• A Look Ahead: Workforce Challenges and Trends 2022

      Harrington, Brad (LinkedIn, 2022-02-03)
      Over the past two tumultuous years, our Center has dramatically altered our value delivery system in order to meet the needs of our corporate partners, many of the country’s most respected employers, during a time of unparalleled change. In March of 2020, we switched to virtual offerings in order to meet member needs, and were able to do so while continuing a very high level of member satisfaction and engagement. In spite of the lack of face-to-face contact, we maintained a clear focus and set of offerings by picking objectives that mirrored the concerns of our organizational members. We focused on three issues that were the critical and urgent concerns of those employers. First, was the challenge of addressing race in the workplace which came to the forefront following the killing of George Floyd. Second was striving to achieve gender equality which had always been a mainstream concern for the work-family field. But COVID’s impact on working women / caregivers made this more challenging than ever as women took on the lionshare of not only caregiving but also homeschooling through most of 2020 and 2021. Our third objective was to, at least try, to envision the workplace of the future. The massive shift that had occurred in March of 2020 to remote work, especially for “white collar workers,” proved to be a long, global experiment in working differently. As COVID raged, then waned, then spiked again, it was unclear in what ways these 20+ months of working differently would affect how people saw the workplace. Even today, nearly two years after the initial global shutdown, it is difficult to say how the workplace will look going forward as this remains a moving target.