A conversation around the transformative effects of COVID-19 on the workplace, and what the future landscape of work might look like.
Sponsored by Out Leadership member firms Greenberg Traurig and Procter & Gamble.
- Work can function remotely
This pandemic has been critical in illuminating how alternate work styles can both be effective and in some cases have key advantages to the traditional workspace. All three of the panelists discussed how critical this that telework and other alternative means of working have been to maintain some sense of effectiveness.
- There are new problems brought about by virtual life
John Richards pointed out that a transition to a predominately virtual working environment introduces new challenges that some companies were not prepared to address. Richards identified that virtual work makes harassment policies challenging to uphold, and rental space agreements have become increasingly harder to justify.
- Virtual work is an opportunity to examine our practices
The new work environment has eroded the traditional sense of the 9-5 schedule, Todd Sears of Out Leadership pointed out. It is more important than ever that we are able to establish measures to maintain both physical and mental health. Gant mentions Barry’s commitment to ensuring their employees have been healthy mentally and physically, like leading meditation sessions.
- Relationships are more important than ever before, with friends and colleagues and with clients
With the new normal of working from home, it is important that companies check in on their employees especially those living alone. Because LGBTQ people live alone at disproportionate rates to their straight colleagues, it is important to ensure that these employees are especially supported in this time of self-isolation.
- Part of redefining the workplace in the face of the world is working to combat systemic racism
In the wake of the continued Black Lives Matter protests, it is incredibly crucial that companies evaluate how they can best support their Black employees and take actionable steps to help ensure this. Brad Kho discussed his experience as a gay man of color and how that intersectionality can exacerbate workplace grievances if companies don’t actively support their Black and POC employees.