Podcasts

31. The Future of Work and service design | Puja Parekh, Service Designer

Podcast

Puja Parekh |Leader of Digital Transformation Projects

PODCAST DESCRIPTION

In this episode we meet Puja Parekh, a Service Designer based in the UK with a background in leading digital transformation projects across the public and private sectors around the world.

GUEST BIO

Puja Parekh with long brown hair, smiling

Puja is a Service Designer with a background leading digital transformation projects across the public and private sector, helping leaders to formulate their vision, ensuring user needs are reflected in the organisation’s strategies, and facilitating teams across complex organisations to work towards shared goals. Puja’s work spans from working on service improvements, design strategy and organisational change across a range of programmes and services across the public sector at agencies including the National Health Service (NHS), Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Homes England, and Public Health England (PHE). Before working with the UK public sector, Puja led customer experience at a housing start-up, and also worked in the political/philanthropic space for Former US President Bill Clinton and Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tackling global issues and advising governments on citizen engagement and government innovation.

 

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] – Puja Parekh
And I think in some ways, like the role of a service designer, is to help break down and build more positive relationships between organisations, whether it’s government, whether it’s a big company, whether it’s a non-profit, doesn’t matter. But whatever that entity is, it’s trying to improve the relationship that people have with different organisations.

[00:00:27] – Doug Foulkes
Hello and welcome to The Future of Work, the podcast that looks at yes, you’ve guessed it as always, the future of work. It’s brought to you by WNDYR for their blog Chaos and RocketFuel.

[00:00:39]
WNDYR are productivity and human behaviour specialists who use technology to help us humans on our digital journey from disruption to transformation. And you can check them out at WNDYR dot com. That’s WNDYR dot com.

[00:00:55]
I’m Doug Foulkes. And along with WNDYR CEO Claire Haidar, we regularly meet up with industry experts and mavericks to get their take on work in the future.

[00:01:05]
In this episode, we meet Puja Parekh, a service designer based in the UK with a background in leading digital transformation projects across the public and private sectors around the world. Puja’s work spans from working on service improvements to design strategy and organisational change.

[00:01:24]
Today we will unpack what exactly service design is and how it is used in large organisations like governments, as well as smaller, more agile companies. How Puja’s early career working at the Clinton Global Initiative and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s foundation has shaped the service design work she does today and why the transformation of public service is key to us living our best lives. But first, Puja explains what service design is.

[00:01:53] – Puja Parekh
So in the context of large organisations like government. Service Design is a practise to try to get a better alignment between what people and users need and what the organisation is actually doing to meet those needs.

[00:02:11]
So as a service designer, my goal is pretty much to make sure that as a user they don’t see any difference in their kind of experience when they go from, say point A of a journey to point B to C to point D. that any of the kind of politics or silos or things that make an organisation almost dysfunctional, don’t come through. And to make sure that we fix that and make sure that organisations are working really well together. Because if you think about it, organisations are kind of they’re just groups of people.

[00:02:47]
And, you know, organisations are set up in a way that enables people to work together to deliver value. But because, you know, organisations are many different people, they oftentimes have their own kind of dysfunctions, as any human would have right.

[00:03:02]
We all have our own kind of personal dysfunctions. And then when you put a lot of humans together, that’s what happens, right. As you create these structures in which things don’t always work right. And as a service designer, what my goal is, is to make sure that anything that’s kind of happening within the organisation does not reach that end user, that it doesn’t impact their experience, that it doesn’t distract from them being able to get the value that they need from, you know, what they’re engaging with.

[00:03:28] – Claire Haidar
So in Texas, this crazy weather has hit us right now. Puja would this be a classic example of governmental failure to serve its citizens? And is this where a service redesign is actually a classic thing that could solve the major problem?

