With all the uncertainty and questions surrounding the future of work, one thing is certain: the COVID-19 pandemic reset the format of the workplace. BlueHub reopened its office in April after two years of remote work, and we are now successfully operating on a hybrid schedule. But that tactical decision to return to the office isn’t the end of the conversation.
Workplace habits and rules were developed in a very different time when many women were excluded from the workplace and many families had only one working parent. Traditional work structures were not developed with women’s interests in mind. We saw millions of women leave the job market during the pandemic as they were left with the near-impossible task of balancing childcare and full-time jobs. If we want to address these issues, why would we limit ourselves to simply tweaking what exists? If we encourage a work environment that is conducive for women, then we just might create a workplace that is more productive and effective for all employees.
With this newfound opportunity to look inward, we are asking ourselves: how can we maximize our organization’s ability to effectively pursue our mission; and how can we maximize staff’s ability to lead happy, healthy, productive lives? We believe we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take a holistic approach and to enhance people’s lives while efficiently and effectively executing our mission of building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. As an organization made up of 71% women, we have the will and the obligation to shape a workplace that better serves everyone.
As I talk to my nonprofit and business leader colleagues about office life post-pandemic, what’s clear is that no one has this next phase figured out.
The BlueHub team is committed to figuring out the best way forward—a new way to maintain personal connections with in-office time while acknowledging that we do not need to be sitting in the same zip code to be effective. We are working together to establish guiding principles that enable both an effective organization and productive personal lives for staff members, with a focus on balance and collaboration.
We are encouraging the social connections and relationships with colleagues that are key to getting the job done, while maintaining flexibility for remote and hybrid work, as we have always done. We are working to assure that new staff have the mentoring they need to advance in their careers, and that the staff maintains their bonds of community.
BlueHub’s long-term sustainability, efficacy and growth is a result of a talented, hard-working and dedicated staff committed to our mission and values. We are purposefully building an organization and a culture that attracts these individuals and supports them in building fulfilling lives and careers.
-Elyse Cherry, CEO of BlueHub Capital