If the pandemic was to end today, there are minimal chances of us going back to the olden way of working. Our long held beliefs of the nature of work were tested for far too long and we were forced to change that putting all that aside would not only be a challenge but also a possible cause of problems in future.
In this article, we have provided a list of changes that have been embraced in many workplaces so far and have a place in future.
Process and productivity over place – A year ago, remote working was a foreign term to some people. It seemed like a disguised way of saying that one was not interested in working. In 2021, the narrative has changed. Not only has many employers realized that with effective management people can work from anywhere, but some have gone to the extents of adjusting their approach to allow employees to work from wherever they can be most productive from.
Diversity – With remote working proving to be possible, employers have an opportunity of looking beyond their countries when searching for the right talent without investing too much. In the near future, we can expect workplaces that will be filled with people from different origins, ages, and educational backgrounds because the focus has now changed to value. This therefore calls for a thorough understanding of individual needs and meeting each to reap the most from the differences.
Results over hours input – In 2021, the focus is now on results rather than hours input. This is the primary reason behind the 4-day work weeks in some companies. As we look forward to a future where productivity is not measured against the number of hours clocked in, there is need for agreement about the results.
Wellbeing – There has never been a time when wellbeing was taken seriously than during this time of the pandemic. People became more aware of the impact of their mental status to productivity and employers adjusted their approach to it to keep operations running. We can expect more changes in this area through mental healthcare packages, subscription-based medical services, training on wellbeing, products that can provide real-time information about mental health and appropriate responses, others.
Unlike in the past where there was a thick line between professional and personal lives that all people were supposed to obey, the pandemic has made business leaders more mindful and responsive of the connection between the two. In the coming days, there is hope that they will be more willing to make some changes to ensure wellbeing of their team members. This also means that companies will look at what they are offering their employees and not only what they are getting to reduce turnover and attract great talent.
Project-focused working model – Another aspect that has come to light is the temporality of some roles. This allowed business leaders to shift from hiring fulltime to based on their needs. Also, as people are looking forward to more flexibility, then project-based working model can be expected to continue.
Communication feedback loops – Business organizations that nurtured a two-way communication were less likely to be disintegrated. With distributed teams becoming a norm, then there will be great emphasis on effective communication. With this, we can expect an upsurge of training sessions, collaboration tools, or refinement of the current ones to make communication effortless and productive.
Participation in current matters – Just a few months ago, a significant number of companies separated themselves from societal matters. However, due to popularity of movements such as BLM and climatic changes, we have seen some companies increasing their involvement in communal activities to effect change.
Capability rather than educational background – We are in an era where following one’s passion and self-education are becoming the norm. People from all walks of life are taking up careers that are not related to their college/university certifications and excelling. This implies that in no time, the focus will shift from one’s education background as an indicator of suitability for a particular role to their areas of excellence.
Capability rather than years of experience- One thing that has perhaps shocked many is that the number of years that a person has worked in a field does not translate to expertise. There are many stories of young people without prior leadership experience who have launched their own companies and taken up top leadership positions and driven the organizations to great heights. In the near future, the growth-focused companies will no longer use one’s length of working in a field as an absolute indicator of suitability or unsuitability for top positions.
Even though some of the changes listed here are still in their early stages, their popularity is increasing by day.