[00:03:46] – Puja Parekh
Absolutely and I think, to be honest, like what’s hard about the problem that’s happening in Texas and to be fair, like I am not an expert in taxing government or, you know what I mean? Like, you know, the politics and stuff that are happening there. Well you can see here is that Texas has entered a stage of an extreme, that government, that services were never expecting. So they didn’t even think or consider to design for it.

[00:04:11]
And so therefore, because there was never a thought about this, the ability for government to play the role that it probably should be playing has been either delayed or not seen or absent or whatnot. And so oftentimes what you find is, you know, especially within organisations, that there are so many problems that they have not thought about that do exist, that might exist for an end user, but therefore, like a solution is never therefore designed.

[00:04:40]
It’s not even thought about, it’s not even considered. Being a service designer. I think a lot of my role oftentimes is to throw up some of those critical questions around what kind of value are you delivering and how is your organisation set up to help you to achieve that? I was actually in Jersey City when Hurricane Sandy hit back in, I think it was like 2012. Nobody expected, you know, this kind of hurricane/surge or whatever to happen and everything just shut down, you know, and it’s because nobody was ready.

[00:05:12]
Nobody thought about it. And, you know, from there, what happened was this whole kind of climate change kind of initiative kind of came up from that. And I think Bloomberg was mayor during that time. Nobody had ever planned for it. Nobody even thought of it as to be a problem to be solved.

[00:05:28] – Claire Haidar
You have an extremely unique name and I’d love to know if there’s a special meaning and an origin story to it.

[00:05:35] – Puja Parekh
Sure. Well, thank you so much for having me on. I really, really appreciate it. So my name is Puja. I guess it’s so funny. So actually in India, which is where my family is from, the name Puja is almost like the name like Kate’s or even Claire.

[00:05:53]
It’s very kind of common. Yeah, yeah. It’s a very common name. But actually I will say my parents named me Puja because, so it means prayer, and my parents named me Puja because, you know, they were actually trying to have a child for such a long time. And I came quite late in their journey. So they were just delighted. And I was kind of their answer to prayer, which is why my name is Puja.

[00:06:18] – Claire Haidar
Beautiful. And it’s so interesting, you know, when we see a name like that, because it’s not a norm for the area that we live in. We see it and it really stands out to us. And it’s so interesting to hear that in India it’s, you know, one of the more common, commonly used names. So Puja, in preparing for today’s conversation, I naturally, you know, did all of the usual, you know, internet searches that one would typically do to read up about somebody.

[00:06:47]
There’s actually a lot of crossover in a lot of the work that you’ve done and a lot of the work that I’m currently busy doing, specifically in the political realm. And I’d love to understand how that part of your career and that history because you very clearly are not in that area right now. But how is that part of your history and your career trajectory informed what you’re doing today?

[00:07:11] – Puja Parekh
When I started out in my career, I really just cared about, making a difference and social impact. That was like my kind of underlying motivation, is trying to make a difference in the world. And I think that stems as well a little bit from my background, like having this background where I was you know, I grew up in the States, but my family is from India. And even from a young age, I would go to India and visit my extended family there.

[00:07:35]
And I saw, like all the poverty. I was very struck by the poverty, even from a very young age. And it was something that always has kind of, you know, been with me around the kind of awareness that things are not equal for most people in the world, you know, and they don’t necessarily have the same privilege that I was, you know, that I had growing up. That kind of need to make an impact has always been a part of my personal ethos.

[00:08:00]
And, you know, it was interesting as I was kind of trying to figure out, like, what do I do and where do I go? One of my first jobs was working at the Clinton Global Initiative, and it was there that, you know, working for such a powerful person like Bill Clinton and his foundation, you know, you start to see really what power looks like from this kind of bird’s eye view where you get to kind of set an agenda and you get to set a conversation and you get to kind of put out in the world where people should be thinking and what direction they should be going.

[00:08:33]
In the beginning of my career, that’s kind of where I sort of stood, looking at things at this kind of bird’s eye view this high level. And I was able to kind of, you know, do this work, you know, at the Clinton Foundation. I also worked for Michael Bloomberg, who was also mayor of New York. I also worked at his foundation. But the work there was actually a little bit more tangible, like you could kind of see a little bit more of your impact.

