For most people, the end of the academic year means a time to rest. However, for Anna Tavis, PhD, a clinical professor and academic director of the Human Capital Management Department within the NYU SPS Division of Programs in Business (DPB), her summer season is just getting started. As a leading expert on human resources and the workplace experience, Tavis was recently interviewed by several South American outlets, including Valor, the largest economic newspaper in Brazil, on an urgent and topical issue around the world - workplace flexibility.
In the May 23 Valor article, “Flexible Models Require Leaders to Trust Employees More, and That Takes Time,” Tavis argued that in the aftermath of the pandemic, learning to trust employees, regardless of whether they work from home, in the office, or from anywhere, should be the number one priority of leaders going forward. She believes that the hybrid model is what will succeed because, as much as leaders want to make decisions with old management fundamentals, “the train has already left the station and it will not return five days a week.” This is the same argument she put forth in her recently published book, “Humans at Work - The Art and Practice of Creating the Hybrid Workplace,” (co-authored with DPB adjunct professor Stela Lupushor of Reframe.Work and The Conference Board).
According to Tavis, the article has generated a lot of attention on social media, receiving more than 3500 likes, 300 shares, and 50 comments on LinkedIn. “Every society is wrestling with how work is going to be done,” explained Tavis. “The conversation about the future of work affects every business, whether it is sports, PR or real estate. Questions of inequity come up, the changing dynamics between workers and employers, and how fast management can change.”
Current discussions about work have focused on the impact of technology, but the pandemic has reshuffled that debate. “What I talk about is human psychology – it should not be an afterthought to technology,” said Tavis. “Work needs to be conducive to health. The pandemic was a wake-up call to say we must pay attention to human psychology and to the worker perspective. That idea is resonating with people.”
In addition to the Valor interview, Tavis kicked off the Latam Business School Annual Conference on Compensation and Benefits (Mexico) with a virtual presentation on May 26. Her presentation centered on the hybrid workplace, and the leadership needed to guide the next generation’s workplace decisions.
On June 3, Tavis shared her expertise with two Argentinian media outlets - the business publication, La Capital, and the Argentinian podcast, La Banda Cambiaria.
Her other summer activities include presentations on June 23-24 in Argentina, including at the Mayor’s Office in Buenos Aires. She has interviews lined up with El Cronista and Infotech. If that is not enough, Tavis has also penned an article for an Indian HR publication.
Tavis said, “The interest in workplace transformation is global and we are here ready to discuss, share, and debate the decisions that will shape the future of work.”