The future of work has arrived, but what does the future mean? While the future of work being now may seem oxymoronic, it has come sooner than some may have thought. While work and the workforce have never been topics that have gone undiscussed, a world that’s been rocked by the pandemic has redefined how we work and accelerated the future of work.
These new changes brought on by the future of work have encouraged growth and adaptation. While there may be a level of uncertainty hanging in the air, growth occurs when you’re most receptive to it. Let’s delve into three changes galvanized by the future of work:
- Working from anywhere
Remote work has met its match. Working from anywhere takes it a step further by letting employees work outside of the bounds of their home office. Think: farther, bigger, and anywhere.
Interestingly enough, a survey of 3,200 conducted by Goodhire, found that “85% of Americans prefer to apply for jobs that offer remote flexibility, while just 15% would apply for a position that requires total-full office work.” This staggering statistic shows that employees value flexibility in HOW and WHERE work is conducted.
While working from anywhere may viscerally bring up images of disorganization and distraction, it’s actually quite the opposite. Empowering employees with the freedom to work from anywhere goes beyond chasing inspiration at a coffee shop. It’s about prioritizing employees’ wellness and helping them maintain a sustainable work-life balance. A sustainable work-life balance that goes beyond after the 9-5, one that fosters productivity and employee morale. In fact, a study by GitLab shows that “81% of people are satisfied with their productivity when working from home.”
This statistic alone may have uprooted everything we have thought to know about remote work. Years ago, before remote work had been normalized, “remote work” and “productivity” may have been laughed at as an oxymoron. While working from home isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it’s not always getting distracted by a heaping pile of laundry or an overflowing sink of the week’s meals either.
It’s time to reshift and look at the home office as an amorphous space, a vessel of productivity… a space where you’re granted the freedom to juggle your personal life and work responsibilities.
- Distributed teams
The office has traditionally been a place of meeting for employees or client-facing situations. However, the shift to distributed teams has redefined the function of the office, pushing for the swap of in-person meetings for virtual ones.
That’s precisely when the concept of an office was redefined. No longer is an office inherently four walls within a state or a country, but an office that spans borders, lines, and countries. This new shift to distributed teams ensures coverage of all time zones and more fluidity with work.
Additionally, distributed teams fuel diversity in thoughts and culture, promoting a well-rounded and distinctive team. After all, work culture isn’t just defined by buzzwords on a website or cultivated solely in a physical office, it seeps into our daily work interactions and can be a positive driver if cultivated.
- Asynchronous communication
New ways of working require new ways of communicating as challenges surface. Juggling multiple time zones within distributed teams is no easy feat when things can get lost in communication, as your message navigates through the abyss of time zones.
Don’t say goodbye to meetings just yet–while the days of meetings aren’t over, they’re being supplemented with asynchronous communication. Asynchronous communication is all about communication that doesn’t wait. It’s sending over a video update or updating the workspace channel with upcoming updates instead of that 45-minute meeting. Instead of that 45-minute meeting, you’ll be able to strategically prioritize your time by watching, responding, and rewatching in your own time.
Ultimately, asynchronous communication means communication that works WITH your employees. This newfound flexibility promotes productivity, as fewer meetings mean a more fluid workday with room for thinking, processing, and reflecting.
These changes fueled by the future of work have symbolically shifted things in the future of the work timeline. While we may have referred to the future of work as an upcoming and abstract concept, the truth is, that we’re living (and working) through it. And sure, work and work models may never be 100% formulaic, but work is all about iterating. It’s time to embrace all of these new changes for the benefit of organizations and employees’ wellness.