The Future of Work

Building a sustainable post-COVID workplace

Working in the pandemic shattered many long-held beliefs: We learned that we don’t need to be in an office to produce great work.   We also learned that we don’t need to travel – to shake a person’s hand, in order to make a deal.  And perhaps most importantly we learned that there is no “one size fits all”.

It became apparent that company culture does not exist within walls; it exists in the interactions of its people.  If anything, culture became more pronounced as people worked differently.  Gone was the need to work within set hours and in specified ways.  And employees collaborated, solved problems and felt praise and support, (or the lack of) through virtual exchanges.

Returning to Work after the Pandemic

The entire world was turned upside down due to COVID-19 and the business world was no different.  The hybrid workplace is now the evolving future of work, that requires building on the successes and failures experienced in the last 18 months.  Change is the norm’ now – not the exception, and leading organizations are structuring their return to work by employing the lessons learned during their crisis response – with choice and flexibility being key. 

Designing Work for Wellbeing

COVID-19 put well-being front and center as our physical, mental, and financial security became paramount. Remote work created exhaustion and burnout – exposing the stress that many workers have always faced in balancing professional and personal demands.   Now is the time to embed well-being into every aspect of the design and delivery of work itself, which will open the possibility for ALL workers to both live and perform at their best.

Together With Technology

COVID-19 shifted thinking as people saw that technology cannot (and will not) replace humans.  Fortunately, technology is now understood to be vital in supporting our interactions and remarkably successful in augmenting our work.  As they stage the return to work, organizations will be thinking carefully about investing in the technology that enables meaningful human interactions, supports employees’ mental health and fosters collaboration and connectivity at distance.  Our thinking has shifted sufficiently to see that embracing technology creates value and ultimately provides meaning and cohesion to the workforce as a whole.

Changing the Way that we Work Forever

During the pandemic we fast-forwarded into the “future of work” with gigantic leaps and bounds.  We tested the ability to blend people and technology in the most unpredictable business environment we have ever seen. But whilst moments of crisis can lead to unprecedented action and rapid change, it’s in sustaining those actions that the “future workplace” truly begins.  We either return to a post-COVID workplace that’s an enhanced version of yesterday OR continue to evolve and build one that is a sustainable version of tomorrow. The risk in not embracing this challenge is more than that of falling behind—it’s the possibility of never catching up at all.