4 ways to embrace the evolution of work
The market leaders of the next decade are likely to look vastly different from today’s organisations.
Experts agree that the workplace is changing, and the next decade's market leaders are likely to show a stark contrast to today's major players; with a move towards intrapreneurial teams, flexible working and much flatter structures.
It's a big topic but definitely one worth considering if you want to ensure future success, attract the best talent in your industry and stay ahead of the competition.
As attitudes towards work-life balance and ways of working change, the best talent will be attracted to organisations that correctly identify those changing employee expectations and promote a culture that values progress over tradition.
Not sure where to start? Here are four ways to embrace workplace evolution where you work.
A connected workforce is the lifeblood of any business looking more than five years ahead. As more and more companies move towards mobile working and a distributed workforce, it becomes vitally important that people can access information wherever they are, on any device.
The future of work is greater collaboration and knowledge sharing, and a truly networked organisation will achieve this with ease, so focus can shift to innovation and productivity. The result? Your people spend less time on unprofitable processes and more time on meaningful work that benefits the business.
Intrapreneurship is a term that has been buzzing around the past few years.
It simply means encouraging your people to adopt an entrepreneurial spirit, so they can flex their creativity, try out new ideas and fail fast all in the name of driving your organisation forward. That’s not to say they aren’t accountable; a true intrapreneur acts as the business owner, with the best interests of the organisation at heart.
So how can you encourage this phenomenon in your business? Chances are you already have a few of these key people hard at work. Make it your mission to promote what they’re doing and make it known that you support this way of working. If your staff don’t feel as though they can run with an idea that will benefit your bottom line, work to remove the obstacles and change the culture within your business so they can.
The future’s in the cloud
It’s only a matter of time before most, if not all, your on-premise technology becomes obsolete.
By moving to the cloud, your whole operation becomes slicker and more cost-effective, ideal for organisations with fluctuating bandwidth demands and perfect for homeworkers or remote teams. Future employees will expect your company tech to work seamlessly without needless layers of admin around document control and easy access to the resources they need, when they need them.
If you’ve not yet begun your digital transformation, it’s worth understanding where you’re currently at and looking at the steps you’ll need to take, if any, to bring your systems and working practices up-to-date.
Collaborative and flatter hierarchies
Forget traditional organisational structures with tiers of top-down management. These will give way to smaller teams working collaboratively on projects that closely match their skill sets or promote skills development. Working autonomously with greater accountability, these empowered team members will be able to apply their specialist knowledge directly where it’s needed, instead of working within the confines of a traditional job description.
Organisational leaders must adapt to their evolving remit, becoming influencers and inspiring enthusiasm around a shared goal. As such, they’ll need to communicate clearly and transparently, and help everyone in the business to learn to think strategically.
Piloting this flatter structure in your business isn’t as hard as you might think. Start by devolving responsibility to a small working group for the management of a key project. And take notes from Silicon Valley heavyweights, where individuals sign up for the projects they’re interested in working on. You could find that the increased enthusiasm and excitement this creates in your teams has a surprisingly positive impact on the rest of your business.