[00:08:55]
And I started to realise for me that I wanted to be kind of closer to the people, to the end user, to the citizen. And so that’s kind of, I think where, you know, I kind of went from kind of politics into thinking more around design thinking and this kind of space, you know where I am now when it comes to service design.

[00:09:18] – Claire Haidar
This is what I was referring to when I said there’s a lot of overlap, my husband was actually accepted onto the Presidential Leadership Programme, which is run by Bill Clinton and the Bush libraries, and then also the Johnson Library, very, very similar to you, he and I together, because, you know, he came back from all of these sessions and pretty much like took me through the work that they’ve been doing in these sessions.

[00:09:46]
And a very big epiphany that I had as kind of like a sideline observer to this was very similar to you, where you tend to think about power, particularly political power, from a presidential lens, because that’s the most visible part of it. But when you actually dig in under the hood and I think that’s what I’ve just heard you say in comparison to the Clinton work versus the Bloomberg work, is you actually can have more impact by just working, for example, in a city and working at that local government level, your impact is often so much greater.

[00:10:21] – Puja Parekh
Absolutely. And I think there is something about, you know, being able to be closer to the impact that you’re having, I think is always, at least for me, has always been more rewarding. So, you know, for example, like when I was working at Clinton Global Initiative, you know, we would curate these amazing, powerful conversations on stage and, you know, have CEOs and different leaders from across the world, on stage to kind of talk about issues.

[00:10:45]
And, yes, it gives you that kind of, you know, hour of inspiration that you can kind of carry with you, eventually that stuff kind of fades, you know. And so when you’re not kind of able to see the impact of the work, that purpose can oftentimes sometimes be lost. And I think for me, I just I found, you know, as I think about my career, I’ve found that I’ve kind of I’ve gone through a path of trying to get closer and closer to that impact.

[00:11:14] – Claire Haidar
As an organisation, WNDYR is completely focussed on the future of work.

[00:11:21]
And it’s something that myself and my co-founder Tracey have pretty much decided we want it to become our life’s work and the legacy that we leave behind in the world. And one of the areas that she and I often come back to, we joke about it and we say, you know, we don’t yet have the big girl panties to tackle it, which means that we don’t feel we big enough yet to tackle the issues that come with this role. But one of the areas that we really see as we mature our legacy and as we mature the organisation, it’s an area that we definitely want to get into.

[00:11:57]
And that’s the world of public service. The organisation that you work for is specific and focussed on the transformation of public service. And what I’d like to start this part of the conversation with is the question, why do you see this as such critical work?

[00:12:15] – Puja Parekh
Earlier on in my career, and this is kind of this is totally stayed with me as I’ve always had this, like, ambition to make a social impact. And I think government as an entity because of its scale and because of the amount and the potential of it to really kind of connect and touch people’s lives. It is just so critical that we get government right. You know, and obviously, regardless of where you fall within the political spectrum, the reality is like government does have a role to play in our lives.

[00:12:47]
And I think that relationship between people in government, like whatever we can do to make that positive is so important. It’s so important because, you know, at the end of the day, government is there to support citizens, to support people, to support communities, to support us live our kind of best lives, you know. And so for me, I think being able to work in a sector where that is the core mission of the organisation it’s yeah, it totally drives me.

[00:13:19]
Being able to change that relationship is just so critical to ensuring that, you know, we can enable people to live their best lives and to ensure that people get what they need.

[00:13:30] – Claire Haidar
I spent 10 years in Ireland, living in Europe and have come to the US and you kind of did the reverse to me. Grew up in the US and have moved to London. But one of the things that really stood out for me when during that period that I lived in Europe was I don’t know if you’ve ever done any reading up about Estonia as a country.

[00:13:54] – Puja Parekh
Yes. Yeah.

