Out of everything in existence, the only phenomenon considered as constant is change. Before change happens, sometimes, it takes time. At other times, change happens unexpectedly, just as it has across many firms and workplaces in 2020. As the world experienced multiple advancements in technology, many knew it was only a matter of time before a new future of work became conventional. The outbreak of a pandemic wasn’t factored into the equation.
As already well-known, the coronavirus outbreak began from a small town in China. From there, it would spread out to affect every corner of the globe, bringing nations – weak and strong – to a standstill. The pandemic affected every aspect of individual life, and this transferred on to businesses. Organizations were left with only one strategy – survival. However, to achieve this, firms had to embrace the much-anticipated future of work.
There are no concrete definitions of what the future of work entails. To understand what the future of work implies, one has to identify the skills, jobs, and technologies that will be in demand in the future. The future of work will bring about many changes, the least of which will be a change in the thought processes used in creating the prevailing systems in place. When the pandemic hit, due to the large-scale changes that had to happen in little time, organizations faced many challenges.
Despite these challenges, there are so many benefits that come with embracing the new normal. The most obvious one being how embracing the future of work has helped many organizations survive through the tough period of the pandemic. Some other things that have come with the reimagination of the workplace are as follows:
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Efficient working models in the future of work
The future of workplace entails the use of models that make employees work more effectively. It involves the use of new models of delivery that focuses on value streams and key products or services. With this, businesses can increase their value addition as time lost due to an increase in work will reduce. The use of lean and agile delivery models will also give businesses more latitude to accommodate sudden changes, such as the pandemic, and give them greater autonomy when it comes to making decisions.
Reimagination of workspaces
Back in the ’80s, the workplace consisted of cubicles. With time, this gave way to the open-plan offices and, eventually, the long banks of desks and crowded floors that were common before the pandemic. However, because the coronavirus spread when people come in close contact with each other, employees couldn’t go to their offices. As such, organizations had to rethink the structure of the workplace. This resulted in more employees working remotely than ever before. That said, it didn’t have to take the pandemic for organizations to adopt telecommuting policies. There is so much technology available that makes collaboration between employees seamless, eliminating the need for collecting together in a particular location. By adopting remote working policies, the future of work will not only lead to an increase in employee productivity, it will also reduce real estate costs for organizations. This frees up money, which they can invest in other areas that will increase growth and development.
Identifying the importance of recruiting the right people
For organizations to enjoy the maximum benefits of the future of work, they must ensure they employ the right candidates. These candidates mustn’t only possess the necessary skills needed in the future-of-work environment, they must also resonate with the company’s culture and tradition. Now that most employees will be working remotely, the values of the employee and the organization must align. This criterion is necessary for ensuring productivity in the future of work. As the pandemic ensured the future of work came earlier and faster than anticipated, organizations realized how important it is to recruit and retain the top talents in the industry with values that mirror the firm.
Tech empowered future of work
For all the talk about the future of work, technology facilitates over 90% of it. In fact, without technology, as it exists today, the pandemic would have decimated the global economy more than it did. In the future of workplace, firms will rely heavily on the use of technology. As such, companies will not only need to leverage these technologies to improve output and productivity, firms must also be ready to innovate and stay up-to-date with the latest improvements as they happen in the world of digital technology. Additionally, companies must recruit candidates with the requisite technical skills needed for the future of work.
Some trends shaping the future of work
Now that the future of work is here, the world of work and business has begun experiencing specific changes. Some new trends are emerging. Here are some of them.
Remote working:As mentioned earlier, the COVID-19 ravaged business environment didn’t allow for employees to gather in the office as before. For businesses to maintain a certain level of operationality, they had to go remote. Telecommuting isn’t a new concept. In fact, many organizations deliberately took action to prevent telecommuting pre-COVID-19. As it stands now, so many employees now work remotely, and they still carry out their duties as optimally as they will when working in the office.
Millennial workforce: The future of workplace has brought about a transition to the nature of employees that make up the workforce. Many millennials are entering the labor market ready to work, and they’re changing the tides of work. And not only that. The tech-savvy millennials are taking up leadership and management positions, bringing a different kind of approach to work and the work environment.
Digital transformation:There is no future of work without the innovations brought about by digital technology. The whole concept revolves around using technology to optimize the work process. Before the pandemic, many of the technologies that now seem mainstream existed. Only organization leaders stuck with the old ways of doing things. The pandemic left them with no option. Now, companies do not only incorporate these technologies into their operational structures, they are also developing ways to convert their workforce to a digital mindset.
- 4 trends that are shaping the future of work | Jasmin Merdan | July 28, 2020
- A phased approach to the future of work | ETHRWorld.com | Robert Ord | December 9, 2020
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