Another Milestone

I can’t believe that Labor Day is around the corner. This was a milestone for many people earlier in the pandemic, then it fizzled to “ho hum” as the summer wore on and the economy didn’t return to its former vibrancy.

Take a moment to remember why we celebrate Labor Day. Everything from a five-day workweek to paid vacation time has roots in the labor movement, which spawned huge changes for working people.

It has been the unofficial end of summer and the de facto beginning of many school years, as important seasonal changes as any during the year.

Labor – or our world of work – today has been turned upside down by the pandemic. A fundamental shift to working from home has taken hold around the world and is likely to have a semi-permanent place in many countries for years to come.

The world of work in notable industries is undergoing considerable structural change. The restaurant industry has been decimated. Travel and tourism is holding on by a thread.

This week alone, airlines have announced tens of thousands of furloughs and layoffs. So did the auto industry, the entertainment industry and many others whose numbers seem “small” at 1,000 or less.

Labor as we knew it is undergoing a new incarnation. All surviving companies need to learn how to deliver more value with fewer people, and the ripple effect extends to most of our clients and vendors.

There is no point in fretting over this. We have to sharpen our saws and adapt. It’s not easy, but offers an opportunity for creativity and innovation to ooze to the surface and propel us forward.

Our people are the lifeblood of our organizations as we move forward. Even though they may not feel connected with the Labor Day holiday, please do something to celebrate or acknowledge their contributions. After all, they do the work that keep you in business.

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