Rethinking Assumptions About How Employees Work | MIT Sloan Management Review

Workforce Trends

As firms envision and plan for a post-pandemic workplace, this article outlines five pre-COVID-19 assumptions leaders and managers at all levels will need to rethink. They include: 1) If people aren’t in the office, they’re not productive. 2) The same rules should apply to everybody. 3) We need to locate where the talent is. 4) When they’re working for me, they’re not working for anyone else. 5) Employees will work the way we tell them to. I like this article because, aside from outlining the assumptions, the author provides questions to help leaders rethink their views and prepare for this next era of work, workplace, and worker preferences. For example, assumption #1 (if people aren’t in the office, they’re not productive) can be reexamined by asking questions such as: Can you reconfigure tasks — or outputs — to align more effectively with a remote approach? Or how will you set productivity goals and ensure that people meet them? Since many firms are investing time and resources to reskill and upskill managers and leaders for the post-pandemic era, these assumptions and questions can make for a productive discussion during manager and leadership capability-building sessions. 

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