A leader’s guide to rebuilding the post-pandemic workplace

The media are telling you your talent is on the verge of leaving in droves and your peers are being pilloried in the broadsheets for their public statements about the future of work and place at their organisation. Meanwhile, your facilities management and real estate teams are working better than ever before with your HR leads on 'return to office' communiques, but are pleading to your finance chiefs to spend millions doubling up on replacing office seating and monitor screens that went home with staff in March 2020.

At the same time, global events beyond the pandemic mean you are also having to predict how every one of your organisation's manoeuvres will impact society's wider challenges. How do you ensure your organisation is genuinely diverse and inclusive when the markets you operate in are not, whilst accelerating all efforts to
lessen your impact on global climate change in those communities and in your supply chain, when your suppliers' supply chains are virtually invisible to you? And how do you guarantee that your organisation, forced into a rapid technological pivot in 2020, is robustly mitigating the risk of cyber threats and the spread of misinformation? It is simply bewildering.

Whilst the research and insights presented here cannot offer solutions to the world's biggest environmental and societal challenges, the actions you take over the coming months around your people and your places will have obvious and, in some instances, far reaching implications hidden amongst them. From the time your employees spend commuting to the time they spend heating their homes. We will lay out a series of simple steps that will allow you to considerately arrive at what is right for you, your leadership team and every one of your colleagues. Because those people and place decisions will have a direct impact on your diversity and inclusivity objectives and the environmental impact of your employees working from their thermally inefficient carbon fuelled homes, accessing your networks through the same domestic broadband routers as their kids who remain well beyond the reach of
your info-sec awareness training programmes. Your focus on these issues now is essential if, like almost
all others trading in the knowledge economy, you have traditionally co-located employees in offices so they can be together and work together in 'co-operative communities', focusing, collaborating, problem solving, celebrating, entertaining, training, even relaxing in your spaces.

Because COVID-19 has launched a broadside attack on everything you've done before. In so doing, it has also wholly upended your business's historic operational and financial justifications for workplace. Those models may be in tatters. But this is no time to gaffer tape those plans back together.
It is time for a whole new way of thinking.

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