POPin Blog

Nostalgia in the Workplace?

The leftovers have been cleared out, the in-laws safely ubered to the airport and the holiday decorations unpacked from the attic/basement/garage. We’re down to the wire folks. Only a few weeks left of 2015. And like every year at this time, we’ll look back and revisit what we did, how we did it and if we did it well enough. It’s during those moments of review, that we sometimes find ourselves getting a little nostalgic. But it’s not just us. It’s everywhere you look – movies, TV and political pundits craving a “simpler time.” In fact, it’s becoming a “thing” according to Digiday: “Appealing to nostalgia — that yearning for yesteryear — has emerged as a strategic and effective marketing technique in recent years, spilling into not only brands, but also entertainment, fashion, food and more.” Let’s hope that the “and more” doesn’t include the workplace. Because, while we can long for the days of pocket squares and three-martini client lunches, we’d like to think we’ve evolved a bit.
  1. Connectivity We suppose it’s possible to get nostalgic about punching a time card and working 9am-5pm. When the work day ended, it ended. No laptops, no smartphones – absolutely nothing to connect you to your workday. Of course, today is wildly different. We’re available 24/7 to any and everyone. Yes, sometimes we have to draw the line, but this level of connectivity offers enormous amounts of flexibility and the ability to collaborate globally any time.
  1. Broader Experience Gone are the days when your first job became your last job, when retirement guaranteed a pension and a gold watch for 40 years of service. Making ANY job change was met with wariness and discouragement. Not sure what we’re talking about? Ask your parents (grandparents?). But today, the opposite is true. Stay too long at a company, and you’ll get raised eyebrows and whispers. Today, it’s about new ideas, strategies and evolving experiences. Today, it’s about making frequent changes every few years to stay relevant and well connected.
  1. Collaboration By definition, collaborating necessitates crossing boundaries, chiasms and silos to work together to get things done. But true collaboration involves diversity, both in people and in ideas. Employees work less independently now, a trend that should continue especially because of how connected we are (see #1 above!). The problems we have to solve — whether deciding company strategy or bringing an innovative offering to market — are more complex than they have ever been. They require a variety of skillsets, perspectives, and approaches to solve them, and need a lot of pieces to come together smoothly to be successful.