Thinking about collective well-being in the New Normal era – Company edition

Due to COVID-19, we have suddenly been forced to change the way we work.

As we experience new approaches to work that are not bound by time or place, such as flexible working hours and remote work, it’s easy to imagine the accelerated diversification of work styles in the future. And as options increase, it’s only natural that companies and individuals will be required to choose on their own the direction in which they proceed.

Amid these changes, the time is ripe for us to consider how to realize sustainable teams in the New Normal era. And toward this objective, the Rakuten People & Culture Lab has created a set of guidelines addressing well-being.

The guidelines provide recommendations for sustainable teambuilding for both businesses and individuals based on three key elements: Team, Time and Place. In addition, they highlight the importance of allowing for breathing space in each of these three elements (3 Key Elements + Breathing Space). This article focuses on points intended for companies.

Notes:   Collective well-being is defined as a state in which the aspirations and values of individuals align and engage with the company’s mission and strategies in a favorable, stable manner for sustainable growth.

The New Normal era is defined as the new state in which society has settled based on the presence of the new coronavirus.

Company edition: 3 Key Elements + Breathing Space for sustainable teams

In the New Normal era the future is uncertain and change is a given. We believe that companies must clarify their purpose (raison d’être) so that they become a centripetal force to attract diverse talent while creating an environment in which the employees with diverse values who gather there can sustainably demonstrate their inherent skills. Toward this objective, we recommend the designing of well-considered breathing space in terms of Team, Time and Place.

Traditionally, companies maximized organizational output by managing resources, namely, people, goods, capital, and information. Additionally, in the New Normal era, we believe that the designing of well-considered breathing space is of particular importance in the realization of sustainable teams, something that, at first glance, tends not to be considered in the pursuit of short-term productivity.

Connecting as a team

  • Engage people through purpose and values
    Communicate purpose and significance as an organization through words and visuals to attract diverse talent.
  • Recommend chatting among diverse team members
    Encourage teams to connect as people, maintaining optimal distance while building relationships with each other.

Allocating time

  • Establish work and team boundaries
    Consciously create divisions to instill work and teams with a sense of variety through reflection and preparation for the future.
  • Recommend scheduled breaks
    Prevent work that requires excessive concentration or short-term overwork and promote work styles that continuously produce results.

Organizing places

  • Provide physical and virtual venues
    Foster a sense of belonging to the company and a sense of unity as a team by devising ways in which to feel the company and team.
  • Provide a choice of location and collaboration tools
    Boost the speed and efficiency of work by selecting the most suitable place and tools in accordance with the objective and the other party.

Note: This article is based on the Collective Well-being Guidelines announced by the Rakuten People & Culture Lab in July 2020. For additional information, please refer to the Collective Well-being site(Japanese only):