Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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In the previous instalment of this article, we explored why the new world order warrants a fresh approach towards adapting to new ways of working and the first two areas of focus. Let’s see some more ways in which business leaders are adapting to future trends.

  1. Re-organize to become responsive yet resilient

Adopt new ways of working

Speed has become an extremely important element of business success in the post pandemic world. Thus, companies must develop agile teams and break the traditional silo work culture. Efforts must be made to build cross-functional agile teams to enable innovation from bottom up and execution at a much faster pace. Leaders must focus on enabling autonomous teams, while maintaining alignment across different teams.

New Talent Models

The pandemic has actually increased access to talent for the willing companies. Once companies started recruiting remotely, the location of the employee made no difference. Companies should take advantage of the gig economy and employ talent for short-term projects and absorb them for the long-term if deemed fit. BCG’s studies show that several businesses have hired new executives remotely, even for C-suite roles and found great success with them.

Increase emphasis on learning and development

Once talent from a diverse pool is recruited, they must be retained. Companies must digitize their talent journeys and learning and development programs, if they have not done so already. Companies are currently in the process of imbibing new technology, which means several employees will need re-skilling and upskilling. Such learning initiatives must be structured and formalized for better effectivity. The business leaders should also foster a culture of learning on the go and encourage apprenticeship, and peer-to-peer interactions.

  1. Re-imagine space to create smart environments

Since the pandemic has changed the ways of working, office spaces must be reimagined as well. Today, office is no longer the place where people sit and work but the space to collaborate and connect. Businesses should fundamentally reset the notion of work and design a workplace that will be useful in the long-term.

One approach is to create activity-based work zones that can help companies to right-size their real estate. Several zones that can be housed in an office space could include:

  • Focus zone – Quiet areas where employees can focus on individual work
  • Collaboration zone – Larger spaces that are equipped with digital connections for formal team meetings
  • Work café – Social areas equipped with productivity enablers to offer a casual work setting
  • Wellness zone – Rejuvenation zones that support a healthy work rhythm
  • Third place – A semi-social ambience for “alone together time”

Different companies might need different types of work zones, but employee-centricity must be the driving factor while designing smart and new workplaces. The smart offices must be equipped with adequate technology and digital tools so that employees who are working from home and working on premises can seamlessly connect and work smoothly.

While designing the workplace anew, business leaders must remember that the look and feel of that space will play a major part in setting the work-culture of the company. A contemporary, smart and utilitarian area will foster an equally smart and forward-thinking workforce.

Conclusion

The pandemic has fast-tracked the future of work where technology is breaking the barriers of human capital. Today, companies are standing at an extremely opportune moment and business leaders are in a unique position to propel their organization towards new opportunities, while writing their own rulebook. Leaders who can reshape old ways of work, keeping customers at the core and empowering employees, will achieve new heights of success, but they must act soon and move fast.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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