Businesses need to stop being tribal and create a workplace of the future

Paul Ashcroft
O2 Launches Country's Biggest Ever Flexible Working Pilot
Source: Getty

There is no question that the UK workforce is becoming more digital.

An independent review released last month outlined plans for digitising British industry in a bid to boost the economy by more than £450bn, and create nearly 200,000 jobs over the next decade.

But in the same breath, another report found that people are fearful of the effect of these new technologies on their jobs.

These announcements highlight the disconnect between businesses and employees when it comes to communicating these changes.

Here are some recommendations on how businesses can create the flexible workplace of the future, while still engaging with their workforce.

Flexible force

The key finding of our latest report is the need for flexibility – nearly half of individuals would like to work from home regularly, while six per cent want to hot desk, and almost a quarter want to keep their own desk at work.

Flexible working is inevitable in the workplace of the future, and organisations need to develop strategies to build and maintain communities across their workforces.

The best companies will ensure continuity, no matter where people are located, so it’s essential to invest in providing the flexibility people expect.

Evolve employee experiences

The online experience of work is also evolving at an unprecedented pace. Mixed reality, gamification, social media, and interactive film will become everyday tools in the future.

Organisations need to start investing in these and the overall experience of work they are providing.

One size doesn’t fit all

These new technologies will also be key when it comes to learning, which will change your company’s culture.

Learning should be personalised and help connect people to real experts and relevant knowledge. Organisations should invest in next generation learning, which dramatically reduce costs and speed up the cycles of development. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to flexible working.

What is clear from our research is that workforces are becoming more tribal. To engage with the brightest and best talent, and to retain that talent, organisations must invest in providing the flexibility the employee of the future has already come to expect.

Work is rapidly shifting to take place online, wherever in the world people may be. Organisations need to be ready for it.

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