LAVNCH WEEK 3.0: ‘Back to the Workplace’ with Michael Goldman and Dr. S. Ann Earon

Keynote End User Day LAVNCH WEEK

By Leah McCann and Steph Beckett

LAVNCH WEEK 3.0 End User Day kicked off with a bang as we welcomed industry veterans Dr. S. Ann Earon (president at Telemanagement Resources International; founding chairperson of IMCCA) and Michael Goldman (principal at Communications Design Associates; board member of IMCCA) for the day’s keynote. The two tag-teamed a discussion on something I think we’re all pretty passionate about here: buildings, people and technology.

After the “monkey wrench” of COVID-19, we learned this year was not exactly a slam dunk in our homes, offices and classrooms, Dr. Earon said. We discovered the workflow was broken.

During this meaningful keynote, we looked at:

  • A year in review (Dr. Earon)
  • Workplace evolution & a “status check” (Goldman)
  • Looking ahead & navigating the day (Dr. Earon and Goldman)

I have a few favorite takeaways from this keynote:

  • That companies need to develop a plan that equips people with tools to support working from home in a standard way.
  • In office design plans, it should be important to incorporate designs that can account for future modifications as needed.
  • There needs to be a system in place for developing a cohesive return-to-work plan — if that is something your office plants to do. Perhaps form a response team and have that team take input from everyone. This way, the plan can be communicated effectively to all employees after it’s finished.
  • Take health and safety into account — environment-wise and also mental-health wise. (Check on your employees and their stress levels!)
  • Virtual events are likely not going away any time soon — if there is unused space at your office, consider converting it to a studio to deliver the virtual event experience at a distance.
  • Let’s talk about mental health again. Feelings of isolation are running rampant right now — leadership should consider this by working to build connections with the team.

Looking past the quick fixes, how do we reduce risk and press forward? How do we remove frictions when new workflows emerge? We need a great plan — with policies, protocols and workflow, Blackman said. In the case of classrooms, for instance, there needs to be balance: Consider the production value of any new technology, and consider the remote student as well as the in-person one. Have you assembled the right team (a team of ambassadors, comfortable with change too) to manage the new protocols and recognize the gaps?

“It’s not a bus ride. It’s a merry-go-round,” Blackman said.

To do justice to this session, your best bet is to check out the recording via the End User Day archives. We also got our hands on Dr. Earon’s and Goldman’s detailed blueprint, which we 10/10 would recommend. Must-read for 2021.

Love this keynote as much as we did? Rewatch it on the End User Day page