Home » Future of Work » One size does not fit all in the future of work

Claudia Carr

People & Organisation Transformation Director, BearingPoint

The pandemic triggered a global experiment in the way we work. It is time to take the lessons learned from that experience and build more inclusive, sustainable and flexible workplaces.

The truth is that there is no single optimal model. What works for one organisation may not work for another.

With so many different working model options to consider – centralised, hubs, remote, hybrid – the burning questions for many organisations remain: “What model works best?” and “How do we protect our organisation culture, support collaboration and innovate?”

Finding the best model

The truth is that there is no single optimal model. What works for one organisation may not work for another. Within organisations, what works for one team or one role, will not suit all. What is optimal today, may not be in the future.

However, our experience shows there are a number of underlying principles which will help guide organisations as they consider the future of work.

  • Define your guiding star. Set a clear vision for what you want to achieve, aligned to your strategic goals and values. This includes defining guiding principles for ways of working which are understood across the organisation.
  • Empower teams to define the model that works best for them. Provide them with the necessary training, coaching and tooling. Trust that they understand their objectives and how best to structure working practices to achieve them.
  • Equip managers to lead. Communications, planning, capacity management, coaching and effective delegation are critical skills to support new working models. Managers need to be equipped with the skills to lead diverse teams.
  • Create time for meaningful connection. Relationships and social connection are critical to organisation success. They are often a catalyst for innovation. Making time for these connections, whether in person or virtual, is more important now than ever.
  • Test and learn. Recognise that things will evolve. Seek regular feedback from a range of internal and external stakeholders on what is working well, and what could work better. Celebrate successes and take learnings from what did not go to plan. Maintain focus on the guiding star when testing a new hypothesis.
  • Review key skills and competencies. As workplaces evolve, so too will the skills and competencies required in the workforce. Organisation and individual resilience, technical, managing change and people skills will continue to grow in importance.

The seeds of the future of work were planted long before the pandemic, but it took a crisis to demonstrate that alternative working models could be successfully adopted across industries. Technical tools alone will not deliver new ways of working, but with the right approach the future of work will deliver benefits for all.

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