Over the last fifteen months, organisations of all types and sizes have had to scramble to change their business models in order to continue to operate at all. There have been amazing achievements – working remotely, going digital ‘overnight’, seamlessly maintaining continuity of programmes and services…. All involved are rightly proud of the speed, flexibility and agility of the response.

Based on a survey we conducted (not all but mostly from higher education) it seems that this has had a large impact on people’s lives, both professional and personal.

Qualitative  commentary from those surveyed indicated lots of pressures on relationships, work-life integration, etc. This seemed especially marked by gender and age – younger people and females seemed more negatively impacted. We suspect this is owing to poorer resourcing but haven’t investigated that yet.

Leaders are well-aware of how challenging recent times have been professionally – to our institutions, our systems and processes and to our colleagues. Based on the anecdata we gathered, we are also asking:

  • Does organisational agility unwittingly translate/transfer into private as well as professional realms?
  • Is the pressure load spread fairly or do some individuals or groups shoulder an inequitable load?
  • Where have the impacts landed in your organisations?
  • Who really pays for our increased flexibility and agility?

If you have any thoughts on the above, we would love to hear from you.