As you gaze into the future of work it might look hazy. Where will we work? How will I interact with and collaborate with my teammates? What will our offices look like? While we do not know the answers to those things with certainty, there are some things we do know. I am sharing the “knowns” to help you better deal with the many unknowns you see when you look into the future of work.
Place will matter less
So much of the conversation right now is about place. Where people will work is important, and it is obvious why right now in this time of upheaval that is this is the primary question. Eventually this work at how/hybrid/work at the office decision will be made and will no longer be the focus. However, the decisions made now and how they are made will have impact far beyond the location itself.
The work will still need to be done
For some right now, the work itself is being forgotten. All of the current discussion about where and how we will work is leaving out the work itself. The nature of the work needs to be considered while making the “where we will work” decisions. And whatever decisions are made, the work remains. Poor decisions made about where/how may hurt organizations that focus lose their focus in the trends or fads of today.
The need for collaboration will remain
While not all work requires the same levels or types of collaboration, work is still a process of inputs and outputs, the reliance people have on each other, and the need to people to work together won’t change. The winning organizations will be those that make collaboration work well regardless of where the people themselves work each day.
Organizational culture will still matter
When organizations were forced to send people to work from home, the relative strength of culture was clear. The stronger and more positive the culture, the more likely the organization has maintained strong performance. Culture will likely become an even bigger contributor to organizational success in the future, for a host of reasons. Leaders who think about, invest in and work to strengthen cultures will lead the most successful organizations.
Leadership skills will be more important than ever
Speaking of leaders – as workplaces become more complex and geography plays a greater role in the work reality, the role of the leader become more complex and more important. Organizations that invest in their leaders in ways that create real performance change will be the winners. Individual leaders who commit themselves to improving their skills, regardless of the level of their organizational investment will get better results, find their work more rewarding, and become increasingly valuable.
There is much we don’t know about the future of work today. But if we start with these knowns, we will be able to navigate the unknowns with greater confidence and ultimately, greater success.
If these challenges are pressing and you don’t want to wait until April 13th for some assistance, there is another resource. I have worked with LinkedIn Learning to create a brand-new course titled Planning for Your Hybrid Organization. This short course will help you determine:
- If a hybrid workplace is a fit for your organization (and perhaps which hybrid model will be best for you)
- How to make the transition from your current working arrangements to that desired future of a hybrid workplace
- What leaders and team members need to be successful in this new hybrid workplace
Simply click here to learn how to take advantage of this online and on-demand learning experience.