Our lives are more intertwined with work than ever, and yet businesses don’t know how to manage people anymore. On top of that, in the absence of political solutions, there’s more pressure than ever on companies to step up and lead in areas like racial injustice, climate change, and mental health.
We’re at a breaking point. As many as 40% of workers are looking to quit their jobs. Roughly three-quarters say they’ve experienced burnout. Millions of mothers dropped out of the workforce in the past year. BIPOC and transgender workers experienced increased harassment even while work has been remote. About 60% of the American workforce is paid by the hour, while the federal minimum wage is stuck at a paltry $7.25.
The return to the workplace will be a chaotic reckoning for some companies, and executives who think their firms are immune from these strains are just one tweet away from being painfully exposed.
We need a new playbook for how to build companies, teams, and careers that is coherent with the landscape in front of us—to build better models in the face of remote and flexible work, racial and gender inequity, economic inequality, multiple generations in the workforce, automation, and climate change. We need a playbook for managing fairly and effectively, so we can catalyze a new era of dynamic organizations where all workers thrive.
Charter is creating that playbook, aided by the most advanced research and the best business minds, the people who are successfully reshaping their own places of work.
Our aim is to transform every workplace. We hope to do this by equipping every employee and leader with the best practices to make high-value decisions and resist the gravitational pull of how things have always been done.
You might already know us for our Reset Work email newsletter, filled with analysis and best practices for navigating remote work, reopening safely, and resetting practices for the long run—Fortune has called it a “must read.” This spring we issued a widely circulated report on return-to-workplace decision-makers’ top concerns and priorities. Those offerings are just the beginning for us.
This week we’re launching an online training course for hybrid work management, co-created with Nomadic Learning, which includes extremely timely lessons from top thinkers and executives. Today we’re hosting the Return to Workplace Summit, a half-day virtual gathering of researchers and practitioners to address any unanswered questions. Our aim is to help make the return a moment of transformation, rather than just transition.
We’ll unveil additional offerings in the coming weeks. While some of them are media, we’re agnostic about the best ways to transform workplaces, and we expect the services we provide to quickly evolve and expand.
As you might imagine, we’ve drafted a charter for what a well-managed and dynamic organization should be. And we’re committed to ourselves being a laboratory for the practices that our research turns up, so we can create the kind of company we want to see more of, and share our experiences with others.
Charter’s co-founders have decades of experience as leaders of other organizations. We’ve ourselves sought rigorous, practical guidance for making change and achieving more equitable outcomes. It often wasn’t easy to find. Some business media touch on the subject of “the future of work” as a subset of what they do. Some thought leaders post on Medium or LinkedIn in a disaggregated, random thread. Some institutions aim to coach or consult on elements of the future of work.
We’re now building the resources we had trouble finding, and we invite you to contribute. You can always reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org —and the best way to stay on top of what we’re doing is to subscribe to our email newsletter, which you can do on our homepage here. (If you’re interested in working or partnering with us, please send us a note as well.)
We can imagine a day when people might choose to work for a company based on whether it shares the values in our charter and is actually doing the work of the best practices we’re recommending. We aim to bring humanity to workplaces, and appreciate your support and feedback as we pursue that.
Kevin Delaney, Co-founder and CEO
Erin Grau, Co-founder and COO
Jay Lauf, Co-founder and President