We had a Zoom-powered meeting the other day (yes, that’s our favorite meeting platform too) with our collective members, all global leaders in Future of Work and Open Innovation. The meeting itself was about their thoughts on the impact of the global COVID-19 crises (you can find the story we wrote about that here). Afterwards, we realized a rich side result from the meeting was the simultaneous conversation happening in the chat space—a virtual water cooler of sorts— that reflected the real experiences and thoughts people were having as we all hunker down to beat this thing. Here are a few snippets.
On working at home when our families are there, too:
- Working at home is great. Working at home in a city apartment with spouse and a toddler running around is challenging.
- My high schooler and two kids in college are all doing the rest of their semester online. Even my kid majoring in architecture. There may be a remote education model that emerges on the other side of this.
- I have a preschooler, a high school freshman and a high school senior. It’s been difficult to keep all ages occupied and engaged. All while my husband and I attempt to work.
On creating community while at home:
- We launched a Google Hangout yesterday over lunch, just for casual conversation as a way to keep the team connected. Everyone kept working but with light banter, as if we were all together at the office.
On personal care habits:
- Hmm. You are the only one who is still shaving.
- Yes, my appearance is sponsored by Gillette.
On the impact COVID-19 could have on the Future of Work:
- I wonder if people that already have one foot in the gig economy go all in if they get laid off, or if companies reach out to more open talent pools after layoffs before they start re-hiring. I wonder if this will create a new norm.
- This will expose the pain and inefficiency of the grand-scale layoff and scaleup efforts that companies have used for decades to adjust to market cycles. Organizations may begin to see the benefit of integrating a healthy layer of flexible resources and open talent design.
- Let’s look at the impact of COVID-19 on the freelance/gigster workforce. It would be interesting to hear from the platforms that offer contract talent to see if there have been any substantial changes in community engagement during this time.
- There are some market dynamics to watch here. A sudden addition of more freelancers looking for work to make ends meet after getting laid off, followed by a lag, but then a surge in freelancer usage as firms dip their toe in to ramp up using a contingent workforce. Let’s keep an eye on this.
What are the conversations that are happening within your work community? Please reach out and let us know. And please hang in there and stay safe.