The future of work: from efficiency to resilience

Prolonged disruption to global business is now a certainty 

Business has always thrived on predictability but recent Covid-19 outbreaks in Texas, Florida, Leicester and other hotspots have shown we can no longer predict market conditions with any confidence. We are now seeing a “boom in bankruptcies” in sectors ranging from oil and gas, to retail, to aviation. One of the largest casualties has been car rental company Hertz

Pre-coronavirus roles, skillsets, processes, workforces and workplaces were all geared for efficiency, but efficiency has made them brittle in today’s climate. Companies must act now to completely reinvent the way work gets done and build resilience at every stage of operation. 

What must change? 

For business to be resilient operations must be flexible and agile. But this will only happen if employees are empowered to thrive in a remote-first world. Resilience begins with your people. 

5 ways to build resilience 

Future Worx has identified 5 ways to build resilience into your business, each with an emphasis on people. 

  1. Resilient roles

A recent Gartner survey showed that 80% of the workforce, 92% of managers and 77% of senior leaders already felt poorly prepared for the future before Covid-19. Outdated role titles and definitions contribute to operational inability to respond to disruption. Businesses must redefine roles to focus more on underlying skillsets required to drive and preserve competitive advantage and adapt critical workflows to cope with disruption. 

  1. Resilient skillsets

When tasks and responsibilities change in the wake of disruption, skillsets must also be adaptive and resilient. In the midst of lockdown uncertainty and remote working, proficiency with the best digital workplace tools must be a priority for every business. Merely activating Microsoft Teams, Webex, or Zoom will not drive competitive advantage. Upskilling for remote workplace excellence will. These resilient skillsets should include video collaboration, co-creation, working out loud, project coordination, and a host of people skills necessary to stay connected and engaged when working remotely. 

  1. Resilient processes

Process efficiency and continuous improvement were strategies for more certain times. To outmanoeuvre uncertainty, processes and methodologies must be resilient. This is about empowering individuals and teams to exercise judgement and choose different routes to the same goals. Reinvention of the way work gets delivered, especially in response to emerging disruption, will become the norm. 

  1. Resilient workforce

Market uncertainty and sudden shifts in supply and demand call for a far more elastic workforce. Government furloughs and company schemes to flex days and pay are just a small part of the solution. Greater resilience will flow from an ability to rapidly form and dissolve global distributed teams from a mixture of permanent employees, contractors, gig workers, and partner organisations. The line between organisations will continue to blur in this lockdown age as multi-company teams spring up to meet the challenges of today. 

  1. Resilient workplace 

The recent acceleration of digital transformation was powered by the modern digital workplace. It will continue to be the backbone of change as we strive to design for disruption. But businesses must now achieve a seamless experience between the physical and virtual workplace as people return to the office in uncertain numbers. This will be about reimagining office spaces but more importantly about coaching and upskilling everyone to show up and provide their best in a digital hybrid workplace. 

How we can help  

Future Worx has been helping companies create resilient remote workplaces for 8 years. We drive people-centric digital workplace transformation with a proven methodology focused on business outcomes. Companies like Fujitsu are already implementing ambitious programmes of change.

Contact us today to book your Digital Workplace Resilience Assessment. Together we can design for disruption and empower your people to continuously respond to the unpredictable. 

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