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What’s Driving Ways of Working? The 8 Mega-Trends Transforming the Way We Work

There are 8 major trends causing a transformation in Ways of Working ranging from remote working to economic uncertainty. We explore their importance here.

It’s A Perfect Storm

It is the perfect storm with respect to Ways of Working.  While the topic has been brewing for almost a decade (see its evolution here), it has today grown into an unstoppable force.

There are 8 major trends causing a transformation in Ways of Working ranging from remote working to economic uncertainty.

Any one of these changes would have been significant of itself, but combine them all together and the result is a seismic shift in the way we work.

This has implications for how we are working, who we are working with, what we are working on and even where we are working from.

Most of the changes have both an upside and a downside.  However, it is likely to be some time before we fully understand the full implications and how to manage them.

Let’s explore the 8 trends in overview:

Remote Working

Remote Working has focused attention on ways of working like never before. There is growing management suspicion that people working from home are not as productive or engaged those working from the office. But is it true?

Resource Constraints

A tight labour market combined with ‘the Great Resignation’ has put the squeeze on talent. With so many projects and initiatives competing for resources leaders have started to focus on key priorities and to drive productivity & efficiency

Economic Uncertainty

The post-pandemic optimism was short-lived. There is growing global political and economic uncertainty.  The result is a new more cautious business agenda, that includes a drive for greater productivity, efficiency & cost-cutting.

The Networked Organization

In a tight labor market, the War on Talent has intensified. Many of the big names have mastered the hiring but struggle at aligning those they have hired or unlocking their full potential. Meanwhile, the focus has expanded to collective performance with an increasingly team-centric view of talent.

Of course, there is also a lot of hype with many buzzwords (e.g. Quiet Quitting). That makes it is essential to make Ways of Working actionable and real.

The War on Talent

In a tight labor market, the War on Talent has intensified. Many of the big names have mastered the hiring but struggle at aligning those they have hired or unlocking their full potential. Meanwhile, the focus has expanded to collective performance with an increasingly team-centric view of talent.

Generation Z

Many leaders are from a very different generation to the majority of the workforce.* This is especially true in respect of Generation Z whose expectations of work are seen as being very different**
*Millennials (born 1981-96) and Gen. Z (born after 1996) accounted for 59% of workforce in 2020 (OECD).

**Estimated to account for 27% of workforce by 2025.

Automation, AI, etc.

COVID has accelerated the use of AI, Automation & related technologies.  Estimates suggest the long-term impact could be the loss of 100 million jobs*.

*The Future of Work Report, McKinsey, Feb. 2020

Accelerating Change

Change isn’t easy. Big organizations are struggling to keep pace with an accelerating rate of change in respect of markets, channels, customers, technologies, etc.

Industry ‘giants’ risk being overtaken by faster & more nimble upstarts. CEOs want people to work with greater speed, agility & innovation but can cultural and structural change deliver this?

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