[00:13:55] – Claire Haidar
Exactly. I’m sure you have. You know, being in the work that you are, it’s almost a given that you have, you know, they, because of their border situation, you know, with governments that they don’t agree with, became such a prominent issue for them as a country.

[00:14:11]
I just, I so deeply respect and admire how they tackled that problem. They just approached it from such a design thinking perspective. And they basically just went to the drawing board and gave themselves this blank canvas and said, how can we not only change this, but how can we actually just completely modernise it.

[00:14:34] – Puja Parekh
Totally? I think Estonia is amazing for being basically like the digital capital of the world.

[00:14:43] – Claire Haidar
Exactly, it is a country that actually has no geographical borders anymore because of the way it’s structured itself. It is a country in the cloud and therefore it can and is embracing digital citizens. And it’s such a fast forwarded, future orientated thinking in terms of thinking of government and country in that way.

[00:15:06] – Puja Parekh
Look at us, like we’ve been living in this kind of, you know, pandemic world for about a year now. And, you know, we forget that even in this context, like we need government. You know, it plays such an important role in our lives, like government isn’t going away. And so I think there is a question of, you know, what role does it play? How does it play that role?

[00:15:27]
Where does it kind of fit? And where does it fit in people’s lives in kind of the modern day? You know, as you were saying and I think you’re right, like Estonia has done an incredible job reimagining. Yeah. Like what it is as a country and the role that it plays in sort of supporting its country to move forward.

[00:15:47] – Doug Foulkes
Puja I want to just move on a little bit. I mean, we’ve spoken about, you know, words cropped up, government a lot, public service. Who else typically and you can be specific, would use your services.

[00:15:56] – Puja Parekh
Generally, it’s helpful in larger, complex organisations. So I think government is one example of that. You can also see larger companies that tend to be older, more like a legacy. So, for example, you know, oil companies that have been there for, you know, 50 years and even longer, even companies like Wal-Mart or companies that are big, that are complex, that have rooted organisational systems and structures that are in place, oftentimes you find are now hiring service designers as well as, you know, just trying to kind of get on this digital transformation kind of journey because they realise like they have to figure out new ways to innovate and to kind of stay competitive.

[00:16:41]
And so oftentimes what you find is, you know, it’s not only government, it’s larger organisations that have the hardest time changing because of their scale, because of how rooted different practises are within organisations. And so you often find that they’re the ones that kind of need the service designers the most to help break down those different barriers, to make sure that you can kind of keep releasing value out.

[00:17:05]
It makes the world a better place because it tries to get organisations to adapt to what is happening out in the world in a much kind of faster, quicker way. And I think in some ways, like the role of a service designer, is to help break down and build more positive relationships between organisations, whether it’s government, whether it’s a big company, whether it’s, you know, a non-profit doesn’t matter. But like, whatever that entity is, it’s trying to improve the relationship that people have with different organisations.

[00:17:38]
And, you know, as I mentioned, organisations are just made up of people. Right? So it’s like, how do we create the right environment, the right outlets, the right mechanisms to ensure that organisations can build better relationships with the people that they’re attempting to serve or attempting to help. So that’s where I see kind of service design kind of playing a role really is to improve that relationship.

[00:18:05] – Claire Haidar
Doug and I both come from South Africa. It was where I was born and raised. Doug has lived there for the greater majority of his life after leaving the UK and there’s just so many frustrations with government, particularly within the African context. You know, like I think how hard it is to get a licence renewed and how hard it is to just do like the basic things we are going through rolling blackouts in Texas right now. That’s just a daily reality. And it’s actually been so interesting to see that our team, our USA team, engage with the South African team about that.

[00:18:42]
They like, you know, we’re so sorry for you guys. We’ve never really taken it seriously. When you said we’re having blackouts, you know, it’s like we now feel you. It’s and I think that’s the key piece for me where that. How does it make the world better? It makes things feel less hard when they absolutely don’t need to be hard but right now, I think a lot of the majority of service provision, particularly at a public service level, feels really hard to the person trying to engage with it.

