Business parlance often uses the terminology of Best Practices to define the crème de la crème of strategies. Yet the problem here is that knowledge is an ever-evolving process, and the very language of ‘Best’ creates a sense of finality. So, to counterbalance this notion, let us refrain from using this language and apply the terminology of ‘Next Practices’ to highlight the idea that the learning process is never complete. Now that we find ourselves in a moment of uncertainty, we have the opportunity and obligation to try and build a better, healthier, and more balanced society that embraces the culture of work as a key facet of this ever-changing world.
As we peer into the natural evolution of the culture of work, acknowledging hidden disabilities will become even more prevalent in the years ahead. Whether discussing matters of anxiety, depression, stress to neurodiversity, and more, the recognition and acceptance of these issues are vital towards finding new opportunities while shaping a competitive advantage in a world underscored by pandemic life. This is in part due to how the world of work is dramatically changing and evolving. Expanding from the confines of an office where people are congregated in one space to a digital landscape where employees are spread out across the country and globe, the very nature of how we work is vastly changing. As more employees engage in these innovative work styles, there are new challenges that are bound to sneak up, from the merging of work-life balance to the eroding of cultural continuity within the corporate environment. These additional hardships convey a need for a more humanistic architecture for the workplace of tomorrow that exemplifies a vision for the future that embraces a holistic ideal that sees the personal and professional as a design problem.
By identifying this design flaw, corporate culture must realize that the role of ‘Next Practices’ should focus on the ideals of intersectionality. Much can be learned about intersectionality by examining the relationship between persons with disabilities and the world around them. The intersection of design in its broadest context impacts other aspects of their lives from policy, health, education, to their very ability to work. This idea should be the cornerstone of how businesses can engage their employees as well as rethink their organizational structure. The more individualized the work experience becomes; the more adaptive companies must be to develop a new culture of growth.
Intersectionality, for the function of these ‘Next Practices,’ can be expressed in terms of the interconnected nature of social categories that can help shape new ways of doing that can have a positive impact overall. Within the corporate culture of the 21st century, the role of intersectionality can provide a new solution in the design of change around remote work. As employees migrate to this new working platform, each has different needs, distinctive roles, and unique environments. It is because of this very diversity that leadership must accept intersectionality as a new template for change. It is in this new template that leaders should be cognizant of the hidden disabilities that will be amplified and how to safely reflect on what is needed to build more trust, confidence, and loyalty acknowledging that the organization has their best interest which in turn is mutually beneficial.
How we design the blueprints of the future of work is not an easy task, however, it is part of the new rules of the workplace of the century to come. Corporate leadership should see design as a key to reimagining intersectionality to discover a greater understanding of how people, geography, technology, and culture can find a sense of homeostasis that is the foundation for this current incarnation of ‘Next Practices’.