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Future of (how we) Work

Kendall Square Association’s (KSA) Future of (how we) Work Task Force answers critical questions about how our innovation ecosystem will return to work in a post-COVID-19 world. The Future of (how We) Work Task Force has addressed topics including transportation, workplace safety, open space, and supporting small businesses. 

KSA will be continuing Task Force meetings in the months ahead which will focus on the topics that are impacting our community the most. From childcare solutions to addressing the need for diversity, and sharing updates on transportation, safety, and small business, we will build on our learning and share our discoveries to serve as a resource for Kendall businesses.

Innovation and Collaboration

When it comes to business development and networking in the age of COVID-19, no one knows where to start. In October’s Future of (how we) Work Task Force, we asked ourselves, how do we recreate the power of Kendall Square’s connections, collaborations, and contacts? Michal Preminger, Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, East North America led the discussion with speakers from MassVentures, MacDouglas Advisors, and LabCentral.

Met on October 13, 2020

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In September, our Future of (how we) Work Task Force explored how companies are augmenting or pivoting their DEI programs to meet the needs of their employees given two realities: 1) the pandemic and 2) the increasing urgency to dismantle racist systems. We had speakers from Conscious Customers, Jacobs, Jobcase, MITIMCo, Sage Therapeutics, Takeda, and Pfizer share their best practices and opportunities for improvement.

Met on September 15, 2020


During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic employers and their people scrambled as we all adjusted to working from home. Now that we are nearly five months into this crisis and an end doesn’t appear to be near we are transitioning from scrambling to planning, and one of our biggest challenges is how to support caregivers and create a culture that normalizes the need to take care of our families. At our fifth Future of (How We) Work Task Force meeting, we heard from leaders at four organizations about how they are approaching this challenge and spent time in small groups brainstorming ideas and solutions.

This issue disproportionately impacts women and addressing these challenges is critical to making sure that we don’t backslide against the progress we have made.  While no one has all the answers on how to solve this problem right now, the goal of our meeting was to create dialogue, and exchange and spark new ideas so that we can all take steps in the right direction.

Met on August 11, 2020.

Kendall’s Collaborations During COVID-19

This meeting focused on the outcomes from the first three Future of (how we) Work meetings. We were able to review the MassINC Transportation survey results, the CIC shared their CIC Health Assurance Testing and are looking for collaborators, and lastly, we were able to introduce our new pilot Toast Drop. Toast Drop allows employers to provide their staff with the food they love and flexibility they desire, help keep the risk of contamination under control with aggregated deliveries, and support the struggling local restaurants in your community.

Met on July 15, 2020.

Open Spaces / Small Businesses

This meeting highlighted the need for clear, accessible information on open space and small businesses. KSA has created a Small Business page on our website to keep you updated on what is open in Kendall. Don’t forget to visit our COVID-19 Updates page as well. We have partnered with the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority to develop a map of Kendall’s open spaces to be launched on our new website at the end of June.

Met on June 4, 2020.

Workplace Safety

We learned in this meeting that the cost of purchasing COVID-19 testing supplies is cost-prohibitive. To ameliorate this issue, KSA has been assisting an initiative led by CIC called the Cambridge Testing Consortium. Companies can purchase supplies together in bulk to keep down costs. CIC is also setting the standard with its Workplace Safety Plan and Self Check App.

Met on May 27, 2020.


After this meeting, the consensus was that we needed to learn more about how employees were feeling about their commuting options and working from home. KSA, in partnership with MassInc and with support from the Barr Foundation, launched a community-wide survey. There have been more than 1,000 responses to this survey and MassINC is working on a final report that will be available in July.

Met on May 19, 2020.