Reflection on the Future of Work
In 2018, we wrote about the future of work. Unsurprisingly, many of the same principles we discussed then can be applied to the tumultuous work environments of 2021 and 2022. Whether it is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or a continuation of a workplace paradigm shift, these are today’s truths. This is our reflection on the future of work.
What We Said Then
Doing the right thing is always the right thing: Employees believe that ethics belong in business and view businesses to have an impact on society at large.
Flexibility in the workplace: Give credence to a flexible work environment. Technology has paved the way for workers to unplug or become location independent. A flexible work environment makes employees feel like you value their home life.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: Employees identify poor communication as a reason for leaving a job. Moreover, poor communication makes employees feel like they are being not being heard or their opinion does not matter. Employees that feel valued are more likely to stay with an organization.
What It Means Today
Doing the right thing is always the right thing: More so than at any point in time, employees want their work to reflect their own personal values. In a recent survey, 59% of employees seeking new jobs say they want a job that better aligns with their values. Employees are no longer driven by money alone. They seek organizations that can positively impact society.
Flexibility in the workplace: There is no argument that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the already lightning-fast pace of technology adoption. It required companies to adopt and adapt. Working from home for certain industry segments has become a way of life. While some return to brick-and-mortar offices, others have found ways to keep employees working from home. In fact, another recent survey found that 68% of employees prefer working from home. This paradigm shift is forcing companies to reevaluate what their corporate ‘offices’ and ‘culture’ look like.
Communicate, communicate, communicate: Communication is even more important given the rise of remote work. Lack of communication still impacts issues in the workplace and can reduce productivity. With the high value employees are placing on organizations that align with their personal beliefs and values, communication means connecting employees with your values. Soliciting feedback and input on how your organization can align with employee values provides you a competitive advantage in retaining and recruiting top talent.