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What the Great Reimagination Means for the Future of Work

The next generation of employment will not have a one-size-fits-all solution; leaders need to be open-minded as they evaluate options and consider what's best for both employees and businesses

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The last two years have transformed the working world, causing many organizations across the globe to reimagine and redefine new norms and workforce strategies. During the next 12 to 18 months, PwC reports that more than one in four (26%) executives plan to change their approach in defining “workspace” and one in three (33%) plan to implement a mixed work model, with some in-person full-time, some hybrid and some fully remote. For many organizations, this shift will not be a one-size-fits-all approach, and could vary by teams within an organization, which can create even greater challenges.

More broadly, the pandemic has provided an inflection point for  leaders to consider how to cultivate employee creativity, productivity and satisfaction. If you, like myself, are one of these — someone considering the right approach in defining a new working model — you face tough decisions when it comes to defining how to manage employees and maintaining an engaged, vibrant culture regardless of where they are working. According that same PwC study, as executives face these new realities, 36% of them report that one of their biggest concerns is maintaining culture and engagement; neither are easy feats given the disruption and stress that most individuals have recently faced.

While some engagement initiatives may require more time and investment to carry out, there are readily-executable ways to help a workforce feel supported and stay engaged. At Cengage Group, for example, we recently introduced several initiatives, such as “Wellness Days” that give employees time off to step away from work and recharge, as well as a company-wide “no video” day. These gestures have generated real appreciation, and by trying new things, we are continuously learning what works and what doesn’t when it comes to giving people more autonomy over their professional lives.  

To many, reimagining the workplace may seem like an uphill battle. However, with a growth mindset and an emphasis on learning, it’s possible to make the most of this incredible opportunity to rethink the future. Here is what I have learned recently in our efforts to do that.

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