Top Five Trends to Watch: The Future of Work Over the Next Decade

The future of work is a somewhat misleading phrase. That is because said “future” is actually right now. So let’s call it what it is… the reality of work now. It was always coming, this elusive future; COVID-19 served to speed the process along. Major changes took place that are seemingly irreversible—even in the wake of the pandemic. The key moving forward is going to be navigating the challenges and embracing the opportunities; the companies that can do so successfully, what’s more, that have a plan for doing so, will be the companies that effectively take hold of this notion of the “future of work” and are able to run with it.

According to a Deloitte report, among the main priorities of professionals across the country is placing more of an emphasis on learning. It makes perfect sense. With businesses undergoing massive digital transformation efforts, there will inevitably be skills gaps. Not to mention, with employees now located in a variety of places (not merely onsite) more and more organizations are having to figure out how to manage, train, and engage a distributed workforce. The topic of how, when and in what way learning will be deployed is obviously going to be front and center in the years to come. This is just one among a number of other trends increasingly seen, such that are completely reshaping how we understand the concept of “work.”

The Future of Work is About Reinventing Workforce Planning, Development and Engagement

Without question trends are emerging that are already having a massive impact on the overall landscape of the workplace. So let’s look at a few of the more consequential trends that are impacting both leaders and employees.

  • Employee Experience Unifies Processes Across the Board. Centralized hubs oriented around employee experience and thereby addressing all aspects of this experience will become the standard. Companies will look (and are already starting) to build their communication, workflows, and daily routines around the concept of promoting not just an enhanced employee experience, but such that unifies and integrates all relevant processes. From task assignment to workflow management to supporting feedback loops, and even beyond that reward and recognition efforts, all of these will essentially be connected by a more dynamic and purposefully integrated personalized experience for all stakeholders.  
  • Expanded Emphasis on People Analytics. It’s out there for the taking…leaders just need to know where to find it and how to use it. With remote work so prevalent, new ways of supporting employee performance as well as their well being and consequently supervising their progress have to be introduced. There have to be systems in place for empowering each and every individual working for you. In the last six months we have seen how pivotal data collection and live analytics have become —everything from tracking each employee’s productivity to predicting your team’s potential slowdown.
  • Increase in Number of Gig Workers Beyond All Previous Estimates. Many employers have discovered that replacing full-time employees with contingent workers is proving quite the cost-saving measure while finding the best talent no matter where they are. That said, it is going to be incumbent upon managers now to figure out how to most effectively evaluate employee performance and drive talent development. Again, it will be about planning for this very scenario, having the right system that facilitates not only monitoring a contingent worker’s output but also coming up with ways to somehow enable those individuals to connect with the company culture and business KPIs.
  • Focus on Wellness at Remote Work. People are increasingly wanting to work for those companies that demonstrate a legitimate concern for their well being. Instituting wellness programs as part of the benefits package for your newly remote workforce–be it an allowance for a local gym membership, a fitness tracking device or corporate-wide online yoga classes–is going to mean the difference between getting top talent or losing them to your competitor. By having such programs in place as well as an emphasis on employee happiness in general, you foster a much stronger corporate culture—one marked by collaboration, cohesion and enhanced creativity.
  • Remote Work Becomes the Norm and Shows Increased Productivity. This one is a no-brainer really. The virus pushed most employees out the workplace door and into their homes. The numbers as a result of this shift to remote work were surprising for many. It seems that once the initial chaos of the shift subsided, employees proved resilient. They, for the most part, rose to the remote work challenge and as such, productivity increased in many cases, for many companies. With remote work looking as though it is in fact going to be the new norm—Google for instance, is slated to keep their employees remote until at least July 2021—there has to be a plan in place for ensuring everyone stays on the same page, regardless of location.

The Times, They Are Changing…

In this new climate, leaders have to be prepared for what lies ahead. We’ve all been caught off guard once. How does that saying go: Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…The coronavirus dealt a blow to many, and yet on the flip side it also propelled thousands of businesses across the country into that future of work. Rallyware is here to help you navigate that “future” as efficiently as you possibly can. Schedule your demo today to see how you can digitally transform your organization!

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