[00:19:15] – Puja Parekh
When I think about different like governments around the world, like they have so many different approaches to engaging with people, you know, and you’re right, even the examples like you were saying around something as simple as like getting, you know, a driver’s licence, like, why is that so hard? We sometimes conflate like what’s happening as well within the political space with the sort of sturdy nature of government. The whole point of a government agency or bureaucracy is that it is supposed to withhold the test of time.

[00:19:46]
You know, no matter what’s happening in this kind of political space, it should be there kind of making sure that, you know, things are working and that people are getting access to the things that they need to get access to and, you know, supporting people to, you know, live their life. And it’s so interesting, like now that we’re in this kind of, this age, and you can see it especially with the pandemic, it’s like how do you when the situation and the environment and the circumstance and the sort of life that we’re living changed so fast, like, you know, for example, with Covid and everything that it’s had to do.

[00:20:17]
And I know that especially in the UK, where the NHS, you know, we have access to public health care, the NHS has had to completely revamp the way that it engages, you know, with people and the NHS is actually a public service right. So that ability to adapt, I think, is probably what is the hardest thing for government, because it’s almost been built in a way to not adapt so that it can be this kind of constant.

[00:20:45]
It’s a strange kind of type of organisation, I think, to try to build change into because it’s almost been built to kind of not change.

[00:20:55] – Claire Haidar
I read an article recently that really, like, stopped me in my tracks because I actually hadn’t contemplated the possibility of this.

[00:21:08]
And the article was around how hackers have just recently been stopped in the US, where they were basically trying to hack a very, very small city in a very small state in the US. They were actually trying to hack into their water control system to basically poison the water. For me, that is like another classic case of where service design and the work that you do is so absolutely critical to the future of work, because the majority of public service workers understand that their work is critical.

[00:21:47]
But general society deems them to be lower on the food chain in terms of worker profiles. We don’t esteem them. We don’t hold them in high regard. And I think that is a significant shift that we as societies are going to have to make. And on the flip side of it, those workers are also going to have to digitalise their skills because they’re going to, that is like a classic case where a water plant worker is going to have to realise that the protection of people’s water is no longer used standing and working with the physical chemicals.

[00:22:24]
It is now actually a digital skill.

[00:22:26] – Puja Parekh
Yes a hundred percent.

[00:22:28] – Claire Haidar
And that’s where, you know, your role as a service designer is going to become so critical because we are talking about change at like a physical system and process. Like that water plant And every water plant in the world is going to have to learn to function differently. But the actual worker is going to have to go through such a significant mind shift, to understand how their job is changing and is being threatened.

[00:22:54]
And that, in and of itself is a piece of service design.

[00:22:58] – Puja Parekh
Totally. And I think it’s so interesting. I think, one, the challenge I think of working with government is the fact that, you know, when you think about their systems and their processes and their technology, it never, it doesn’t get upgraded that often. That pace of adapting just doesn’t necessarily follow suit always with what is happening out in the world. When I think about my role as a service designer, oftentimes it is about being able to convince people of making those kinds of technological changes, you know, and this is like a huge trade off for government.

[00:23:33]
When you don’t have all the kind of money in the world, how do you make those trade offs about where your your internal kind of budget is going to go. To kind of whether you’re trying to create new provision or you’re trying to support existing services versus, say, get rid of older systems and older legacy systems and things like that. It’s really a challenge. The perception of government is generally quite negative. And oftentimes what we’re finding is that, yeah, like what government has to do with a lot less money, like it’s not feasible.

[00:24:02]
So that’s where, like the kind of innovation comes in. It’s like how do we think about what those kind of digital capabilities look like and how do we make them there for the kind of longer term? And what kind of support do you have within government to help do that? And there’s so much complexity that kind of stops that from happening, to be honest, at the pace at which it needs to happen.

