The Future of Work
Technology drives and accelerates personalisation at scale across all aspects of our lives. As we entered the 2020s, only the most progressive of organisations were already able to offer employees a personalised experience; be that where they work from, the hours they work, or how they are compensated. It’s far harder to make sure everyone feels equal when their fundamental treatment is different, so most companies have shirked the challenge.
COVID-19 is not an equal disease and this has highlighted the nuances of individual situations. Companies have therefore been forced to adapt, letting individual situations trump company mandates. The unifying policy is one of personalisation; work where you need.
As the first national lockdown hit, we were forced into a paradigm shift, yet, as we now edge towards the new normal, some are both quick to and keen to shift back to the old ways. So, we’re presented with the possibility of moving from the realm of ‘we are doing this because we have to’, to ‘we are doing this because we want to’. So, do we want to? We don’t believe businesses should choose; rather personalisation should mean giving employees both options and letting them decide.
Here we share our counter arguments to common objections for this way of working, with the hopes that business leaders seize the opportunity that the new normal presents us with.
Objection one: ‘But our employees are no longer in the same place and so our culture is fading’
Paradigm shift: ‘We are running an international business’
Carrying culture across markets becomes a key focus of international business, so we would argue that just as when you internationalise, in a semi-remote organisation, culture can be maintained, if you are willing to put the work in. And this work must be done by leaders, but also by every employee; it is up to everyone in the team to uphold a business’ culture.
Objection two: ‘But our communication has broken down’
Paradigm shift: We are 10x-ing everything
Being semi-remote 10xes some aspects of business, not least communication, the need for clarity, transparency, proactivity and human leadership. In a part-remote model you are losing the 93% of communication that is non verbal. So, employ practices that help mitigate this such as emphasising proactive outreach between colleagues, while technologies like a Meeting Owl can help those who are not in the room follow more easily.
Objection three: ‘But our productivity is lower’
Paradigm shift: An operational paragon
When you or a colleague questions someone’s output, the next question should be how you are quantifying this. KPIs or OKRs can help measure colleagues so we know what good looks like. These structures also negate micromanagement, and empower employees to further arrange their working weeks within required timelines of delivery. The ability to take a personalised approach to how you hit your deliverables is true autonomy.
Can our new normal be the dawn of a fifth industrial revolution? A world where the parable of living to work or working to live is no longer a dichotomy, because our work and our life goes hand in hand with the same principles and priorities? Can we commit to embracing personalisation, empowering employees to work when and how they want, and in turn to improve lives no matter what sector we play in? Let’s hope so.
To find out more about the future of work amid the new normal, what this could look like and how it will benefit your business going forwards, read our guide, The future of work: choosing a semi-remote working model in the new normal.