Tactical Design in Exploring Work-Life Modes After Pandemic
Currently, due to expanded work-from-home policies, workers are experiencing several difficulties. Lack of in-person social interactions and the monotonous working environment have created additional stress. Meanwhile, government aid is limited when dealing with large-scale uncertainty. Some big service businesses could strictly follow the given health guidelines and survive, but it is much more difficult for small local businesses. Gradually, the connections among individuals, businesses, and government become weaker, which end up depressing society and cultural life in many respects. Therefore, the goal of ORION is to not only boost economic development, but also provide opportunities for stakeholders to have meaningful value exchange.
For example, in the first phase, to allow the platform to start up in a neighborhood and attract users, it is essential that customers see the benefits of ORION. This process of reframing the local physical resources will redefine community life, and engender ever more opportunities—particularly for connection and economic development. In later phases, more values will be created by more contributors. Workers will have richer life experiences because of the surrounding resources exposed and recommended to them via ORION work hubs and associate platforms. Small local businesses, not only restaurants, will have solid commercial channels to get support, which provide the ability to prepare and guard against future challenges and uncertainty. Companies will also get benefits from ORION because this model enhances employees' quality of life. Offering a new hybrid and remote working norm and a better quality of life, employers will be able to attract more competitive candidates and open up their hiring pools beyond the local region.
The approach will scale. ORION is not designed for a specific location—our insights were developed from Harvard Chan School data on over 1,000 households in 15 countries. This intervention is able to be copied and learned by neighborhoods, which means that it might eventually bring huge social changes. Ultimately, researchers will analyze the effects of the new social and work norms ORION helped to make possible and continue to help make improvements in pursuit of work-life balance and community wellness.
The global mobilization of various types of resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spur new solutions within and across borders. As countries implement new strategies to reopen and bolster their economies, the survival of organizations depends on their competency to adapt and address the emerging public health imperatives and rebuild their productive capacity amid the reality of massive disruption.
The context has changed, and now people are searching for alternatives to fit the new ways people are living, working, learning, and playing. In the absence of tested strategies, or guiding principles, organizations are developing their own tactical responses throughout their offerings and operations to translate public health policies and recommendations into practical, meaningful solutions. However, addressing the scale and complexity of this challenge is beyond the capacities of individual organizations.
Siloed organizational models, exclusionary policies, and fragmented interventions do not adequately address the complexity and diversity that arise from a global disruption such as the COVID-19 pandemic, including its diverse and connected manifestations throughout systems and across industries. The resilience of businesses depends on their ability to tactically participate in emerging infrastructures and leverage diverse competencies in their entrepreneurial ecosystems to improve the health of the public.
While rapidly adapting to new realities in the midst of large-scale disruptions, our design can support leaders by quickly exploring options and prototyping alternative pathways to change, reducing uncertainty about an organization's choices when there is no clear direction ahead. The structured use of design frameworks and methods can also help leaders transfer learnings from across their prototypical interventions, and combine and adapt meaningful solutions to create new infrastructures that can unlock healthier livelihoods.
This design aims to support the government, businesses, and residents in local neighborhoods struggling to adapt their strategies and operations to respond to complex public health issues in ways that create genuine value. It presents design models and tools useful to lead transformational change and generate infrastructural interventions that can increase organizational resilience against public health challenges.
We worked with Design Lab in Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and applied these tools to investigate systematic variables happening in the quarantine Working-From-Home period from over 1,000 households in 15 different countries. We share our learnings by presenting a collection of those that demonstrated the potential of entrepreneurial ecosystems in addressing public health imperatives. We also share our insights from interviewing people working in different countries to help us interpret the diverse manifestations of the infrastructures we analyzed—and their role in translating public health policies and recommendations into practical interventions.
1. Uncover local resources
Equip local government, businesses, and residents with the knowledge and tools to uncover and reframe the invisible, idle but adaptive local resources for the usage of public health.
A major disruption brought by the pandemic has been in the rigid operational structures of neighborhood organizations that are based on predefined task flows geared toward maximizing wellbeing. Faced with a rapidly changing environment and new needs of residents, the new offerings had to rapidly adapt their service offerings and operational flows in order to cater to the needs of society.
