The path from crisis: four things to look at in detail

In our weekly WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing, we report on how a social campaigner for fair and decent work practices is proposing a four-stage process to manage change

With WORKTECH’s professional live conference series paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors through our weekly WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing, which shares new ideas, conversations and perspectives with our global network. Our latest edition is posted 20 May 2020.

Revised view of key workers

Our weekly WORKTECH Webinars feature leading experts in the field in conversation on the key topics of the day. In our third WORKTECH Webinar, hosted on 14 May, WORKTECH Academy director Jeremy Myerson interviewed Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, former head of the No 10 Policy Unit under Prime Minister Tony Blair and keynote speaker at WORKTECH London 2019.

In a session entitled ‘The Path from Crisis’, Matthew Taylor, who chaired a UK Government review of work in the precarious gig economy, described how our view of low-skill, low-pay work is being revised in the pandemic: ‘Who are really the key workers? People who deliver pizza have been a lot more useful in this crisis than corporate lawyers.’

Taylor proposed that we should manage change in ‘a more granular way’ by thinking about four different types of activity: first, we should consider things we are currently doing in the crisis that we’ll stop when it is over (clapping heath workers each week, for example); second, things that we’ve started doing and won’t abandon once the crisis is over (working remotely, for example); third, things we’ve been able to do as the normal constraints don’t apply and will want to continue (more inter-company collaboration across a particular sector, for example); and fourth, things we’ve stopped doing in the crisis but will want to start again with a fresh beginning (performance management, for example).

Asked to name the one change he’d like to see emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, Matthew Taylor referenced Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman in suggesting we might start to see the good in people, and not the bad. Bregman’s book argues that institutions and systems should be based around a view of people as essentially trustworthy and cooperative, and not just full of self-interest. View the webinar in full here:

Life after lockdown

The next WORKTECH Webinar, scheduled for Thursday 21 May, will feature Bruce Daisley, Author of The Joy of Work and Eat Sleep Work Repeat and former VP, EMEA, of Twitter in conversation with Torin Douglas, writer, speaker, ex BBC Media Correspondent and chairman of WORKTECH London. Their theme is ‘Life After Lockdown: Good Work and Employee Wellbeing’. Sign up for this WORKTECH Webinar here

Conversation with a sleep expert

The change in our everyday work routine has undoubtedly caused an impact on our sleeping patterns. Without the office etiquette cues to dictate when we can clock off or pause for a chat, people are working more irregular hours. In the latest of our series of WORKTECH Kitchen Conversations, we catch up with Dr Els van der Helm, sleep expert and speaker at WORKTECH’s Wellness conference in 2019, to discuss the fundamental impact of sleep on wellbeing and performance. In conversation with WORKTECH Academy’s Kasia Maynard, she describes how lockdown can be a tool to humanise work as everyone is opening a little window into their lives through their camera for the rest of the workforce to see, showing leaders and colleagues that they are human before they are a worker. Follow the conversation here:

Sharing on connected lighting

As governments and businesses around the world strive to get people back into the office after the global shutdown, what can they do to ensure the safety of employees while observing social distancing measures? WORKTECH Academy global partner Signify is running a webinar on 9 June 2020 to share practical examples of how connected lighting systems can help drive critical decision-making around space use and optimisation. The WORKTECH community is invited to learn more about what Interact Office can do for your workplace.

Register here for the webinar.

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