Work-style Diversity – what we’ve learnt
from 2020

Daniel Pink, author of New York Times bestsellers Drive and When said:

“In large organisations there are discrete functions.

I do this; you do that.

I swim in my lane; you swim in your lane.

That can be very effective for certain processes and in certain stable conditions.


But it doesn’t work in unstable conditions.”

2020 has re-written the definition of ‘unstable conditions’. The old way of working in nice discrete functions is gone and organisations globally have recognised the need for collaboration, the magic of the informal team structure and the value of the liminal space.

So how do we transform the return to the office into something more? An opportunity to maximise the value we get from a shared work environment, while also adapting and improving the way we think about work and our work styles so we are more inclusive and ultimately more productive?

Westbrook invited Matt Ballantine, Head of Technology and Transformation at Richmond Housing Project (RHP), and passionate Sociologist, to share insights and observations of how RHP has managed that transition.

Matt points out that as companies emerge from the lockdown, it’s important to acknowledge that we have entered an alternative way of working and returning to the old status quo is not enough. 2020 has introduced a new level of work-style diversity which employees cannot afford to ignore.

While some employees may be very keen to return to their office space (safely) for many reasons, there is also a new sector of employee who has changed their work patterns during lockdown and will want to maintain a part of it. Whether their reasons be a reduction in stress and costs thanks to no commute; or the ability to incorporate family time around work hours – employees will have a different expectation of what work looks like. Smart organisations that want to keep their talented people should think about how they manage that.

Listen to the roundtable ‘The Value of the Office is Not What You Thought’ to hear more from Matt Ballantine and Michael Conner, Chief Commercial Officer, Westbrook International on the qualitative and quantitative factors you should consider as you make your own move Back to Work.

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