[00:24:22] – Claire Haidar
I wanted to ask, what do you believe is the most important public transformation that needs to take place that’s not yet happening?

[00:24:29] – Puja Parekh
I feel like government is really bad at being able to handle data and like in general, So there’s obviously the digital technology, like let’s get kind of more up to speed and use more modern systems. But there is this fundamental issue, I think, within government around being able to use data. I don’t know if you’ve seen in the news, but like the UK tried to this whole like, track and trace like programme where with Covid they were trying to kind of, you know, support the public with, you know, when they’re out and about, like being able to get notifications on whether or not they were near somebody that, say, had Covid or didn’t have Covid.

[00:25:07]
And it’s been just like a total utter failure. Like it’s an embarrassment really for the UK government, this has not happened. And this is something I’ve seen with pretty much every government project that I have worked on. Governments are still like they’re still working in Excel sheets and sending things by email. There is no kind of central way of working around data, and I honestly think it is so critical for government to get that right in order for services to actually be transformed.

[00:25:38]
You know, you think about your general interactions with government and imagine, we’ve sort of talked a little bit about the kind of licencing example where you give some personal information to one agency and how many times over and over again are you constantly giving your information to agencies, you know, the same information over and over again. It’s often because, like all this stuff, like lives and random spreadsheets, you know, like on these, like, silent systems and we waste so much time.

[00:26:04]
And because of that, as an organisation, government can’t always provide the quality, experience and service to their end users because of that. And I also think that, you know, there is this huge potential for data to transform how government also engages with people. You know, the UK government, which I would say is probably relatively quite, I guess more sophisticated, it still feels like it’s a long way away, you know, from really making that change of being able to kind of use data in smart ways and engage with people.

[00:26:36] – Doug Foulkes
I want to just move on and ask you Puja, you’ve got massive experience, it’s obvious from working with governments from different countries on a variety of really diverse topics, from changing organisational structures to even helping people stop smoking. How can this sort of experience help companies and people in the workplace, work better in the future?

[00:26:57] – Puja Parekh
I think the relationship between people and organisations and companies are becoming much more fluid, to be honest. I think, you know, I don’t know if you think about it, like 30 years ago, the relationship that companies would have was almost kind of, the company and this is what we’re going to give a consumer and consumer you have to just accept this like as it is. And I do think over time especially, and I think a lot of this is thanks to the sort of digital economy, that relationship has really changed and that relationship between what people expect from companies and organisations. It actually goes even beyond just your kind of experience, it also goes to kind of as a company and as an organisation, what is your ethos?

[00:27:40]
So you think about, like, all the stuff that’s happening with, say, Black Lives Matter, I think that has really showed a lot of how people are. And even this kind of rise of cancel culture, that relationship with companies, I think is really changing. And it is changing to the point where as a company, it’s not just about what your product offer is. It’s about, again, that relationship that you have with your customer.

[00:28:08]
And it is beyond just the kind of transaction of, you know, a product or even like a service. It’s about more than that kind of value. And I do think that, you know, as a service designer we play a role, and being able to shape what that means and what that looks like. What you’re trying to do is break down those relationship barriers and be able to kind of build positive relationships between organisations and companies and people.

[00:28:35]
But that separation that often exists between companies and their users, I do think that that wall is starting to come down a lot more because we are starting to see that people want to know who are the individuals within this company and organisation that are making these kinds of decisions for what I’m consuming and what is the ethos around that?

[00:28:54] – Claire Haidar
My mind is going in so many different directions based on, you know, just what you’ve just shared with Doug in response to his thing. And I’m going to ask you this question, because I think it might actually be the answer, if you could work on a dream project, what would it be and who would your ideal project team include?

[00:29:11] – Puja Parekh
There are certain issue areas that are very personal to me that I would want to work on. So, for example, stuff around like women and preventing violence against women or sexual violence against women. It’s so funny like when I think about all the solutions that are out there, there’s so many things that are out there that are kind of like, after it happens solutions, but like nothing really preventative. And I do think oftentimes, like this preventative space, like is often under looked across many different industries, like in this kind of social sector kind of space.

