Across the globe, flexible and hybrid work is driving transformation. The future of work goes well beyond just offering employees the opportunity to work from home.

A typical meeting that portrays the future of work
A closer look at the next decade in the workplace.

The future workplace is changing the way we think about work, with positive effect.

• Organisations are harnessing the power of data-driven strategies to attract talent, boost employee retention, and simplify their approach to change management.

• There is now a huge focus on diversity, equality, and inclusion. This is motivated by greater awareness, improved empathy at a leadership level, and a mass global desire to create a welcoming workplace culture.

• Managers are moving towards output evaluation rather than attendance evaluation. Employees are less likely to be judged on the hours they put in and are more likely to receive positive praise for efficient productivity.

• People at all levels of the organisation are looking to cultivate a healthy work life balance, which makes talent acquisition more competitive, and challenges staff retention. Employees in all industries now offer and expect an enhanced value proposition.

Gartner reports “75% of hybrid or remote knowledge workers say their expectations for working flexibly have increased, and 4 out of 10 employees are at risk of leaving if you insist they return to an in-person office environment.”

With so much certainty around what people want the future of work to look like, we’ve put together this handy 6-Point HR strategy, to help you navigate through the future of work with the right HR support.

an image of flexible work and breaks
The future of work involves quality breaks

1. Human-Centric Work Design

One of the best lessons from the pandemic is our fresh understanding that all people, no matter their position, have unique challenges. For the first time in history, leaders, and their employees at all levels within an organisation have all felt the simultaneous strains of not knowing the answers and juggling their home challenges in equal measure.

The result of this shared experience is a greater emphasis on the people behind the work. Relationships are becoming more human, so people are moving towards each other with a renewed sense of helpfulness.

The office is no longer the place we go to do our work. The workplace has become a real or virtual space where humans come together to produce a desirable outcome.

2. Rethinking the Workplace

HR consultants have learned how easily organisations can implement flexible tasks, flexible schedules, flexible locations, and flexible work experiences in just about every role, at every level, in every industry.

Businesses are reimagining the way their teams come together. We’re seeing a shift towards digital transformation, with higher investment in collaborative tools which allow for seamless home and hybrid working.

The office environment itself is also changing rapidly. Multifunctional spaces, quiet zones, breakout areas, and co-working desks are gaining popularity.

3. Shifting Talent & Skills

The overall approach to HR strategy is experiencing a significant shift in desirable skills. It is now estimated that around 25-30% of the skills requested on CVs in 2018 will be obsolete in 2022.

Desirable employees should demonstrate a portfolio of hard and soft skills, with acute problem-solving abilities and a keen willingness to adapt.

Roles are merging to create new, more fulfilling job descriptions that allow employees to knit their core strengths together, without getting boxed into the one-dimensional roles of the past.

New skills in artificial intelligence, technology development, and automation are becoming essential to hybrid teams. There is a greater reliance on innovation to drive productivity forward, and a high demand for people who can reshape how we work in a meaningful way.

Leadership skills are becoming empathetic, socially minded, and more approachable. People managers are looking towards human data to attract and retain talented staff.

4. Digital Enablement

Previously, teams traditionally sat together in an office. This allowed new employees to learn on the job and kept seasoned employees set in their ways.

Digital transformation means teams are now coming together online to share input, collaborate on projects, track their progress, and deliver powerful results.

Employees, people managers, and the organisations themselves should invest in the right technologies needed to give individuals the best tools for the job.

5. Managing in a Hybrid World

There’s no cut-and-fold solution to hybrid working, so getting it right is largely trial and error. Hybrid HR managers should consider how flexible working best suits their teams, with reference to:

• Time flexibility: employees may work flexible hours from a fixed location.

• Location flexibility: employees may work fixed hours but choose their location.

• Task flexibility: employees may work to a fixed schedule but choose their own tasks.

• Environment flexibility: employees may work in a fixed location but choose how they use their workspace environment using multipurpose facilities.

The secret to getting hybrid working right is to develop correct protocols for clear communication. Organisations should give all members of the team the right tools and training to complete the tasks at hand.

Employees should know what’s expected i.e., when, and how their performance will be evaluated, and who they can turn to for support. A quality HR consultancy such as A2i People can design an effective hybrid structure to facilitate a smooth work experience for all.

Hybrid working model
Hybrid working – The new norm

6. Reforming the Culture

The easiest way for businesses to adapt to the future of work is to reform the way individuals think about work. Sound HR practices start with key stakeholders and those in leadership positions. The current and future leadership bench should be coached to build empathy, and to instil a sense of purpose within their teams.

Employees in fixed or hybrid roles must be encouraged to self-motivate through flexibility, opportunity, and natural progression.

Employees on a flexible schedule perform best when they can work at convenient times, on the tasks they are most motivated by. To maximise productivity, people should be encouraged to work where they are most comfortable.

External HR Support Helps You Think Beyond the Box

Businesses keeping ahead of their competition are adapting to meet the human-centric demands of talented employees.

Collaboration and skill sharing, leading with empathy, and nurturing workplace wellbeing are redefining the way people think about the future of work, so having the right HR structure is key to success.

Tailored external HR support identifies areas of the team where people can use skills that are perhaps not reaching their potential and combine these areas into multifunctional roles which make the most of the employee’s full skillset.

The future of work should be viewed as a desirable place to be – filled with endless opportunities and healthy social support!

If you are concerned about the future of work and how best to keep up with the trends and societal changes get in touch or Book a consultation with Andrea via Calendly. If you have any questions, simply visit our Contact Us page and leave your information and we will get back to you. Why not visit our Services page to see what else we offer in regards to HR support and the future of work. Find out how much easier change can be when you outsource your HR administration to a dedicated HR Consultant.

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