Has your business started to consider what the future of work could possibly look like, in a post COVID world? We have.
The ‘future of work’ has been a major topic of discussion for us here at CXC.. and for quite some time.
This has likewise been the case across the industry both here in Australia, and across the globe. But during the past couple of months the ‘future of work’ has, not surprisingly, taken a back seat in our collective mindset. Instead, we’ve been focused on the rampant industry discussions about the impact of today’s global pandemic and the resultant crises it poses.
Can you blame us?
With so little knowledge about this virus, uncertainty remains a constant.
We (and the government and the health experts) can’t predict recovery timeframes. We don’t know when the economy can properly ‘restart’. No-one knows when workers can comfortably, and safely return back to the office. There’s much discussion about a ‘new normal’. The inference being, things will never go back to how they were.
And it’s this point that we find interesting.
So.. we’ve undertaken to look at what many industry experts are saying about the future of work in a post COVID world. These insights were quite a discovery for us…and there’s plenty here for us all to take on board.
This is the first in a three-part series. Be sure you don’t miss the subsequent two parts, by signing up to our blog here.
For now… what does the future of work look like, in a post COVID world?
1. Remote Working Will Become the New Normal
Many organisations have up until very recently, struggled with transformation because of old school thinking such as – ‘only those at the office are productive’.
Today, having been shocked into a remote working model, the expectation that this will remain in a post COVID world is widespread. Perhaps not entirely, but there’s a definite mood for change.
Consider this fact for example: never, in the wildest dreams of most business leaders, was the concept of 3+ hours on Zoom meetings even fathomable for workers to be considered ‘productive’. Now, there’s a greater degree of meritocracy in organisational thinking: with a common outcome of this COVID situation being a rise in productivity.
2. Speaking of Meritocracy…
Yes, it’s happening. A shift in how business leaders run their operations and manage and assess their teams are now in train.
You see, it’s considered old-school, even old-fashioned if you, as an organisation, are not rethinking your operations and business model.
Are there better ways to achieve your goals? …more productive and cost-efficient ways?
The most common answer is resounding “yes”.. there are.
In the current COVID situation, teams and organisations are living proof that positive change is upon us. Change where efficiency, output and merit-based recognition are on the rise.
Investing in new business models, challenging old ways of thinking and the ability to adapt to a new order, will be the hallmarks of companies who come out of this crisis, looking good. Shining even.
Now isn’t the time to sit back and observe. Get your operations ready for this future of work.
3. Contingent Workers Are the ‘New’ Talent Solution
Well… not ‘new’ per se. But they’ll be better recognised as a valuable, integral component of the workforce engine.
There are a couple of caveats on this point, and I’ll get to them in a minute. But first, hear this (and it relates to Point 1, earlier): given most of us who work in an office have been forced to change to remote working, for some, this has required some heavy-duty adjustment. And not always with ease.
Contingent workers, on the other hand, are by their very nature, adaptable. They’re there to do the job, deliver on their goals, and move on. Nothing about this point is incidental. In the pre-COVID world, contingent workers were perhaps, not recognised as being as truly valuable, productive and ‘essential’ as many perm workers.
But in the future of work post-COVID, these are the workers’ organisations that will be revered. Keep in their fox hole. Reward. Nurture. They’ll be remembered for their quick responses, adaptability and willingness to get on with it.
The obvious caveats about contingent workers on your team, especially if they’re working remotely, is that they’ll be secure and safe from cybersecurity issues, working in their own (or another external e.g. shared) environment. And that their engagement sits risk-free within the legislative profile of your state/territory (which you can achieve with CXC).
4. A Deeper Appreciation of the Short-Term Workforce
Many white-collar employers have let go or furloughed workers for the short-term. Some, as a means of engendering loyalty, are providing training, some are helping these workers to find short-term opportunities.
Online talent marketplaces and aggregators, particularly in the US, are also working with employers, to help their workers find short-term or contract employment.
A great net benefit here is the exposure employers will have to the many benefits and the great value, of the short-term, medium-term, contract or contingent workforce.
Sure, there’s the risk that workers won’t return. They’ll potentially forge new relationships and loyalties. But there’s still benefit here for all parties. The employer gets a valuable lesson in the opportunities presented by the on-demand or contingent segment of the workforce. And workers, who may previously have not considered contract work, are gaining valuable experiences both strategically and technically.
Next week, we’ll be looking at some of the challenges the workforce will face, once we’re past the worst of this pandemic. We’ll also have a look at the technological changes we can expect in the post COVID workforce.
As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help please contact us here.