The organization of the future is in the throes of being born. Not slowly and over time. Right now. Right in front of our eyes. Organizations are already getting to grips with the fact that going back is not an option they are willing to consider. The pandemic has brought the change to our doorsteps. Now, its not a matter of IF, it is a matter of WHEN. Organizations need to become agile and transform with the times.
“The future is upon us” has been the call to action for a long time now, and even though we have all heard this, most of us were not prepared to take it on when it actually arrived.
The world of work was impacted almost irreversibly, and is still evolving, at breakneck speed. It is having a knock-on effect on multiple facets of life. Home schooling, remote work, and even Netflix subscriptions (Netflix added 15 million subscribers in the first quarter of the year as people stayed home and looked to be entertained). Myriad factors that are pushing this shift into our lives include the pandemic and its related quarantines and social distancing norms, but also include corporate realization of office space cost savings, digital support structures that provide efficiency, flexibility and finally, output focus.
Many organizations are trying out new approaches:
- Some organizations have asked their employees to work from home.
- Others have decided to let 50% of the workforce come for 2 weeks to the office and work from home for the remaining 2 weeks, while the other 50% comes back for 2 weeks and works from home the other 2 weeks. So, at any one point in time there are only 50% of the total employees in office. This makes the requirement of a 100 people office space irrelevant and unnecessary.
- Cost savings aside, people seem to be taking the “WFH” (work from home) concept well and productivity has not suffered, as expected earlier.
- Some organizations have decided to make it a 4-day work week, which provides perspective, freedom, choices, lifestyle options and an enriched state for employees.
- Some have either laid off staff / sent them on unpaid leave / halved their paychecks
- Others have shifted focus (E.G. From a sit-down restaurant into a food delivery model)
- A local bank was looking at an 18-month digital transformation plan. When the pandemic hit, the transformation took a few weeks to go live.
Finally, work is moving out of the physical realm and into the realm of traction. Where the rubber meets the road. Implementation, applicability, sustainability, focus and relevance.
Output not input.
Productivity not presence.
Employees used to work 9-5. Today, they work anytime. Staff used to come to the office to work. Now they work from anywhere. People used company gear, now they use any gear. This is also helping in retirement planning. People worked a majority of the time and never got the chance to develop their hobbies, interests etc. The percentage of life spent in retirement is expected to see a substantial increase from 15% in 1962 to 25% in 2050. Planning, not just financially, but on time utilization and interest development, becomes key. A focus shift towards post-work-life.
The job market itself is seeing incredible shifts. Jobs and businesses that did not exist just 10 years ago are fast becoming the norm. Urban agriculturist, Augmented reality architects, 3D printing engineers and Avatar designers. Interestingly, 50% of jobs that exist today will not exist in 2030, and, 85% Of Jobs That Will Exist In 2030 Haven’t Been Invented Yet (Dell). Stark realities. Realities we need to embrace and start planning for. Amplified & accelerated efforts are required.
The shift is palpable. It is here. And, more importantly, it looks like its here to stay.
We are already getting used to the New normal. Are we better prepared for the Next normal?