Working after COVID-19: A manifesto*

I posted up this blog article on LinkedIn recently, wondering what the new normal might look like after COVID-19. Having read it, leadership coach Bob Gibbon challenged me to write a manifesto for work after this pandemic is over. Thinking about my own experience since the lockdown and what I’ve see in my own circle of contacts, I put together the list below.

We’ve seen a lot of practical changes to the way we work, but there has inevitably been a large impact on the emotional side too. Major life changing events cause people to think about the big questions in life: Why am I here? What is this all about? So yes, there are points about the practical side of working, but I truly hope that changes in many organisations go much deeper than simply allowing a bit more time working from home.

It’s a generic list, not written for any organisation in particular, but wouldn’t you want to work somewhere that believed this:

  • PURPOSE: We believe in our mission to have a positive and lasting impact in the world. We will leave a legacy
  • PEOPLE: We think long-term, putting our people first. Bumps in the road will happen and we’ll get through them together
  • TRUST: We build vibrant, diverse teams of people we can trust and then trust our people to do their best. All views need to be heard and everyone must feel safe to speak up
  • RESPECT: We respect that people work best in different ways and at different times. This may look different to our personal preferences but we measure results, not appearances
  • LOVE: Our people are special and social time together is important. We provide an environment for everyone to bring their whole-self to work and to have fun
  • EMPOWER: We empower our people to do their best, allowing them to make decisions and providing suitable development, workspaces and equipment
  • ACCOUNTABLE: Irrespective of our role in the team, we hold ourselves accountable to these standards

My belief is that an organisation holding true to values like these would be a happier, healthier and more resilient workplace, better able to weather the storms of life. What it actually does could be anything at all – the manifesto applies to as much to a church or charity as it does to a private sector company. To 10 people as much as 10,000.

What do you think? What would your own manifesto for work after COVID-19 look like?

*Or at least a starter for ten…

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