Post Covid-19, What does work look like for you?
Back in March 2020 I recall being on the phone with studio execs at a video game company in Vancouver. They had just put out the official news to send everyone home. At that very same time, their studio in China had employees returning to work. They had masks on all day, temperature checks and stringent cleaning but after 10 weeks at home they were now all back at work but their western studios were just starting to shut down to pivot to work from home.
At the time we speculated about maybe this would be 5-10 weeks in N.America and then we’d all be back to work as usual. We had no idea what the future of 2020 would look like at the time. The lock-downs, the quarantines, etc. And companies and their employees getting used to working from home. The saved time versus commuting, more time with young children with 1 or both parents home, the ability to produce confidential client work from hundreds of locations versus just 1 were all new ground for many.
But with a vaccine or potentially several vaccines on the near horizon, will we all be going back to traditional bricks and mortar locations? Has the work from home or “WFH” era stretched so far that some employees won’t go back if they can avoid it? Will they look to move to other companies that have more flex time versus those who go back to more pre-covid norms of 40-ish hours in the office?
Apple mentioned early in 2020 that their goal would be all employees back to work when possible. Facebook made a prediction that 50% of their employees would return at some point. Other tech firms made the statement that this was their new norm and remote work was the way all work would be done moving forward.
LeFort Talent Group has met with various leaders this past year to discuss this. The overlying comment from many is that when it is SAFE to bring teams back they hope to bring back all or a high percentage of their employees. Truly it’s a new era as many WFH requests in the past were disruptive in some firms or challenging to manage. It seemed much more effective to have everyone on a similar schedule and in one location.
Many businesses have multi-year leases on equipment and large real estate holdings and look forward to getting the teams back to manage them in one spot. From surveys and anecdotal discussions this year people seem to be slotting into 3 camps. 1, those that look forward to going back. 2, those that don’t want to go back. 3rd, those who are hoping for a blend of work from home and possibly a day or two at the studio/office.
We have seen the rise of a new job description during the pandemic. “Head of Remote Work” has popped up in several industries. Truly, businesses will need to find ways to help retain this work force as well as manage and monitor productivity. All the social glue that keeps teams together is harder to quantify when they are all at home.
New technology has already cropped up in the past 6 months and platforms have become more robust to handle the extra traffic. We look forward to seeing what new innovations evolve in the next 12-24 months to facilitate a potentially new way of working for some businesses. A hybrid of WFH and work in the office. Less time commuting, potentially more family time for those with children at home.
2021 will be another adventure compared to 2020. We look forward to the positive shifts and changes in work and work culture. This pandemic may have created several new paths forward for many of us. Where will you want to work? What camp is most preferable for you? WFH, a blend of both or do you prefer to get back to a location out of house?
Lance LeFort is sought out by leaders in Animation, VFX, Video Games, and Digital Entertainment who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent. Through LeFort Talent Group’s extensive network of relationships and their “deep dive” qualification process, they are able to identify and secure individuals who represent the top tier of professionals.