Change is on the horizon.
To say that 2020 was a transformative year would be a major understatement. Comparatively, few of us had heard of Zoom in January, and the concept of working remotely seemed largely reserved for freelancers. Over the last year, COVID has forced us all to collectively rethink a lot of "truths" that we had previously held about the workplace. At some point in time, the "new normal" just became, well, normal. With 2021 proper looming ahead of us, a lot of businesses are taking time to reflect on all the shakeups of 2020, and the lessons that it can offer for the coming year.
There's real money behind figuring out what the workplace of 2021 is going to look like. While last year was a challenging one for businesses across every industry, not every company felt the same contraction pains. In fact, companies that were able to quickly pivot to remote work and capitalize on the market disruptions presented by COVID were able to grow their profitability. Big tech companies like Google and Facebook both seem to be using this as a chance to rethink their workplaces, with both companies changing positions to fully-remote and decentralizing their offices. Denver's own Facebook office has seen an expansion that's been attributed to more work being conducted remotely, away from their Silicon Valley headquarters.
Not every industry may have the luxury of pivoting parts of its operations online, but every workplace has an opportunity to learn from our transition into the "new normal". This is especially important because "normal" is constantly changing. Again, at the beginning of 2020, masks and social distancing would have seemed ridiculous in any fitness environment. Flash forward to today, and gyms have figured out ways to accommodate guests while also strictly adhering to social distancing best-practices.
A professional group in Denver has made it their mission to help organizations understand the fundamental workplace changes that are occurring so that they can better capitalize on them. Founded by Peter Sheahan in 2006, Karrikins Group derives its name from a catalytic smoke that's found in burning plants. Just like their namesake, their mission is to be a catalyst in organizational transformation as companies adapt to the realities of 2021.
To this end, they've launched a 45-Day Workshop for companies that are looking to capitalize on the transformative power of the times that we live in.
As much as we all miss sports and in-person dining, people don't seem to be in any real hurry to return to the "butts in seats" model of pre-COVID workplaces. Instead of simply stressing attendance, Karrikins Group's methodology centers around behind mindful and intentional about how the different components of an organization interact. Their program has already been catching on, and it will be interesting to see how the organizational landscape of cities like Denver react to these questions being poised ahead of a year that's sure to be eventful.
While COVID has presented companies with unprecedented challenges, many feel that they've been presented with new opportunities as well. It's uplifting to see so many discussions like the ones that Karrikins Group facilitates, as it's a sign that these opportunities are being explored.
Whatever 2021 has in store for us, here's hoping that it makes for a year of discovery, growth, and innovation!
What are some ways that your organization is growing beyond "the new normal"? Sound off in the comments!