As the impact of public health policies have depended on the responsiveness of governments and industries to facilitate new interactions, Orion takes the role of translating public health policies and guidelines into concrete applications. By uncovering and reframing both tangible (physical materials) and intangible (knowledge and skills) local resources into a matching system, Orion can be a driver in the creation of new infrastructures and motivate the opt-in behavior of users.
2. Lead adaptive governance.
Support government works across organizations to build adaptive capacity and empower local residents and businesses to cooperate when needed.
When the urgency of keeping everyone safe and healthy took priority over following rigid processes, governments had to adapt their decision-making processes to rapidly mobilize their resources and activate their competencies to address public health imperatives. Orion helps governments adopt a solution-oriented approach by encouraging local businesses and residents to exchange resources, and by activating the generation of insights in real-time, to inform fluid decision-making and reduce barriers between departmental silos.
Faced with fluctuating demand and uncertainty, Orion relies on flexible collaboration and resource allocation to increase its service capacity and unlock the capabilities of government beyond its traditional collaboration modes. Orion's digital platforms system provides not only resources exchange but also public health reporting services for local governments to address evolving needs of residents.
3. Enable responsible choices.
Present your users with new choices to address public health imperatives and motivate responsible behavior.
The public health imperatives imposed multiple constraints on both daily interactions and work modes, requiring individuals to compromise their personal comfort to protect lives. When addressing the safety concerns took priority over other goals, organizations needed to offer new, safer ways for their users to access their services. But solely imposing limitations on organization-user interactions is not a viable long-term strategy. Therefore organizations need to present their users with new choices, new possibilities for interacting with their offerings, not only to motivate responsible behavior but also to create a virtuous loop in the neighborhood.
In many industries, public health is becoming a new currency, increasing the value of offerings related to risk management and improved well-being. However, since most existing infrastructures were not designed out of consideration for public health, our new offering, Orion, highlights social wellness as a privilege. By establishing a matching system that can connect the right resources of public health considerations in the design of new infrastructures, Orion fosters positive behavior among users, organizations to present choices that can enable their users to receive feedback regarding the impact of their actions while experiencing a sense of comfort regarding safer interactions.
4. Leverage entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Leverage the capabilities of local entrepreneurial ecosystems to rapidly seed, transfer, and combine solutions—and accelerate local economic development.
The scale and complexity of the disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic expand beyond the capabilities and territories of individual organizations and thus cannot be addressed by fragmented interventions. A local government's ability to rebuild with resilience depends on its capacity to quickly mobilize resources and knowledge, and leverage the competencies within its entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The multiple and interconnected manifestations of public health imperatives called for infrastructural interventions in areas beyond the immediate territories of individual organizations. This need triggered organizational partnerships that combine competencies to unlock new opportunities and leverage the impact of entrepreneurial ecosystems. In order to take advantage of the combinatorial possibilities of their competencies in the design of new infrastructures, By reintegrating locally available resources, Orion provides income-generating opportunities and safety support for local entrepreneurial businesses, hybrid services and employment opportunities for local residents, and economic development for local governments. Orion changes neighborhoods' structures, processes, and mindsets to bridge organizational silos for the upcoming future after the pandemic.
5. Foster collective intelligence.
Invest in >Building resilience against major disruptions such as a pandemic depends not only on the collective intelligence of government and industries to predict disruptions but also on the ability to rapidly implement preventive and restorative measures. In order to grow and leverage collective intelligence, organizations need to build infrastructures that can enable integrated data collection across industries and geography. The lack of infrastructures and protocols for data sharing leads to fragmented information that does not reflect the complexity of a large-scale event such as the pandemic. In order to address challenges across interconnected systems, government and industries need to build infrastructures with protocols that can enable sharing both data and knowledge. The one-way information flows that characterize current knowledge infrastructures need to be replaced by integrated feedback mechanisms for networks, organizations, and users that can help build collective intelligence—at all levels
While technological developments such as AI-powered data collection infrastructures reduce the time and cost of informing decision-making processes, over-reliance on devices can lead to exclusionary data collection mechanisms and skewed statistics. Organizations need to invest in inclusive, unbiased, and secure data collection infrastructures to access reliable data to build collective intelligence. Orion provides a potential solution for neighborhoods that every resident can be a data collector as well as a data user for public health reporting and social wellness maintenance.