• Transparency Networks

For most people, working from home has become synonymous with the pandemic. The unprecedented global crisis forced organizations and industries to recalibrate or adapt. Several functions, including the international whistleblowing industry, found themselves redefining goals and objectives within the new normal.

The transition to remote working took place almost overnight thanks to communication technologies in the 21st Century. Research suggests that COVID-19 will continue accelerating trends towards virtual workplaces, especially as organizations take cognizance of the health risks associated with open-plan offices. Some offices have taken it in their stride while others, not so much.

The Case for Remote Working

In spaces where virtually no traces of personal life were visible (or encouraged) before, remote work brings both the personal and professional together. From children making appearances on calls to pets barking in the background, working from home unites everyone in their efforts at juggling responsibilities.

As an extension of this thought, many believe that working remotely has transformed the office into a more humane space. Making the personal visible transforms how people view co-workers and enhances workplace interactions.

The traditional workplace values the idea of how to present oneself. Virtual workplaces almost do away with the idea to focus on what people say and can do instead. Remote work enables workplaces to emphasize talent and expertise over what people wear.

Companies the world over re-evaluated not only their goals but also their leadership approaches. As professional and personal lives fell apart, it was clear that this was not the time for conventional leadership approaches. Fighting the pandemic relied on leaders who were sensitive, attentive, empathetic, and had a higher sensitivity to risk. Some of the best examples are the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan.

The Downsides of Virtual Workplaces

Nobody expected to be working remotely for over a year. While productivity and spirits were high when the experiment started, employees have begun to show signs of burnout. For most, substituting the office by working from home adversely affects productivity. Growing evidence suggests an increase in “Zoom” fatigue and burnout.

Remote working has significantly impacted organizational culture as well. Company culture plays a vital role in determining job satisfaction and organizational performance. Without a physical space where everyone can come together, the anchor to workplace culture disappears.

Another downside to the sustained period of remote working is the lack of collaboration. Great ideas usually come through chance interactions in the office, inside labs and research centers, or teamwork across departments. Video calls can only do so much.

Workplaces with a Purpose

Despite the vaccine, most of the world will still live with the virus for the foreseeable future. Most organizations see themselves going back to the office, while others figure out ways to get part of the workforce back or work indefinitely from home.

Getting people back to the office is ideal but cannot be the end-goal. After all, this is a health crisis, unlike anything we have ever seen. As the world continues the struggle, companies need to establish a sense of community and shared goals.

At the core of every organizational decision should be a purposeful plan. To steer companies and employees through a global crisis, leaders need to look at aligning organizational goals to address a gamut of vulnerabilities - lives, livelihoods, social protection coverage, and medical care.

  • Transparency Networks

As the world remains indoors for the foreseeable future, most of us have found ways to cope via digital alternatives to life as we once knew it. Digital parties, workouts, offices, and virtual movie screenings are the new normal. For cinephiles, it’s always comforting to have easy access to the world of film even more than usual.

When the going gets tough, and you could do with stories of resilience and grit, there is nothing like a gripping whistleblower film to set the mood. Here are some of the most thrilling whistleblower movies we can never get enough of.

All the President's Men (1976)

Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) receive tips about rampant corruption in the Nixon administration from a source identified as "Deep Throat" (Hal Holbrook). The investigation unravels what the world now knows as the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to President Nixon’s resignation.

Serpico (1973)

The film pays tribute to Frank Serpico, an Italian-American cop who created history by exposing deep-rooted corruption in the New York Police Department. Serpico was the first police officer to ever speak up about murky dealings by his fellow-officers where they repeatedly took a series of payoffs. The Oscar-nominated drama stars the legendary Al Pacino as Serpico.

Snowden (2016)

Edward Snowden was employed with the US Government when he discovered the NSA was spying on millions of American citizens through their own emails, phone calls, and webcams.

Snowden’s revelations triggered a chain of sensational events, compelling him to seek exile in Moscow. The film is a tribute to his courage and an indictment of laws that offer little safety for people who dare to tell the truth.

The Post (2017)

The Post documents the infamous case of the Pentagon Papers and the bravery of a whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked details of the United States Government’s secret activities during the Vietnam war. Soon after, life changed for the owner of the Washington Post and her executive director. The two risked their lives and livelihoods to uncover top-secret atrocities that included the US Government’s secret bombing of Laos and Cambodia.

Official Secrets (2019)

Official Secrets is a riveting drama/thriller about Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), a linguist at a British intelligence listening station Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). In 2003, she leaked an NSA memo that asked GCHQ staff to spy on members of the UN Security Council. The incriminating memo revealed the extent of American lobbying and pressure on the United Nations to push support for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Erin Brockovich (2000)

Erin Brockovich is an Oscar-winning drama based on the 1993 Hinkley groundwater contamination case in California. Brockovich (Julia Roberts), a single mom and legal clerk built a case against Pacific Gas and Electric after it directed two former utility employees to dispose of thirty years of historical records in a garbage dump.

The records contained evidence of the utility knowingly contaminating local drinking water with chromium. The class-action suit was settled at over US$330 million - the largest direct action settlement in US history.

The Trial of Ratko Mladic (2018)

The film depicts the tragic genocide of 8000 Muslim men and boys during the war in Bosnia. Set in 1995 Srebrenica and based on witness testimonies, the movie is a telling account of one of the most tragic events in recent history