The Global Realignment

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The global pandemic has made us all rethink everything!  Yes, everything….

Our jobs.

Where we live.

Our lives.

Our relationships.

And what makes us happy

           and what would we rather be doing. 

There have been so many articles about the “great resignation”, some have called it the great reshuffle, and I personally feel it is the great realignment.

Although the COVID pandemic has been horrendous, horrible and devastating to so many people worldwide. It has finally made businesses see that employees can truly work remotely and function just as well as if they are in the office. 

For years there has been the capability and technology to allow for remote work, for years organisations have told us their propaganda and spouted how flexible and family friendly they are. Join us and see how we embrace flexible working, however if you really wanted to have a fully remote or more flexible role in the past this was frowned upon. Maybe it would have happened for long term employees?  Maybe it happened for the executive team but not for many in other roles, even though many roles are all computer based and not client facing, companies still demand you front up at an office for face-to-face working. 

I do admit that being in the office and having some time with actual people is good but being able to work from home is ideal in my book.

The problem with the world before was that the promise of the carrot, yes, the idea of flexibility that really wasn’t flexible.   

If it was never offered at your work, there was always a reason. You just started at the company, we need you in the office, it is good for morale and so on to have people all together. And so, it went on. 

Many roles that I applied for had the promise of working from home, and were all computer based and not client facing. Yes, all these jobs can be done online, and you guessed it, you had to travel to be in the office to do a job that can also be done from home very effectively.

As a mother to three kids I need flexible options. I also don’t live in the middle of the city. Yep, I do love to travel (Travel when I’m going somewhere amazing like a beach holiday, or somewhere overseas is what I long for when I think of travel), but to waste travel every day when I can maximise my time working from home is ideal, and what I need in my life at the moment. 

I find it sad that it took a worldwide health crisis to make workplaces embrace the idea of working remotely. 

One saying that has been popular online is that “We expect women to work like they don’t have children and raise children as if they don’t work”.   I cannot wear all the hats I am supposed to at all times. Why is it that during the pandemic that women were the ones that were greatly affected with employment? It is interesting that women are still the ones that suffer the most in a crisis…just sad really. 

So, getting back to the “great reshuffle” or what the world should be like for the world of work. 

With so many people able to finally embrace remote work they have relooked at where they are living. Why not move to the beach? Why not move to the country? You can now!   If you were living on a yacht and had internet you could sail around the world and still work, it is up to you. 

It has become clear that we need to have a real focus on our mental health, lifestyle and have more time with family. The last few years we have been all working hard, been super stressed and in desperate need of a holiday and down time. 

However, for many a break or even a holiday is a far-off dream or wish.  So many have been unemployed due to the pandemic and in turn had to put bills on hold and were lucky if they kept their mortgage paid or if renting had to move in with family or friends. It has been a hard and tough financial road and for many they are working extra jobs to get back on track and pay back the bills that have been piling up. 

Now with restrictions easing, borders slowly opening, offices opening, and businesses welcoming customers back Australia is getting back to some sort of normal, although with QR code check ins, social distancing and some mask wearing. 

With the hope of life getting back to a new normal many are finally now rethinking what they truly want out of life?

Does this job give me joy?  Yes, we are Marie Kondoing our jobs. Does where I live allow me to do what I want? Does it make me happy? 

With the fact that many are working remotely you are not tied to an area, in fact you could be working anywhere that has internet access. We are now really looking at what is beneficial for us as individuals and the family too.

On employment sites I have noticed that many advertisements are listing that the role is ‘on site’, many of these jobs can still be done remotely and have a day or two in the office, if needed, but 100% can be done from your office at home. 

I wonder how many are not applying for these roles that say must be ‘on site.’ It has been called an employee market at the moment and companies not embracing remote work and making it a part of their business will lose out on talented employees. 

One candidate I spoke to said that she interviewed for a content marketing role and the very young HR recruiter said, “With a young family would you be able to do your job while working from home”. Geez! Talk about already making your mind up about a person and her situation. This person has had years of experience working from home and it wasn’t an issue and said as much. However, with these glam young things (who I’m sure don’t have children and have no idea of what it takes to work and be a parent) making decisions about women who do have a family and a job is disgusting. I thought that in 2021 people where not supposed to do this and especially from a young woman as well. This example is really making the case for the business to force the employee into physically coming into the office. 

Personally, why would you want to not have a flexible work life, why would you not want to be available to your children, why would you want all the stress from commuting all the time. There are better ways, and these have been proven in the last two years. 

Remote work and flexibility need to be embraced and adopted by all businesses to allow people to have a life and also a job. Rather simple really.

I feel that many will not want to be told to be in an office after working remotely for so long. You cannot say that it hasn’t worked…this used to be the excuse before, we cannot do it and the structure is not set up for working from home…NOT ANYMORE!

So why do I think the current issue with the workforce is the “great realignment”

The “great realignment” is getting us all to how things should be. Value our family, value our friends, value our health and lives more rather than work non-stop and burn out.  The focus before was all about being physically present to do work, but we have all seen that even if we are not psychically present at an office the work gets done.

Things still happen and the wheels are still turning. This realignment is something that I think we need to factor into all corporations to make sure that we are not falling back to old ways and demanding that everyone turns up to be marked off a roll at work. Investing in people and prioritising ways we can be more flexible and lifestyle friendly is what is needed to attract the bright and talented staff to any future company. 

Remote working is not just for younger workers. Mature age and older workers want more freedoms too. I think in the years to come there will be a dramatic shift away from organisations that are not willing to offer remote work options to their employees. Those that don’t offer this flexibility will find it tough to recruit staff, especially if they are not open to what it means to be a working parent. 

What do you think would happen if we all decided to not accept jobs if they don’t offer flexibility and work from home options?

I do understand some jobs need us to be there to do the job. However, for these roles we could factor in more down time, more RDO’s, help with care if you have kids or family that needs assistance, and of course support for further training and education pathways. 

With different strains of COVID continuing to happen we need to make sure that we are set up to continue to work remotely no matter what the situation, we can keep on going. 

Are you an advocate for keeping this flexibility in your work? Do you work from home and love it?

What do you think about all the job ads that are saying you must be ‘on site’ for roles that are computer based?

Let us know your thoughts, and send in a comment to this blog post.

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