Future of Work: Redesign by Putting the People First
Triggered by COVID 19, many enterprises have accelerated the adoption of digital technologies. Customer interactions, supply chain integration and day-to-day operations have been significantly impacted. One of the most substantial impacts has been observed on ways of working. Not only the workplaces, but also the mindset, the skillset and the tools required are being transformed. Whether or not the changes in this domain will stick and how they will evolve in the longer run are hot topics for discussion.
When it comes to workplaces, one size doesn’t fit all.
There are different views on remote working. While it has been welcomed by a wide range of companies, certain others regard it as a temporary “glitch” that will be corrected after the pandemic. The former group is likely to continue flexible working schemes, either hybrid or totally remote, and the latter will be “back to the office” when the pandemic is over. Certainly, there are pros and cons associated with both approaches and different views on each.
Certain issues come up frequently in our discussions with executives across companies about the evolution of working schemes. All need to be addressed by putting people first.
- Be considerate about mental fatigue: A clear start and finish of the working day helps people manage the cognitive load. Online meeting platforms have made it easier to schedule meetings and increased connectivity. However, the proper use of online platforms and connectivity are yet to be established. Back-to-back meetings — just because it’s easy to set them- and connecting for work after regular work hours — just because it can be done- are common. This places a mental pressure for a wide range of employees; many of them express a need for more time to rest and disconnect. People express the need for some “lone time” and neither working from home nor working at the office provides that well enough, yet.
- Keep flexibility and utilize the best of both worlds: The majority does not want to lose the flexibility of not having to go to the office every day. Yet, they also express the need for in-person interactions from time to time. What many employees consider as the key point is the reason or the benefit of getting to the office. Many employees think it’s meaningless to go to the office to make online meetings. They’d rather come to the office for activities such as brainstorming, objective-setting, onboarding people and coaching.
- Pay attention to fairness: There seems to be a concern about being “isolated” in hybrid or remote working schemes. People who return to the office are more likely to have casual chats or in-person meetings with colleagues and senior executives. This is likely to make the ones working from home feel excluded, feeding into concerns about being treated unfairly in terms of recognition, promotion, benefits etc.
Changing the mindset, developing the skills, and enhancing the tools are essential.
COVID 19 forced enterprises to rethink their approach…
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