The “future of work” is here, thanks to Covid-19

As the Covid-19 crisis has unfolded, corporate leaders have scrambled to develop radical new strategies for accessing customers, maintaining supply chains, and salvaging revenue streams. Many of their solutions have been strikingly innovative.

Yet when it comes to the ins and outs of the white-collar work environment—where, when, and how we work each day—the changes are exactly what I would’ve expected. This isn’t to say that white-collar employers aren’t innovating. In some ways, this crisis has merely catapulted them directly into a future we’ve all been inching toward for years: the so-called future of work.

As dean of Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, and a professor of human capital management, my research and teaching both focus on the future of work domain. And I’ve long wondered about the necessary drivers to accelerate the shift toward a more remote-friendly, data-based, and impact-focused workplace.

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