by Andrew Hill, FT.com
Some businesses are applying the lessons of lockdown to introduce new ways of organising and overseeing work
Coronavirus has rippled across the world, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and changing many millions more. One striking side-effect is that across many organisations, urgent necessity has become the mother of management invention. The pandemic has ignited new initiatives, refreshed old ones, and compelled managers to reassess an approach still often based on being close to their staff. Many companies jump-started plans for remote working that they are unlikely to reverse — even if some workers are struggling to do their jobs in cramped or unsuitable apartments. Others have found the crisis revealed employees’ hidden skills and allowed managers to deploy staff more flexibly. Some companies have even scrapped or subverted internal hierarchies, or challenged longstanding norms of corporate culture. As the landscape changes, particularly for white-collar staff, it is not only the workplace itself that will look different, but potentially the way in which work itself is done, organised and overseen.
“We were all thrown into the deep end of the pool at the same time,” says Kelley Steven-Waiss, chief innovation officer of Here Technologies, and founder of Hitch, a cloud-based service matching skills to jobs. She says “the future of work, where work is done remotely and not in an office” swiftly became reality.Kelley Steven-Waiss, Founder & CEO of Hitch Works Inc., (hitch.works)