Henley resident and member of the Rotary Club of Henley, Peter Thomson has co-written a business book about how the world of work has been transformed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The self-published, Never Going Back – How Covid-19 changed work for good book has been written with fellow future work expert Mark Thomas. The book tells the dramatic story of how business scrambled to survive when the worldwide lockdowns began in March 2020. And how the organisations that understood the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic pivoted to new business models that enabled them to thrive on trust.
Peter has been fascinated with the organisation of work for most of his career. He has written many articles and blogs about the evolution of new working practices and spoken at numerous conferences on the subject. His current interest is in agile, self-managing organisations. This is the third book Peter has co-authored. The first, Future Work published ten years ago was a best-selling business book. Last year, Peter’s second book 500% was published about a fascinating company that is managed by the employees.
Peter comments, “We decided to write this book as it was obvious that the pandemic was shifting people’s attitudes to home working, with many of them preferring this to commuting into the office. As we remove the restrictions, managers may be tempted to ask people back in to the office full-time. We wanted to point out there has been a permanent shift in the way people work and we are never going back to the pre-pandemic work patterns. We decide to self-publish it as it is a quick process and means the book is full of up to date facts and figures.”
His interest in the future of work started when Peter was Personnel Director for Northern Europe in Digital Equipment, which was a pioneering user of technology for teleworking. When he left Digital, Peter became a Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School where he studied the changing patterns of work and the leadership implications of these trends. At the same time he formed Wisework, a leading consultancy in the field of smart working. Peter is now director of the Future Work Forum, a ‘think tank’ of leading consultants from across the globe.
Never Going Back also looks at how our physical and mental health is being impacted and how our homes, communities and our planet will be all the better post-pandemic. It makes a powerful case for the UK to push forward not back, to embrace these changes and build a more productive, greener, cleaner, healthier and happier society. Business leaders from a range of sectors, politicians, other experts and individual home workers also provide case studies in this ground-breaking book.
Peter started writing the book during last year’s November lockdown and only took 3 months to write as there wasn’t much else to do. Peter and Mark scoured the media for information on working from home and also interviewed several people who became case studies in the book.
With the Government’s ‘work from home’ guidance set to be lifted later this month, Peter believes the book will be of use to both employers and employees as they navigate their way through what he’s calling the Hybrid Working Revolution. He said: “The last few months has seen major announcements from some of Britain’s biggest employers including Amazon, the Civil Service and Nationwide Building Society setting out different ways forward for their organisations. With the government set to lift the guidance to work from home on 21 June, now is crunch time for employers and employees who have been working flexibly for over a year.
“After this year long experiment with a new way of working what businesses decide and how their employees respond to the transition will shape the world’s future in a profound way. Our book is essential reading for all whose lives have been transformed by the Hybrid Working Revolution including managers charting a post-pandemic course, home workers embracing flexible working and all who are interested in building a better post-pandemic world. Readers will get to see how work has become much more flexible during the lockdown period. For those not wanting to go back to full time commuting they will get some persuasive arguments to use on their own employer.”
The book is available as Amazon from 17 June priced at £9.99 as a Kindle and £14.99 as a paperback https://amzn.to/3v4k5sd. You can also register for a book launch talk on 17 June at 6.30pm via https://nevergoingback.work/book-launch/