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Moving forward with Confidence – The Future of Work

Moving forward with Confidence – The Future of Work

 30th June 2021

To help ease some of that anxiety we will be exploring The Future of Work for organisations, leaders and employees and we hope to give you the knowledge and support to move forward with confidence.

Is how we work changing? Are we inventing a new normal? Is it good that we are evolving? How does this affect me? Do these questions sound familiar? You are not alone in wondering what the post pandemic world of work will look like or even how we are going to fit within it. The pandemic created a world where we must adapt and transform to survive both personally and professionally. We went from in person face to face workdays to a virtual digital world overnight and to be honest, I think everyone is feeling a little apprehensive as to what will come next.

To help ease some of that anxiety we will be exploring The Future of Work for organisations, leaders and employees and we hope to give you the knowledge and support to move forward with confidence.

Resilience

Resilience or “being resilient” is something we have all heard a lot about lately but what does it really mean? It is defined as person or organisation who can withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations. Resilient people have high levels of self-awareness and self-control and use this to adapt to situations and people around them. According to Flint-Taylor and Cooper there are 4 characteristics of resilient people which include confidence, seeking social support, adaptability, and purposefulness. By strengthening these in our personal and professional lives we can develop our resilience. Being resilient is also understanding that life is full of challenges and we cannot control everything. We can however remain open, flexible, and willing to adapt to change therefore making our improving our mental and physical wellbeing, as Stephen Covey said, “There are three constants in life…change, choice and principles.”

It Is fair to say that resilience has played a big part over the past 18 months and we will need to call on our resilient nature moving forward. It has pushed us to be more creative with how we work and live, creating an agile/flexible work setting and making us more aware of our own wellbeing.  Employees and leaders have shown that they can be flexible in their approach to work, that people can be trusted to get on and be great at their job, and that everyone can adapt to new and different methods of communication.

Resilient organisations have also risen to the challenges that they have faced. In a recent survey carried out by Deloitte they identified that there are 5 areas which will enable a resilient organisation: Prepared, Adaptable, Collaborative, Trustworthy and Responsible. They  identified that 54% of companies surveyed agreed that Flexibility/Adaptability were crucial in a workforce moving forward (Deloitte Resilience Survey 2021).

Health is Wealth

Now that we are looking to the future organisations, leaders and employees can take lessons learned from the last 15 months and use them to become stronger. Having a happy and healthy workforce is key to maintaining a successful business,  we can spend 40+ hours a week doing our jobs so if an organisation looks after their workforce then it will pay dividends  in  productivity, outputs, better relationships and collaboration. By having a wellbeing strategy this will ensure your employees health and happiness will contribute to making your business thrive. Companies that fail to do this generally see a higher staff turnover, low productivity and it are often unattractive to potential new employees. Evidence suggests that employees value happiness, career progression and job satisfaction over salary (westfieldhelath.co.uk). By implementing a wellbeing strategy, you are making sure you are doing the best by your employees.

In a year where chaos reigned free, work was the place that gave many people refuge, stability in their day, security, and purpose. I know that this was not the case for those who either lost their jobs or who were on furlough, but for those lucky few who were able to continue to work, work this provided focus. This new way of working and being agile means “bringing people, processes, connectivity and technology, time and place together to find the most appropriate and effective way of working to carry out a particular task. It is working within guidelines (of the task) but without boundaries (of how you achieve it).” (employeebenefits.co.uk).

Working from home or working from the office?

The pandemic has brought about a lot of change and one of the biggest is in how we work. The terms ‘agile working’, ‘remote working’, ‘flexible working’ and ‘hybrid working’ have be used a lot in the workplace recently and there are many positives to these approaches. Having agile and flexible working enables you to balance work and home life so you can take time for childcare, walking the dog, receiving that 10th delivery parcel of the day, or putting that extra load of washing in. However, it is also important to note that for some it can also cause isolation, anxiety and work relationships can be strained. It is recognised that you can also find it difficult to separate home and work life and over working has also been a feature during this time. Between August and December 2020 employee burnout rose by 4% which is all-time high. The top three reasons for feeling burnout were feeling disconnected from colleagues (41%), overwhelming workload (38%) and conflict between home and work demands (31%) (Glint: Employee Wellbeing Report February 2021).

From September to December 2020 global employee happiness fell by 65%, now this is not hard to figure out why this happened as the pandemic was still happening and the world was in the second wave of the virus. However, the study also found that the when compared with December 2019 the yearly comparison of employee happiness rose by 5.4% (Glint: Employee Wellbeing Report February 2021).

Going forward employers expect 75% of their workforce to be at their normal place of work, and most employees expect to be going back their ‘normal’ way of working over the next few months. However, of those current employees working from home 85% of them expect to adopt a more agile working style going forward and employers site “improved health and wellbeing” for intending to use more homeworking in their business models (Office For National Statistic – Attitudes to homeworking: April to May 2021).

Summary

The future of work is evolving  but as we work towards the end of the year and coming out of restrictions Leading Well is here to support you with you organisational, leadership and employee’s needs, to help provide a safe and inclusive work culture in order for your business to thrive.

Leading well’s service offers:

If you are feeling anxious or indeed excited about the future of work and want to develop your wellbeing strategy, then please get in touch and we can help you move forward with confidence.

Contact us for more information