Page 45 - BusinessWest May 13, 2024
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The Pendulum Has Shifted — Maybe for Good
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Allison Ebner recalls that, when she first entered the workplace just over 30 years ago, the overrid- ing question still concerned what the employee could do for the employer.
Over the years, and especially over the past decade, the pendulum has certainly shifted to where it’s now more about what the employer can do for the employee.
Indeed, while there have been cycles with the econ- omy and the job market — and, thus, times when the employer and employee have alternated when it comes to having the proverbial upper hand, if you will — the employee has been in control for a while, and will prob- ably remain so for the foreseeable future.
“It’s been flipped on its head, and I don’t think it’s necessarily going to flip back that much moving ahead,” Ebner said. “As employers, we’re constantly trying to fig- ure out ways to retain top talent, and I think that is some- thing we’ll see continuing into the future.”
This is just one of many changes that have come to the workplace over the past four decades, and especially the past four years, as the pandemic created a new para- digm. Others involve everything from how people work and where to dress codes; from technology and the emer-
“It’s been flipped on its head, and I don’t think it’s necessarily going to flip back that much moving ahead.”
gence of AI to how to maintain a company culture when people are all together maybe, as in maybe, a day or two a week.
Drew Andrews, managing partner and CEO of the accounting firm Whittlesey, touched on many of these trends and issues as he flashed back almost exactly 40 years to when he started with the firm in June 1984.
“There was one computer in the corner of the office; it was a desktop that no one knew how to use. I was the
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