Not long ago, we envisioned the future of freedom where work can be done anywhere. Whether that means working from home or that coffee shop around the corner, the vision was work is not about the place that you go but it is what you do.
Fast forward to today, and we are currently living in what we thought could only happen in the distant future. While it is hard to imagine what will happen in 2022, here are some things that you can be prepared.
With the world slowly opening up, employees can now go for a face to face meeting in the office and come back home to continue working. So, the biggest change of all is the fact that employees now have the choice to leverage the best of both online and offline worlds.
Gone are the days of early morning commutes and various team meetings on a full day in office. Today, work is also happening in the kitchen, dining table or for someone like me, in my home office. With meetings done virtually and full-scale projects being managed remotely, how we work has changed forever.
What does this mean for business leaders then? Going into 2022, it is imperative for leaders to provide employees with the freedom to work. So, no matter where they are – at home or at some point in the office - they can engage, collaborate and positively contribute to the broader working environment on a united platform. To do so, leaders need to make sure that they have the right technology in place – one that is robust, secure and truly connected.
Not only the way we worked has changed, the workforce has also evolved. We are now transitioning into the world of the Born Digitals. Defined as consisting of Millennials (born 1981 to 1996) and Generation Z (born after 1997), Born Digitals are the first generation to experience the evolution of the digital world.
As the generation that is expected to form the majority of the workforce in the next decade, these young employees are different from previous generations in that they have only ever known a tech driven world of work. In fact, the youngest among them, who began their careers during the pandemic, have only ever known a world where remote work was the norm.
As we look towards understanding how the future of work will look like, it is important for business leaders to take into account this new generation. The Born Digital generation is after all the future and as such, finding the best ways to support them will be crucial in unlocking their potential for many years to come.
According to The Era of Hyper Innovation research, worldwide investments in new technology and flexible work models over the last year has fueled US$678 billion in revenue across multiple industries. The research also indicates that such exponential growth has been driven by hybrid work models, which has allowed distributed and collaborative innovation to flourish anywhere and in any environment.
If the pandemic has proven anything, it’s that innovation can happen anywhere. Even in the absence of face-to-face communication, the data shows that employees have found new ways to connect and share their ideas.
In fact, about 93% of those polled believe that increased digital collaboration has led to more diverse voices from across the organization being heard and a greater range of ideas being surfaced. Around 80% of respondents also say they have come up with more creative ideas during the pandemic as they have had more free time to think.
It is clear to see that the future of work is evolving. Never before has there been such a huge shift in the way people view and do their jobs. Ultimately, as business leaders we are in the driver’s seat of this transformation and the power to mold the future of work lies in being able to empower employees to do their best work, supported with the right technology and work models.
This article has been written by Parag Arora, Vice President and Managing Director- South East Asia, Korea and Indian subcontinent