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Episode 54: How Can HR Help Organisations Prepare for Hybrid Working? Interview with Ethan Bernstein

Source | | David Green

Welcome to episode four of series 11 of The Digital HR Leaders podcast. The nature of work and workplaces was already changing, but the pandemic has fast-forwarded many aspects of the future of work. Today’s guest is Ethan Bernstein, who is an Associate Professor in the Organisational Behaviour Unit at The Harvard Business School.

He teaches the second year MBA course in managing human capital, the Harvard Business School online course on developing yourself as a leader and various executive education programs. Ethan studies the impact of workplace transparency, the observability of employee activities, routines, behaviours, output and performance on productivity. With implications for leadership, collaboration, organisation design and new forms of organising.

Together with others, Ethan has conducted research during the pandemic to understand the implications of working without an office, which sought to answer a number of questions. Paramount amongst them was what impact has working from home had on productivity and creativity?

The discussion that follows is rich, wide ranging and consistently fascinating. Ethan is one of the most interesting, knowledgeable and witty guests we have had on the show yet. Sit back and enjoy.

In our conversation, Ethan and I discuss:

  • The key findings of his research on the impact of remote working and the impact it is having on productivity and innovation

  • The implications, post pandemic for work, collaboration and workplace design

  • How well-equipped HR functions have thrived during the crisis of 2020

  • What the future leaders he teaches in his Harvard MBA course are saying about the role of HR

  • The role of HR in workplace design and in helping prepare their organisations for hybrid ways of working

This episode is a must listen for anyone interested or involved in workplace transparency, technology, people analytics and future ways of working. So that’s business leaders, CHROs and anyone in a people analytics, strategic workforce planning, HR tech or HR business partner role.

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