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Knowledge workers: work perception pre and post Covid-19

In 2013, Julian Birkinshaw interviewed 45 knowledge workers, asking them to open their calendar and go to a day from the previous week that was typical of their working life. He then asked respondents to provide details on 6 to 10 activities during that day.

A few months after the outbreak of Covid-19, Birkinshaw decided to replicate the 2013 study asking similar-profile respondents the exact same questions. The comparison shows that:

  • Lockdown helped us focus on the work that really matters.
  • Lockdown helped us take responsibility for our own schedules.
  • During lockdown, we viewed our work as more worthwhile.

The new-found freedom seems to be a great source of motivation for knowledge workers. Not only is their work important, they feel important as well!

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