Changes in machine learning and advances in automation have already changed work for many industries. Still, the COVID-19 pandemic and recent labor shortages forced many brands to rethink what the future of work will look like going forward.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported a dropping unemployment rate of 4.2% during the fourth quarter of 2021. Job seekers found work, and businesses found employees, showing a slight improvement in the labor shortage and lack of available positions to meet people’s needs.
Much of the change may be due to highly skilled employees demanding changes. Businesses also realize people’s valid concerns with exposure to illness and the benefits of a remote workforce. What will the future of work look like for most companies?
1. Automating Workflows
Better connectivity and database management improvements mean experts can successfully work from anywhere. Employers can also hire people from anywhere, finding those most qualified for the position without geographic limitations.
Researchers predict global automation will become a $6.23 billion sector by the end of 2022. Imagine a scientist inputting data and going out to other countries without them doing anything in addition. Such work can be done from absolutely anywhere, including a private lab in the mountains.
2. Managing Leadership Expectations
Ensuring that leadership is accountable increases customer and employee satisfaction and involves upper management in the process. Many old-school executives feel work should be done in a static office environment. However, the younger generation thrives on the freedom to roam and embraces an opportunity to cut down on carbon emissions by not commuting every day.
The future of work will likely take place remotely for many, but the biggest hurdle to the change is getting managers to agree to staff members working from home. It’s also vital for leaders to understand the need for remote technology that keeps everyone in the loop, such as a cloud-based system.
3. Improving Productivity
For leaders who are still reluctant to allow work-from-home options, consider the higher productivity levels reported by remote workers. Around 77% of remote workers said they’re much more productive because they can start when they want to and not get as tired in the afternoon.
Instead of tethering staff members to an office and a desk inside, think outside the box and allow a bit more freedom and creativity.
4. Choosing Hybrid Solutions
As more variants of the virus emerge, many companies push back a total return to the office in exchange for a hybrid approach. With a hybrid model, workers might meet once or twice a week and work from home the other days. Understandably, office space needs are decreasing, with commercial leasing demand now 25% lower than before the pandemic.
Companies can save on costly utilities and rent by allowing work from home. Even if you hold regular staff meetings, you can vary which departments meet or host Zoom calls.
5. Keeping Staff
A hybrid model also keeps skilled workers happy with their employment arrangement. Millennials are clamoring for the freedom to work from home where they have fewer distractions and can save money and time on commuting, fancy clothes, and lunches out.
About 75% of those currently working as remote or hybrid staff state they’ll seek other employment if companies insist they return to the office full-time.
In a competitive employment environment, adding a perk of hybrid work allows smaller companies to seek top employees and retain their workers. Hybrid offers both the social aspects of going into the office and the convenience of remote work.
Where Will the Future Take Businesses?
Technology and societal changes bring a massive shift in how and where people work. Now that employees have gotten a taste of working remotely, don’t expect them to give up the perk. Companies also can see that remote work is possible and staff become even more productive. Most companies will turn to a hybrid model, with some going fully remote in the future.