all!)
What is one thing you need more of in your life right now? More time, there is never enough time. And good weather.
How do you muster up the courage to dive in and try/start something new? Start small. Everything starts from nothing.
This week’s homework: What is one thing we should all try this week and report back to you on?
This week, ask one person you know to introduce you to one or two people in their network. This is a safe way to network during COVID-19.
It’s Veteran’s Day here in the United States so I will be observing the holiday and honoring the sacrifices made for our country. To continue with that theme, my next guest Michelle Penczak, started her company because of the military! Learn more about her company Squared Away here & join us at 1pm EST on Wednesday, November 18th.