Figuring out the future of workBy Andrew Small,
Few would disagree that the coronavirus pandemic has changed forever the way we work.
Now, more than a year since the crisis disrupted our lives, what have we learned that can help us figure out what comes next?
We’ve learned that we can make huge changes at great speed. There are so many frankly incredible stories of how organisations as diverse as investment banks and schools swiftly transformed their operations by introducing remote working and collaboration services. The crisis has supercharged digital transformation programmes in every sector around the world.
We’ve learned that new ways of working are likely to stick. All the indications are that people want more choice for the future: working in the traditional office, at a client’s premises, at home, local co-working spaces or on the road. What matters will be how employees work, not where.
We’ve learned there’s no single solution to the hybrid working conundrum. Every business will have to figure out its own blueprint, based on whatever defines the right experience for its employees.
We’ve learned that human characteristics such as ingenuity, empathy and co-operation are immensely powerful in bringing about change. People can achieve amazing results when they work together. Certainly, when the pandemic hit, it would’ve been hard to deliver remote working so quickly and at scale without real collaboration and trust between businesses and their technology partners.
We’ve learned that it’s okay to think – and act – short term. To trial a service, to tweak it and refine it as you go. That enterprises can have a great relationship with a technology vendor without getting locked into long term contracts. The future model for procurement is likely to be an ecosystem of pay-as-you-go services that let businesses cherry pick and mix the best combination of in-house and managed services.
However, we’re only at the very beginning of something new. And exactly what that ‘something’ looks like will be different for every organisation.
The future of work is a complex and challenging puzzle. We’ve got considerable expertise from our experience of large, global transformation projects. We’ve also done extensive research over the last year with business executives and IT decision-makers from around the world. We’ve combined these sources and applied our learnings to crack this conundrum for ourselves, and can help you do it for your organisation too.