Workforce and Workplace Realities Revisited – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #28

by placers on January 20, 2023 in Outside Insights


There is a balance shift between employers who are used to being in control of the workplace dynamic and employees who gained control of it during the pandemic. It’s headlining news and it’s the through-line of this week’s episode of Outside Insights between Placers’ President Chris Burkhard and Placers’ Founder and serial entrepreneur Alan Burkhard.

Traditionally, employers set the ground rules and the conditions of employment. It’s been that way for the last century. During the pandemic, the construct and definition of “workplace” was reimagined. Hybrid workspaces and remote work became the norm. These new workspace operating models enabled employers to successfully continue in an unprecedented era.

But now, the pandemic and its infection rates are slowing and employers are signaling that they want to return to traditional workplace models. Employees who have been working in hybrid or remote situations are balking. It’s a power struggle that needs to be managed effectively in the United States as we move forward. 

Disney, Starbucks, Vanguard, Paycom, and News Corp are among the big players issuing return-to-work orders (RTOs). They are among the mainstream companies sending employees RTOs. Companies are increasingly becoming more emboldened. The workforce, which had the upper hand during the pandemic, isn’t as confident as it was in the last two years, and it doesn’t know how to navigate this newest curveball.

Do employees know how to hold onto their new-found power? Should they? Are job agents needed to navigate careers? These and other profound hypotheses constitute this week’s maverick crosstalk. They may be groundbreaking, but so is the current job market!

Listen to this insightful exchange between Placers’ thought leaders who grapple with the workplace’s path forward and how the behavior of individuals is impacting company behaviors. It’s the newest twist in this power grab that was originally discussed in Outside Insights Episode #9: History Repeats Itself: The Power of the Job Seeker.

When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for,  just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”

Author, Toni Morrison

If you enjoyed this, I recommend listening to these past Outside Insights Podcast episodes:

A Sit Down With David Friedman – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #27
A Sit Down With Eric Herronkohl – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #26
Opposite The Crowd – Chapter 1 – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #25

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