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This article was written by Alex Sixt, an entrepreneur NEXT, who is supported by an assembly expert. If you want to take the next step in your company, we recommend you take a look at Assemble's Entrepreneur NEXT.
The way we work has changed faster than anyone could have imagined. If you read this from your home office and take a short coffee break from the seemingly constant stream of zoom calls, you'll already see a glimpse of the future of work.
Before COVID-19 spread worldwide, the workforce had begun to gradually change the way we work, but the global health crisis has accelerated this change significantly. In recent months, remote teams and virtual meetings have been the focus as companies find a better way to deal with the crisis and beyond.
What is the driving force behind the future of work? Before COVID-19, a transformation had already started to lead companies to a digital approach. The pandemic has accelerated this change and forced companies to find efficient ways to connect outside of the office, and most of these changes remain. Much of the workforce is likely to change significantly over the next few years, mainly due to some key current trends.
Here are four key points to keep in mind.
1. Remote control.
In our post-COVID world, remote working seems to be the norm for many companies around the world, but this will likely remain the case today. As useful and collaborative as physical offices may be, companies are finding that a remote workforce outside of the four walls they're traditionally used to can do just as well.
Employees can choose where they want to work. Eighty-three percent of employees who work remotely or on-site say that remote work would make them feel happier at work. When you need more evidence of how beneficial remote is, employee satisfaction also benefits productivity. A recent study found that workers are 13 percent more productive if they are happy in their work environment.
As collaborative technology advances, it becomes even easier to connect to work from almost anywhere in the world. With the help of video conferencing such as Zoom, which is commonplace, employees are more likely to choose a remote style of work whenever possible, rather than an office set up in the future.
Related: 4 essential features for large remote workers
2. The digital transformation.
It's no secret that technology plays a big role in the way we work, but its role is likely to become even more important in the future as it evolves. “The digital transformation” is here and many companies are working to develop ways to convert their workforce to a digital mindset. But don't panic yet – digital transformation is not about replacing employees with technology, but about digitizing the processes of how the workforce works.
The past has taught us that technology has an exceptional ability to redefine efficiency, e.g. For example, how switching from computers to laptops enabled employees to take their work with them wherever they went. The current digital transformation focuses on solving problems for teams and companies faster and faster. Technologies like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Drive continue to push the boundaries of rationalizing communications to reduce workplace friction. As the future of work continues to evolve into a remote environment, physical means of communication will become less popular and be replaced by more efficient systems that connect to the cloud.
Companies are increasingly realizing that the "old ways of working" of employees are not as effective as they could be. The introduction of collaborative technologies in the workplace will continue to determine the future of work and encourage more companies to try better ways of connecting internally and lay the foundation for an improved teleworking experience.
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3. Millennial acquisition.
They are technically savvy and ready to work in new ways. They are the millennials and the future of work is already heavily influenced by their transition to the workforce. Although there are different opinions about this generation, there is no doubt that millennials are already changing the tide of work. With the exit of the "Boomer" generation from the workforce, millennials are beginning to fill the management positions of former managers. Passing on the torch will create new styles of leadership where innovation and value creation are more important than perfection.
Millennials grew up in a time when technology was evolving rapidly and will bring with it a trend that will further advance the role of digital transformation in the future of work. They understand the importance of streamlining processes for their teams and the impact that technology has on increasing productivity.
Another value that millennials capture is the ability to work remotely and have a flexible schedule. Millennials were constantly busy, and smartphones increased job expectations. Gone are the days of signing out for the night – the technology has made employees accessible anywhere and anytime. This has made it so pleasant to work at favorable times that the balance of personal life is the millennial gold standard. As technology continues to capture every aspect of our lives, millennials are pushing for a work-life balance that leaves time to pull out and recharge. Flexible working may seem like a temporary situation, but when millennials begin to take on the workforce, it inevitably becomes the hallmark of the future of work.
Related: The millennial takeover: How the generation shakes up the workplace
4. Need for scalable workforce.
As the business landscape continues to change, the size of a company's workforce must also adapt. Scalable staff enables flexible adjustment as needed to reflect changes in the industry and the financial circumstances that businesses will face in the future.
Hiring a full-time employee is no longer an easy process. Benefits, 401Ks, and salaries are additional costs. The average cost per hiring is estimated at $ 4,000 due to administrative tasks, paperwork, and potential sales – all costs that can be easily resolved by hiring external talent. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that a flexible workforce is a reality that companies have to face to survive in a rapidly developing market – and they need the right resources to do so.
Fortunately, there are a variety of companies that offer flexible talent solutions as needed and do the whole process for you (read: you no longer have to worry about the details!). Some checkout services include Assemble, Upwork, and Fiverr; All of this provides expert work that you can easily hire to meet your short-term or recurring talent needs and better prepare for the future of work.
Related: 7 things to watch out for when hiring experts
While there is no precise way to predict the future, current trends within the workforce already provide incredible insight into how the future of work works and how it affects companies. Regardless of your industry, it is important that you keep an eye on the current trends in order to prepare your company for future success.
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