Can current leaders change work models?

Work models need to change. However, can executives lead that change?

One week ago, Diego Puerta, leader of Dell Technologies Brazil, talked with the Brazilian media Revista Época Negócios about the recent changes in the leadership and work models. Even when he did some interesting remarks, it feels like executives know that they need to do changes, but they still don’t know how to do it.

According to Diego Puerta, the hybrid work regime tends to gain space among companies in the post-pandemic. It’s not a risky forecast if we consider that companies such as Apple and Amazon have called to come back to the offices through a hybrid model.  

Puerta also pointed out that the scenario of social isolation has accelerated the transformation of work models, another safe statement. Everybody has witnessed how education and work models were transformed over a full year.  

Do we really need to go to work?

The executive mentioned that mass migration of professionals to the home office, public and private organizations realized the possibility of, through technology, ensuring that people remain productive and collaborate at a distance. Maybe that’s the most pertinent sentence. Before the pandemic, corporations feared that letting employees work without supervision would drop productivity. Even when some leaders had a good point for working in the same location, such as improving communication and collaboration, the isolation measures showed that corporations can retain those features of the workspace if they implement the right tools.

Puerta explained that the office of the future needs to offer technologies that ensure people communicate and collaborate in a hybrid way. The experience of the professional who is in the office during a meeting needs to be the same as the one who is at a distance – which will require companies to invest in technological innovations. Puerta mentioned one technology that it’s not already common for most of us: augmented reality.

More empathetic leadership and environment

The technology multinational executive believes that the search for a better balance between work and personal life should mark the new moment. Puerta remarked that in a pandemic scenario, employees often find it difficult to establish time limits between professional and personal activities. Even this problem lead to another epidemic in Brazil: burnout

Dell’s executive believes that with normalization, companies must increasingly prioritize policies and actions that ensure a better balance of life for employees, in an increasingly digital and connected environment.

The ideal of an extrovert and charismatic leader is being questioned in this situation for recent researches. Puerta said that the role of a more empathetic leader tends to be an increasingly valued attribute. However, how do you identify an empathetic leader? Companies have constantly confused “empathetic” with “sympathetic”.

 “At the same time that the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of society and the economy, affecting the way we work, live, interact and do business, the crisis also started to demand greater care for people.”

-Diego Puerta, Leader of Dell Technologies Brazil

Puerta mentioned that technology has the power to drive and transform people’s lives, but for that to happen, it is necessary to have a human look from the leaders of companies and the government. Thus, it is possible to fight digital exclusion and create opportunities for more Brazilians to use technology as an innovation factor, contributing to personal, professional, and social development.

Those are good desires, but how will it be done? Probably, most current leaders don’t know the answer. Probably they’re not the right leaders for answering that question. In the end, they were chosen to lead a team in a different world. 

Is time for companies to bet for more diverse profiles in leadership positions?

Read also: Your brain needs a break: How to ensure wellbeing in a post-office world?