The future of business is changing, are you?
We live in a time where huge upheaval in how and where we do our work has impacted us globally. How we do business is changing, both from a desire to reimagine work and through necessity. Consider this excerpt from World Economic Forum:
“Faced with the consequences of the global pandemic, we have a rare, but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine and reset our world. From reimagining cities for greater resilience and sustainability to preparing organizations for new digital business models, innovators across sectors are demonstrating to the world that there are successful alternatives. They are pioneering the changes we need to scale up and adopt across industries and markets if we want to transform our world for the better.”
Change is often a dirty word for humans. By nature, we like the familiar and to stick with routines. However, this is not about change for change’s sake, but about adapting to an ever-evolving world.
Is it time to think outside the cubicle?
Where you work
Many businesses were forced to learn quickly how to manage remote work during pandemic shutdowns. You might think that everyone would be rushing to get back to how things were, but surveys have found that’s not the case.
Around 80% of companies say they’re planning on allowing employees to continue working remotely, at least part of the time. A majority of CEOs have expressed the view that remote work is here to stay.
It’s not that working remotely was new, however many companies were much slower than others to take it up. “Traditional” views were that people need to be “seen” for the workplace to be productive or that the work just “can’t” be done remotely. In a sense, the pandemic gave many companies the opportunity to form the opposite view – they got to see first-hand that not only could the work be done, but often people were more productive doing remote work.
Among many reasons cited for this are that remote work helps to eliminate (or mitigate) workplace distractions, employees feel more productive (and therefore are) when they have flexibility in their work arrangements, and remote workers take less sick leave. Events such as illness or sick kids that may have led to them taking a day off from the office are less likely to lead to a day off working from home.
It’s a great opportunity to consider; do you really need all of that office space? What could be the benefits of either reducing office space or letting it go altogether? Does it affect your overall service much?
Who you work with
While more than 50% of hiring managers plan to hire more people in 2021, around 93% of companies report challenges with finding qualified talent. This means that competition for talent, both here in the US and globally, remains stiff.
Could this be another opportunity to look outside the box? Studies report that up to 65% of workers would prefer to remain remote post-pandemic, while 31% would prefer a hybrid, part-office, part-remote schedule. For 27% of workers, the ability to work remotely is so important that they’d be willing to take a 10% to 20% pay cut to be in a remote role.
Allowing remote work could also open your company up for more potential talent. You can attract “hidden” talent that wouldn’t have looked at your openings before, perhaps because they have reasons to require remote work.
Remote work also opens up geographic possibilities. If you live in a metro area where competition is tight for talent, or if you live in a small area where it’s difficult to find qualified people, why not look elsewhere? If it’s not a requirement for people to come into the office, they could be working from anywhere with the right technology stack in place.
As a bonus, one of the big reported benefits of either remote or hybrid work is that people tend to stick around. Key talent is retained as people appreciate better flexibility and work/life balance.
How you do work
Technological transformation has been a key factor in workplaces over the last few years. Digital business models are likely here to stay, even in some sectors where it may have seemed unlikely before.
Let’s take an industry where the typical perception tends to be that processes are manual and that customers should expect to wait a long time for callouts – construction. In fact, construction has been undergoing huge digital transformation. Drones can scope sites for assessment, take pictures and automatically send them to those who need them. During the pandemic, many businesses conducted customer meetings, walk-throughs, or consultations remotely, using video messaging technology. A benefit reported by customers was that they didn’t have to wait as long – when people don’t have to physically drive all over town to make appointments, they can fit more in.
In your own industry, technology-driven transformation is happening. During the pandemic, those that were agile and adaptable have tended to enjoy better outcomes. For example, we’ve seen traditional “brick-and-mortar” stores keep the doors open by pivoting to online ordering and curbside pickup. We’ve seen law firms, accountants and other services keep going by consulting with clients remotely. You don’t have to be a traditionally “tech-forward” business in order to innovate and move with the times.
According to a McKinsey survey, since the beginning of the pandemic, 85% of businesses have accelerated the implementation of technologies that digitally enable employee interaction and collaboration. At least half of those have also digitized customer channels, allowing them to keep up vital engagement.
Automation has also played an increasing role. Nearly half of executives reported moderate acceleration of automation, while 20% reported significantly increased automation. These can be relatively simple software solutions that automate repetitive tasks that happen in your business – automation doesn’t always mean robots and AI! Most businesses can find a place to start within the everyday tasks they perform.
Are there steps your business could take to adapt to changes? It’s okay to try something new. Large numbers of businesses are making investments in the future of work, today.
Businesses are quickly working out that remaining competitive in this new business and economic environment may require new strategies and practices. You still want to attract top talent, and you still want to reach customers wherever they are.
At Designed.co, we’ve embraced new ways of working “where talent meets tech.” This allows us to provide quality design clients’ expect, with more controls and oversight than they would’ve had with an in-house design team. It’s just one way to “think outside of the cubicle”, want to learn more, give us a shout today!