“Work will be hybrid and more asynchronous than ever before”
Remote work – Key trends & challenges
Without doubt, the future of work is hybrid. Recently surveys have shown that more than 70% of the workforce wants to continue remote work in some shape or form. The current remote working scenario was forced on us by the pandemic, but it has worked well beyond everyone’s expectations. There are obviously a few challenges such as productivity in certain scenarios, social interaction, security and privacy, among others. The elephant in the room that no one is talking about openly is attrition – and this is why you are seeing a sudden push by many companies to bring their workforce back to office. People feel that bonding and identification with organization values does not happen well with WFH. Remote work is a new paradigm for everyone, and the whole ecosystem has to evolve for it to reach maturity. I feel we have to embrace the best of both worlds.
Delivering paperless systems and enhancing end-user experience
Automation is driving massive improvements in efficiency and speed across organizations. Workflows and bots are making short work of what used to be lengthy processes, and this eliminates human errors and bottlenecks while increasing accuracy and reducing costs. There are several automation platforms on the market today. Low code / no-code platforms are helping to democratize access to tasks that once needed programming expertise, and this means that the number of developers is now higher than ever before. Automation bodes well for the employee as well as the end consumer who benefits from a great customer experience.
Strategies for business profitability
I think it is all about culture—if you have a strong, resilient culture that helps employees visualize and achieve their aspirations while being aligned to company vision, then the most important job is done. It is only when employees cannot relate their daily work to what the company wishes to achieve, or what they would like to do, the problems start. I know this is easy to say, but very, very hard to implement. But this is the only long term, durable solution that we have.
Future of work and workforce
Work will be hybrid and more asynchronous than ever before, and this will enable organizations to tap into talent anywhere in the world. We will move from time based measures to outcome based measures – and that is what will really make the difference, since time based measures of work are remnants from the early industrial revolution. And we will go beyond remote work as we see it today—just as the whole world was getting used to video calls, we now have the metaverse upon us. I mentioned earlier that 70% of people want remote work, but surprisingly, the same number also wants more social interaction. Some of this is going to be fulfilled by modern meeting experiences— newer AR and VR technologies are sure to make meetings more exciting and immersive. Employee experience initiatives will need to adapt to reflect this new reality. Offices will become more like ‘resorts’ – places where you go to interact with your co-workers. There will be fundamental changes in org structures, as middle management becomes a little less relevant in a tech driven, automated world. Work in the future will be what you do where you are, and not a place you go to. Technology advancements are augmenting human capabilities without impacting work-life balance, and bring out the best in productivity.
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