Young professionals across industries and their struggle with flexibility: Life Design Circle’s answers to the new work culture wave.
Daiana Vitalba is an innovator, explorer and founder of Life Design Circle. LDC is an online workshop that equip organizations and individuals with the tools and guidance to navigate their next change in a playful way.
reading time: 3min
We are seeing a dramatic change in the work culture; we are coming to a realization that work is not all there is and mental health is now a priority. What’s your take on it?
I am very optimistic about the post-pandemic changes in the work culture, thanks to technology!
Experiments in countries like South Africa, Belgium, Iceland and Japan, have shown overwhelmingly positive results with a 4-day workweek with a 100-80-100 model (100% pay for 80% of time in exchange for 100% productivity). Many businesses are also testing the 3:2 model (3 in-person, 2 home office days), while a number of start-ups are embracing a fully-remote work culture, which is more cost-effective and taps into an international talent pool.
"Experiments in countries like South Africa, Belgium, Iceland and Japan, have shown overwhelmingly positive results with a 4-day workweek with a 100-80-100 model (100% pay for 80% of time in exchange for 100% productivity)
Employees experience increased satisfaction, as one of the top 3 values of the future workforce is flexibility (Deloitte study on Millennials and Gen Z´s, 2022). A better control over when, where and how to work allows them to prioritize wellbeing. Moreover, this new self awareness can notably relieve the burden of organizations, recognizing that mental health is highly individual.
Who needs more guidance? New generations or organizations to adapt to the new wave of employees?
Employees tend to adapt faster to new work models when given the 'green light.' Digital nomads have embraced such flexibility for years. However, organizations often face a trust dilemma.
Many businesses still cling to traditional beliefs, equating physical office presence with productivity and engagement. In truth, when the focus shifts to outcomes and trust is freely extended, professionals find greater inner motivation and appreciate the genuine sense of care.
For example, a senior business consultant shared with me how much she enjoys working in her pajamas for three years now. It saved her countless commuting hours, giving her more quality time with her fiancée. Recently, her company implemented limitless vacation days, yet she only “uses them responsibly” out of concern that means extra work for her team. Isn't it a great case of mutual trust?
"A senior business consultant shared with me how much she enjoys
working in her pyjamas for three years now
Let’s clarify, is this workshop for designers only? Who needs this really?
Our programs require zero prior design experience. We are democratizing tools, originally rooted in design thinking, service design, strategic innovation, and consulting. Our current focus is on professionals across industries while championing gender equality, welcoming all genders.
Our experience demonstrates that professionals typically seek our programs when driven by external factors like layoffs or internal cravings for professional growth and work with purpose.
Please go through quickly how you came to realize the need of this project.
Like many entrepreneurs, my drive to launch this project is deeply personal. Battling burnout, IBS, and panic attacks for five years, while navigating a non-linear career path showed me the need for a more holistic life approach. All the tools I developed, I needed myself.
Connecting with professionals across industries, I realized I wasn't alone. Ambitious individuals faced health issues due to performance pressure, and creatives struggled to find direction.
Discovering design thinking, I had an epiphany. Engaging both our creative and analytical skills, the process isn't limited to business challenges - it empowers us to address complex life issues. Inspired by Stanford University's Life Design Lab, I embraced the mission to make it accessible.
"The process empowers us to address complex life issues,
inspired by Stanford University's Life Design Lab
Can you make an example and what are the tools for the program?
It's amusing how people often wonder what a tool looks like. In Life Design we use 5 types: design tools, journaling tools, energisers, discussion questions and visualizations.
Design tools resemble mind maps and help us capture, cluster and organize thoughts and ideas. Journaling tools, in the form of a daily log, guide us on how to collect new information while we test an idea in the real world. Energizers and discussion questions are primarily used in a group setting, helping participants maximize knowledge sharing. Visualizations are the most powerful way to tap into our subconscious and imagine different futures.
Impostor syndrome is real and many struggle with it, do your tools help with this issue?
Unfortunately, imposter syndrome is not only limited to young professionals. To explain the term - it's a belief that one isn't as capable as others perceive. It can lead to burnout, as these professionals tend to either over-perform or people-please in an attempt to prove their worth.
Our methods don´t target imposter syndrome directly. However, they encourage individuals to examine an issue from multiple perspectives, noticing how their peer, family or cultural biases overshadow their own opinion. In a way, we empower professionals to trust their own judgment.
"in regards to Impostor syndrome, our methods encourage individuals to examine an issue from multiple perspectives, noticing how their peer, family or cultural biases overshadow their own opinion. In a way, we empower professionals to trust their own judgment.
Burnouts are a bitch we all know… does your workshop for organizations also help to overcome and understand?
Employee burnout is a loss on both ends, with turnover expenses often exceeding twice an employee salary. Recovery process can take from 3 months up to 1 year. Many only realize the problem when it is too late.
Life Design can prevent burnout by promoting self-awareness in finding activities that increase one's energy on a daily basis. We advocate for adding the word “rest” to the work-life balance.
What’s the real deal after the program?
To meet professionals´demand for flexibility, we are going even more digital!
Our 30-day group program for professionals across industries to restart their job and life is soon going to be offered as a self-paced online course with the option of joining a cohort with extra group sessions. We aim to maintain a professional network for an ongoing resource exchange and idea sharing even beyond the program´s completion.
Any exciting experiences / projects related to LDC coming soon? What would you like to communicate
More surprises are coming! In the past year, we partnered up with the Danish engineer union IDA to adapt a few of our tools to their internal members ́ platform. We can't wait for the results!
There will be a few opportunities for individuals to connect virtually and bring a specific problem related to their job or life to our virtual Circle Jam. Our most exciting project ahead is turning our program into an online course that will allow more professionals to benefit from the tools.
Stay tuned and follow us on LinkedIn for updates!
Connect with Daiana Vitalba @daianavitalba
Explore Life Design Circle and Life Vision workshop at https://www.lifedesigncircle.co/
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