Leadership in a Post-COVID World
17th May 2022
In 2017, Landmark published a blog detailing ‘why leaders need to be open-minded’. Five years and a global pandemic later, we’re revisiting this theme through a post-COVID lens and examining how the coronavirus has accentuated the need for certain aspects of leadership and detracted from others. We also touch on how Landmark itself has adapted its business model and services to allow leaders to steer their companies through an uncertain post-pandemic world.
Narratives are traditionally tilted towards how candidates should sell themselves to potential employers in interviews. However, recent trends like ‘the Great Resignation’ have caused this balance of power to rotate on its axis. The Great Resignation was fuelled by global concerns of wage stagnation, cost of living crises, lingering health and safety concerns, and long-standing job dissatisfaction (sometimes due to a lack of a work-life balance), and all industries have seen an unprecedented number of people voluntarily leave their jobs. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported a record high of 1.3 million job vacancies at the turn of the year and between October and December 2021, the rate of UK workers aged 16-64 moving job-to-job was at an all-time high of 3.2%. With more choice than ever on the job market, people are increasingly asking themselves what they want from their employer rather than vice-versa. Meanwhile, the Great Resignation placed more emphasis on employers to work harder than ever to hold onto their valued employees.
At Landmark, we’ve made it easy for leaders to choose our office space by allowing them to be flexible with their needs. In transforming our business model and our offering we ensure that your workspace is transformative for the needs of your business and your team. For example, at our new flagship Kings Cross building, we use AI to help create your perfect hybrid working space, so that it performs in a way that keeps in mind the people, technology innovations, best processes, and property perspectives. It’s a greener, more sustainable building to ensure that produces zero on-site carbon emissions and includes a rooftop terrace, so that wellbeing is front and centre of your team’s needs.
Tying the above together, how can employers appeal to job-seekers and what qualities do people seek in the leaders? In many ways, what we said in 2017 still rings true:
“Business leaders must learn to be more open-minded, which means being receptive to the views, ideas and knowledge of others.”
The pandemic demanded flexibility, improvisation and innovation from employers in several aspects of business, from targeting different markets to cushion the damage of economic slumps to moving operations online when lockdowns prevented us from going into the office. Since no one knew the answers, leaders became more receptive to others’ ideas and strategies, which fostered a unique sense of collaboration in an era of lockdown and isolation. For many this adaptable, responsive approach taken by business leaders was a welcome trend that should last far beyond the pandemic and continue to all aspects of work, including employer-employee relations.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) called on leaders to respond to these new expectations by ‘reframing their approach towards employees, focusing on the individual as a whole’. Rather than simply workers, employees have their own personal lives and individual circumstances and constraints that leaders should try to accommodate if they wish to avoid becoming a victim of the Great Resignation. Business leaders in the post-COVID workspace should therefore aim to be:
• Honest – people should be able to trust their leader to respectfully deal with their concerns and provide ample warning of changes in circumstances that may affect their personal lives.
• Flexible – the pandemic has blurred the distinction between work and personal lives and leaders should recognise that the two often overlap. Employers should abandon rigid pre-COVID institutions and allow greater flexibility so that employees can get work done without sacrificing core parts of their lives like childcare and personal health.
• Innovative – adaptability fosters innovation. Employees will feel in safer hands in an uncertain post-pandemic world when they know that their leaders can respond to quickly changing circumstances in an intelligent manner that invites the exchange of ideas between employers and employees.
Landmark’s private offices are offered on flexible terms so that your company has the freedom to alter its contract as and when circumstances change. Our flexibility offers you the leeway needed to help retain your top talent. Similarly, our co-working club space is a favourite for companies seeking to juggle a perfect blend of working from the office and from home in a post-COVID world. Just £135 a month provides unlimited access to 25 of our buildings in London and across the UK, allowing you to return to the office and foster collaboration and a company culture whilst remaining sensitive to the unique circumstances of your team. Leadership requires flexibility, an openness to ideas and a willingness to innovate in changing and challenging times. At Landmark, we’re here to offer flexible workspaces so that you can get on with providing the leadership that your company needs.