Are you a Learner, a Leaver or an In-Betweener?
Three years after Covid-19 ushered in the most tumultuous period in the history of modern work, it isn’t just the place of work undergoing a fresh identity crisis, but the person doing the work. The working assumption is that the way people define themselves at work doesn’t need changing.
Before the pandemic, the identity of the office itself was relatively stable: There was no controversy over going to the office, flexible hours or working from home because none of it was mainstream. It is true that possibilities for working differently began to emerge most notably over the last 15 or so years when the internet, the iPhone, and co-working spaces made mobility and working flexibility visible and desirable. Nevertheless, the commute was largely unavoidable, city business centers unassailable and any individualization of working hours for white collar employees was a perk not a right. The lockdowns flipped this stability on its head, and ever since the office itself has borne the brunt of the identity crisis engulfing the world of work. Fixed locations have come to be seen by many as an unwelcome constraint, almost like an outdated uniform.