[00:29:42]
And so I would honestly, think if I had all the money in the world, like no limitations, I would want to solve that problem. Like, how do we prevent, like, sexual violence against women, you know, from even happening in the first place. That would be a dream for me, to be honest, if I could spend my whole life like working on something like that. And in terms of who my ideal project team would be, oh, gosh, there are so many people.

[00:30:03]
I mean, I think A I would want like an army of women behind me, with me, you know, like I’m not going to go into like who I guess because there are so many people whose take I would want to have. It’s so interesting to me that it is such a problem around the world. It’s not like that. It’s something that’s an issue in one context, but not another. It is literally a global issue that extends, you know, beyond all different types of like societies and cultures, and that would be what I would want to do.

[00:30:33] – Claire Haidar
Makes total, total sense.

[00:30:35]
And if you ever do get to do your dream project, please do consider me as part of the team, I’m holding up my hand here in the corner.

[00:30:45] – Puja Parekh
Yes. Yeah. I don’t know. It’s so funny because there’s so many, I mean, there’s so many social issues that exist that just don’t have answers. You know, this is like an issue that literally impacts like 50 percent of our world’s population, you know, and it’s like, how have we not, like, crushed that nut?

[00:31:01]
So there’s something that does interest me.

[00:31:03] – Doug Foulkes
I’d like you to really think about the impact of service design on work jobs in the future. What do you think that we need to know that we might not be able to see clearly at the moment? Is there something that we’re sort of missing?

[00:31:16] – Puja Parekh
It’s a great question. I do think oftentimes I think service designers are often focussed on kind of, you know, sitting within an organisation and looking outward. So looking at, say, your end user and the sort that relationship, I do think there is a huge role for service design to play within organisations as well. And I do think that it is starting to happen. But even in context of, you know, for example, this pandemic, it’s like what relationship to employees have with their organisation, you know, and what relationship do groups of people have to their organisation?

[00:31:48]
And I do think that service design does have a huge role to play in that space. As a service designer, I think my goal is just to make things easier and more seamless and fun, you know, and a little bit more delightful. Within an organisation how do we as co-workers engage and interact, especially in a world where, you know, things are going to become much more remote and, you know, people are going to be able to kind of, you know, be in different places and, you know, different work schedules and different kind of. So, for example, within Covid, we’ve been seeing how people are having to balance kind of, you know, private life and personal life.

[00:32:29]
And I do think that delineation is becoming much less and less. And I think in some ways, actually, that’s been really, really positive. Some of the sort of hierarchies that you would see within organisational cultures have kind of come down because you’re seeing, for example, your boss in this way. That is very human. And I think there is something about that where, how do we bring that kind of human element to work cultures? And I do think that that is going to change in the future.

[00:32:57]
I think Covid has shown us that it needs to change in the future because everybody’s life is complex. And how do you design for that? How do you design for that complexity? And how do you enable people to live really high quality lives and also support productivity? I think with Covid it is a challenge that I think everybody has faced that in their own way. And I think service design has a role to play in kind of thinking about what that looks like in the future.

[00:33:26]
We know that work and life balance is so important. And what that means, I think, to people now is so different than what it meant, you know, pre Covid. I do think that there is a role there for designers to play.

[00:33:38] – Doug Foulkes
Puja, we couldn’t agree more. We’re going to have to leave it there. Thank you for letting us into your world for the past hour. So there you have it.

[00:33:46]
Now, you know a lot more about the challenges facing a service designer. We hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast. If you have, we look forward to inviting you back sometime soon.

[00:33:56]
Just a reminder for more information about WNDYR and the integration services that they supply, you can visit their website. That’s WNDYR dot com. And so from me, Doug Foulkes and Chaos and RocketFuel, stay safe and we’ll see you soon.

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