Local & global workplace in the post-pandemic era

The author of this blog text, and member of the Kavanders & Co. team, is currently working from Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, and pondering on how the world has, probably never before, been this intertwined. We all went through, if not the same, motions and emotions caused by the pandemic. And it has changed us and our work life - for good.

The world and work-life have changed.

As the world is globally pondering what to make of the company policy of hybrid work modes, everybody is reflecting. Questions like "where do I want to live?" and, consequently, "where do I want to work?", "How do I work the best?" and finally, "How do I find the best work/life balance?" have crossed most of our minds in the past 1.5 years.

Do you work the best by yourself from home or at the office surrounded by colleagues? How many days out of five is a good number for you to spend at the office? What is your personal sweet spot when trying to find a balance between the two?

When you live and work in a way that energizes you, it positively affects your work. I think it applies to everybody, but especially those working in creative industries or doing creative work, like running a start-up. That's right, a job will not get much more creative than that. The outcome may not be as pretty instantly as with work that we traditionally see as creative, but it's not supposed to. The roads to Rome, here meaning success, come in all shapes and sizes.

Hybrid is the new remote.

According to a Bloomberg study, as the post-coronavirus economy takes shape, more than 30,000 US employees working from home only about one day a week will boost productivity by 4.8 percent. Much of that increase is projected to come from reduced commuting time, a factor usually uncaptured by economists.

The clues were there even before Covid-19. In 2013, a landmark study by Stanford University found that working from home boosted productivity by 13 percent.

And while a more permanent transformation of working life will have painful consequences for many inner-city businesses, economists see a recalibration underway that can revitalize smaller towns and suburbs. New digital tools mean that retail and hospitality — as well as knowledge-intensive industries — are already undergoing far-reaching change.

There is near-certainty that there will be substantially more remote work from now on. So that's going to change the nature of work and the way work gets done.

According to Forbes, despite these economic implications, the shift to hybrid is real, and the key is to embrace it and make it work for you on a personal level.

There are many things to consider. As I personally am taking a stint as a digital nomad, trying it on, so to say, let's discuss that for a bit, something that many of us have had an opportunity to test, to some extent.

Advantages of a globetrotter team

What is a globetrotter? According to the Oxford dictionary, "a person who travels widely." And what does travel do to you? Among others, it widens your perspective. Hey, did the box we were thinking outside just get wider? According to Pittsburgh University professor Paul Nussbaum, travel increases the number of new connections our brain makes and thus makes it perform higher! And no, we are not talking about stress-free holiday travels that do this, but any obstacle you encounter on your voyage will boost your problem-solving abilities! So next time you curse at the airport over an overbooked flight, remind yourself that it will make you a higher performer! (we know this will be a tough one…)

And if you and your team can't trot the globe for a reason or another, even changes to routines or taking up a new hobby will have a similar effect on your brain. How about just changing the order of coffee and showering in the morning? A trivial thing, but you won't be on autopilot as usual. Start small, think big, move fast.

Challenges and things to consider

1. Have regular meetings to stay connected and focused on the most critical task at hand.

Have enough meetings, as that is what an agile team does to keep the momentum going. How we roll in Team Kavanders is this

We ask ourselves questions every week:

  • What did we achieve last week?

  • What did we not achieve, and why not?

  • Challenges

  • Key take-aways & learnings: What did we learn?

  • Where do I need support from the team this week?

  • Focus points for the week