In September, I was privileged to chair a panel discussion for WORKTECH’21 APAC on ‘Navigating Uncertainty: The Future of Work’ alongside expert speakers Bert Bardoel, Real Estate Growth Leader, EY, Nicholas Martin, Head of Property and Security Services, AGL Energy and Sander Schutte, CEO, Mapiq.
It was a great chance to hear perspectives from across the region (and wider) on the future of work, encompassing the various aspects of our work environments: cultural aspects, physical work environments and technology enablers.
Here were my major takeaways:
1. Enhancing autonomy/self-steering will be a key aspect of talent retention going forward
Enhancing trust and encouraging autonomy will be an expectation of employees in the future. As such, the work culture and behaviours aspects of businesses will need to develop and evolve.
In fact, the lack of employee autonomy has been cited as a key reason for The Great Resignation trend experienced in 2021 by HRExecutive. Imposition of strict policies on working styles is expected to drive employees to seek autonomy elsewhere.
2. The real purpose of the office is being redefined
It has become clear that the true value of the office is to support collaboration and drive employee engagement. This suggests an opportunity to rationalise office space, although various considerations should not be ignored – suitability of home environments for employees, workstyle of the organisation etc.
Organisations can take this opportunity to review their own organisation’s office space needs, and design the workspace for the needs of its employees.
Our work with clients across the region has confirmed the changing needs of the workspace with employees confirming the office should support face-to-face collaboration and deliver a less structured work environment. This is a trend noted in industry publications, including a recent article on Singapore’s Business Times.
3. Home environments shouldn’t be ignored
A strategy around providing choice for employees to work where they want and ensuring the home environment is catered to the needs of employees as much as the office should be a key part of an organisation’s workplace strategy going forwards.
Support packs for equipment to enable home working will likely become the norm going forward to attract talent according to panelists Nicholas Martin and Bert Bardoel.
While the trend for organisations to finance home office environments is in its infancy, there are calls for the provision of budgets for employees to kit-out their homes at a wider scale.
4. Increasing investment in intentional tech
Spend is required on tools to suit the needs of the organisation and employees. This is a prerequisite to enhance efficiency and provide a seamless home/office working environment.
Organisation’s needs are diverse, there is no ‘one size fits all’. As such, each organisation will need to design their tech environment intentionally, with the ability to bridge the home and office environments successfully.
In our experience, clients show significantly more appetite to invest in both software and hardware which can support collaboration, enhance automation and enable better connectivity.
If you are keen to find out more about how you can transform your work organisation, let’s grab a coffee. Get in touch with me at email@example.com.