Technological advancements, disruptive innovations and the need for work-life-balance are changing the fundamental nature of work. This has naturally led to much speculation, excitement and fear about the future of work around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly renewed the emphasis on the new ways of working. The big question is: Are organisations and employees prepared for the new ways of working?
A global remote work, tools and software, business workflow and e-learning experiment has begun. Some are struggling to adapt to the new ways of working together; others envision it as an idealist scenario in achieving the ultimate work-life balance. Realistically, the new ways of working is a conversation that needs to be explored in-depth, practiced over time and embraced by each individual of an organisation. To succeed, we will need to discover new ways of organising, performing and leading; along with new approaches to attracting, developing and engaging employees.
These are trying times that have created a myriad of challenges for many at work. Work and life are being impacted in a variety of ways. During times like this, it is important that we develop and align around explicit expectations, get familiar with technology, individualise coaching of employees, get creative, rethink meetings, give and ask for some grace while adapting. Taking account of employee empowerment might allow each employee to see their work in a new light; in turn transforming into an innovative, collaborative, empathetic and inclusive organisation. The times are changing but the values remain the same. We can construct the future of work together; one which help achieve our collective and individual goals despite the dynamic environmental conditions that we find ourselves in.
Looking ahead, COVID-19 will not be an issue forever, the new ways of working will be. A wave of change is coming that will soon make the way we work almost unrecognisable to business leaders today. Do not be surprised if employees prefer the option of working remotely even after this pandemic. Many studies show remote employees are more productive and profitable than in-house employees. What we learn about leading a new workforce now will likely become best practice later on. Unfortunately, neither I nor anyone else can offer definitive solutions to this paradigm shift other than to remind everyone that the only constant in the universe is change. Take care of yourselves and each other and see this challenge as an opportunity to build new ways of working.
“Honsonn Wong is the Assistant Talent Development Manager at LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics. The above-mentioned are his personal views and are not a representation of LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics”.