Work Life Balance

Work, life, balance…Great changes are afoot

Great Disruption, Great Resignation, Great Reshuffle…social commentators have been kept busy trying to make sense of emerging changes in attitudes to work and life.

It’s not just employers who have been struggling to keep their heads above water since the COVID tsunami swamped our workplaces last year. Sociologists and social commentators have been kept busy too, trying to make sense of emerging changes in attitudes to work and life.

Discussion about when working life would return to normal was soon eclipsed by a realization that it wouldn’t, and a rethink about what we even mean by normal.

When did we start to think that ‘normal’ should be defined as a long, office-bound day away from our home and family, often bookended by a gruelling commute?

If we could reimagine our way of life, how different might it look? It seems millions of people have been doing just that, and the answer is “a great deal different”.

Just how great? Here are some to choose from:

The Great Disruption

Delloite chose the first or our great terms to headline a recent report, Leading beyond the Great Disruption. As well as “building more resilient organisations” and “unlocking the value of digital”, they write about “humanising work and workplaces”, an aspiration that includes:

Leaders are being challenged to reimagine work, the workforce, and the workplace, creating a window of opportunity to humanize work for the better.

The Great Resignation

Policy makers and aid agencies spent 2020 focused on mass layoffs, but as we rolled into 2021, employment analyists started to notice another, much less expected trend. Millions of employees were choosing to leave their jobs. Another great headline was born!

HBR asked, then attempted to answer, the question “Who Is Driving the Great Resignation?”. It seems they were typically mid-career workers in IT and health care industries. High demand for their skills, combined with increased workloads and burnout, created a perfect storm:

…many of these workers may have simply reached a breaking point…causing them to rethink their work and life goals.

The Great Reshuffle

The CEOs of LinkedIn and its parent, Microsoft, have also pondered these trends. Their interest was not just in why workers were resigning, but where they were heading.

They also seem to have decided that one thing the world was in desperate need of was a great new 3-word term. Enter ‘The Great Reshuffle’! With real wages stagnating, they saw…

Fed-up workers…using the leverage of the pandemic…to demand better from their bosses.

Their answer? Raise wages and offer better working conditions, and people will be willing to work for your company again.

A Great Case Study

Which brings me to Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments. He became a superhero to some, and a villain to others, when he decided a few years ago to introduce a minimum salary for his employees of $70,000 – largely paid for by slashing his own salary.

If you don’t know the story, you can read all about what really happened in this article to see how it panned out. (Spoiler alert: for him at least, it worked out very nicely.)

Which in turn leads me to this recent LinkedIn post from Dan:

Dan Price LinkedIn Post

There are many reasons why you might not be inclided, or able, to follow Dan’s lead, but one thing is clear:

Remote working and hybrid working are here to stay. Employers who ignore this do so at their peril.

Some Great Solutions

Employers need to come to grips with the fact that workplaces have changed for good. Employees are demanding workplaces with attitudes, policies, practices and tools that recognize this.

Great challenges demand great solutions, and many of Orchid’s Sage 300 add-ons are tailor-made for supporting these challenges. To find out more, our Remote Working solution page is a great place to start.

Remote Working Solution page



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