How Perspective Impacts the Workforce and Back to School

It’s the last day in August, and here in Canada, most kids will be returning (in multiple configurations) to school next week and parents will be presented with back to work options. It has been a hot topic this month. Some will be in person. Some will be online. Some have opted to homeschool this year.

Schools are organized in various hybrid models, fully online, and fully in person for their delivery. With zero judgements on which choice you have made or support in the world of back to school, there is sometimes contradicting information, diverse perspectives, many feelings, and various levels of confidence in any choice.

If you find yourself in conversation with someone who has a truly diverse (from you) perspective, those conversations can easily trigger defensiveness or responses from us that in our cooler and calmer moments we would not have. 

Back to Work

These diverse perspectives also exist when workers were asked about physically returning to work. According to the results of over 5,000 Canadians surveyed for LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index between June 1 and July 26, only a fifth of workers say they would willingly return to their physical workplace as soon as allowed. 

21% of respondents will willingly return to a physical workplace as soon as allowed, 14% are willing to return at reduced days to reduce interaction, and 17% prefer to work remotely until they feel safer around others. 

There are various reasons and beliefs for the differing perspectives on returning to a physical workspace, but what we are most curious about is how each viewpoint or perspective looks at the other viewpoints and how they choose to engage with those who hold different perspectives.

Trust and Confidence is Important

At their core, most of the primary concerns cited are about how we feel others are responding. Can I trust my co-workers, workplace, or industry to take enough back to work precautions or perhaps you feel like there have been too many precautions and therefore there are too many delays?

What would it take to grow our confidence in our colleagues and workplaces regardless of any variation of a physical or remote workplace? From this article, it appears to us that open and honest communication about any concerns we have from any perspective we hold done in a way that all feel safe to share their perspective would be a great start. Most of us do not always need to get our own way, but we do value being heard, really listened to, and for our thoughts or concerns to be considered.

If voicing your open and honest thoughts or concerns seems too risky or ends in non-constructive dialogue, it may be time to take a step back and start by being intentional to build solid team relationships. We do things for each other because we want to, not because we have to. We will be in a better position to consider our teammates if we know them better. Knowing them can be the start of establishing that trust to be able to communicate openly and honestly. 

How We Can Help

Whether it’s back to work or school, these are tricky conversations because they are emotional. They matter to us. Ours and our children’s safety and well-being are important. Regardless of our perspective on back to school or return to physical workplaces, this is an opportunity to strengthen your own emotional awareness and team relationships as together you navigate conversations and decisions around return to physical workplaces and school. Summit is here to support you to do that. We’d love to hear more about your team to see our virtual workshops such as Emotional Intelligence, High Performance Teamwork, MBTI, or the Strengths Deployment Inventory would support your team relationships to help you navigate your various perspectives competently and robustly. We want your team not only to survive, but to thrive!

Contact us to learn more about ways in which we can support your teams communication, culture, connection or more!