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From the editor: A lesson on the future of work from the backyard hockey rink

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January 31, 2021
By Marcel Vander Wier

The author and his son face off on their backyard rink in west Toronto. (Talent Canada)

I laughed in the moment, but as I ponder further, my son’s comment during a game on our backyard rink is worth another look.  

While fishing a puck out of his net in a 20-20 game over the holiday break, Jacob’s six-year-old teammate paused for a moment to think.

“Imagine…” was all he was able to get out before being cut off quite succinctly and matter-of-factly by my son.

“There’s no time for imagining! Let’s just keep doing what we’re doing!”


Moments later, the two were celebrating a 21-20 victory.

Recalling that moment now, I wonder if my son’s sentiments hold true for the business world currently coping with the devastating COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the country, employers and senior leaders continue to manage through new-look workplaces and heightened health and safety restrictions ushered in by a pandemic declaration in March 2020. 

But imagining what the future of work looks like? There’s not a lot of time for that. Most are only able to keep doing what they’re doing, hoping that this strategy will indeed pay off in a hard-fought victory.

Future of Work

For our part here at Talent Canada, we’re trying our best to assist workplace leaders in the reimagination of work. 

On Dec. 12, Talent Canada celebrated its first birthday as a national workplace publication. In year one, our website was visited 130,000 times, with the lion’s share of news coverage dedicated to business and government response to COVID-19.

With appropriate health and safety measures now in place and much of the initial turmoil behind us, our collective imaginations have turned towards understanding the work environment of tomorrow. 

So far, our Future of Work virtual event series has included sessions spotlighting virtual health care, and mental health solutions in a digital age.

Our intention is to showcase thought leadership and forecast workplace realities for our audience — business leaders across Canada.

On April 15, we plan to take it a step further, hosting a virtual event tackling Work 4.0 — reimagining work post-pandemic.

Employers have weathered the pandemic with a variety of short-term, innovative solutions designed to keep doors open, staff engaged and productivity at respectable levels. 

But as the dust settles, some are taking a step back and exploring long-term strategies to respond to employee demands, capitalize on best practices and take advantage of proven technologies to create the best organizations. 

COVID-19 has only accelerated our trip into the future. There’s no turning back now.

This editorial appears in the Winter 2021 issue of Talent Canada.

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