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The Fast Company Executive Board is a private, fee-based network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.

How to harness the power of the Great Reconsideration

By reinventing the daily experience of how individuals and teams collaborate, organizations set the stage to accomplish the extraordinary.

How to harness the power of the Great Reconsideration
[Alex From The Rock / Adobe Stock]

Month after month, the statistics make headlines: Over 4 million Americans quit their jobs every month since July 2021. Nearly 4.3 million workers handed in their resignations in January 2022. But the much-discussed “Great Resignation” has never been about a permanent exodus from the work itself. Instead, people are seizing the unprecedented opportunity to transform their daily work experience. The Great Reconsideration is officially on.

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Clearly, the paradigm has shifted. After working from kitchen tables and bedroom corners throughout the pandemic, we’ve collectively learned the old way isn’t the only way. The 9-to-5 workday is a relic from the industrial era. Whether employees are working in-person, remotely, or hybrid, they want to be free from inefficient and time-consuming ways of working and cultures that don’t support their highest aspirations. They want the power to do their best work.

A RARE OPPORTUNITY FOR EMPLOYERS TO HIT THE RESET BUTTON

Across sectors, companies are busily reconsidering the value proposition they offer employees. Salary, flexibility, and opportunity will always be important, but they’ve become table stakes as the day-to-day experience of being at work has taken on a whole new meaning. Sure, it’s easy to focus on perks to attract talent, but to meet this moment, employers will have to go beyond drink carts, yoga classes, and food trucks.

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The Great Reconsideration is a large-scale opportunity for forward-looking companies to reinvent how they work and reduce the enormous waste of time, energy, and talent that too often characterized pre-pandemic organizational life. To retain the best people, employers should create and sustain a daily culture that leverages employees’ talents and stops wasting their time.

INTELLIGENT COLLABORATION IS THE KEY TO A GREAT DAY

The collaboration standard that existed pre-pandemic was disappointingly low. Research suggests that a large portion of meeting time was wasted and that executives were drowning in emails, texts, and IM, leaving little time for strategic work. The pandemic gave back commute time but amplified the meeting load across the board.

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Now, in this critical time as many companies transition to a hybrid model, we must reconsider how work gets done. Intelligent collaboration, an antidote to the work routines of the past, requires discipline and mindfulness but offers unlimited benefits in terms of employee experience and engagement.

Imagine if the average meeting load was able to decrease through better design and facilitation, and the productivity and sense of accomplishment could increase through greater focus and prioritization. Imagine giving employees 20% more time per week to do what you hired them to do rather than shuffle problems from one person to the next under the guise of collaboration.

BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR TRANSFORMATIVE RESULTS

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Today, greater flexibility to design work-life balance, more autonomy in work routines, and respect for employees’ time are no longer nice-to-haves. The Great Reconsideration is a rallying cry for employers to deliver what employees want the most: time and space to deliver their best work.

What a powerful opportunity this is, and not only for employees. By reinventing the daily experience of how individuals and teams collaborate, organizations set the stage to accomplish the extraordinary. Companies that lean into this now will not only be destinations for the most innovative talent, but they will also be the places talent chooses to stay.


Shani Harmon is the co-founder of Stop Meeting Like This, which partners with forward-looking companies to transform how work gets done.

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