Covid-19 was an overnight and overwhelming disruption to established ways of working and accelerated profound change in the way we work. While the light at the end of the tunnel seems within reach, companies across the globe are continuing to debate what the future holds for the workplace.
A recent Irish Times Future of Work special report sought to delve a little bit deeper and looked at how the pandemic has condensed an estimated five years of change and transformation into a single year. Our Aramark Northern Europe business leaders contributed to the report by sharing their insights and expertise.
Frank Gleeson, CEO of Aramark Northern Europe, spoke on the topic of how the world of work is transforming itself to adapt to a changed world. Specifically, Frank spoke about the rapid acceleration of hospitality trends that are here to stay, for example, digital transformation.
Aramark Northern Europe’s HR Director, Jim O’Brien, spoke about employee wellbeing and the importance of companies checking in with their staff. The pandemic and working from home have led to an increase in burnout and a feeling of social isolation among employees, therefore having good wellbeing practices to tackle these issues is critically important for any organisation. Jim detailed Aramark’s response including the annual Take 15 mental health campaign and the welcome introduction of mental health champions.
Stephen Brennan, Supply Chain and Procurement Director for Aramark Northern Europe and executive sponsor of Aramark NE’s sustainability plan “Be Well. Do Well.”, discussed the challenges of building a sustainable office and how the green agenda now filters down through every aspect of working life. Office environments will look different post-pandemic as sustainability continues to influence organisations’ decisions.
As the world emerges from lockdown and offices begin to reopen, the trends that are influencing the future of work are becoming clearer and clearer. But, as the pandemic has shown us all, there is always an element of uncertainty and unknown. What is certain, however, is that the last year has drastically changed the way we live and work and will continue to influence workplace environments for years to come.