The Future of Work Series – Blog One

You will be familiar with terms like ‘remote working’ or ‘hybrid working’ or ‘working from home’.  I think everyone is to some degree, after the various lockdowns, isolation periods and time spent away from the office. However, if we start to think about future work environments, it would be beneficial to have conversations about the way people work.


If anything, Covid-19 has introduced many employers and employees to the idea of flexible working from home. There are news articles popping up almost every other day now in which another business has decided to extend working from home or has implemented full-time remote working, where some businesses have decided to stick with office-based working.


So, what does the future of work look like?


In this two-part series, we will be looking at this from the perspective of business leaders and employees, the technology, and the customers – three crucial pillars for every business.

Is remote working here to stay?

To answer this question, it is simple – yes and no.


There are numerous surveys that have been conducted since the start of the pandemic, in which a vast majority of employees would like a mix of office-based and remote work in the future. In fact, a study from Adecco Group shows that 74% of 8,000 office-based worker surveyed would agree to this statement. But it isn’t just the employees – there are leaders who believe that their businesses will benefit from allowing increased flexibility.


By allowing your employees to work from home, businesses are able to save money and reduce operation costs across the business, as well as improve employee wellbeing by allowing for a more balanced work-to-home life ratio.


But remote working is only here to stay if business leaders and owners WANT it to. Thinking objectively there are pros and cons to both working in the office and working from home. The reality of the situation is deciding what is best for your company.


Let’s look at it this way: if you have most staff who would like to work remotely, then would you force them to come to into an office to work? The same applies for people who want to work in the office, but you want a more flexible work environment remotely. There is usually no win-win situation, rather it is about looking at how you can implement the best strategy for your business that aligns with your values, causing minimal disruption, whilst caring for the wellbeing of your employees.


This all starts by understanding the mindset of the future generation that will pave the way of working, as well as developing and to hone the skills that you will need to succeed for the future of work. And where else would you look for this advice than from the young leaders of the world going forward.

7 Hot Tips from Young Leaders on the Future of Work


Soft skills are more important than hard skills

Of course, having technical abilities and hard skills within specific job roles are important but soft skills are just as, or even more so, important. Building on soft skills such as leadership, creativity and communication can help to bring together individuals and empower employees to work at their full capability.

Soft skills are harder to learn, to measure and evaluate since they are similar to emotions and insights that allow people to “read” others. These are the character traits and interpersonal skills that have more to do with who people are, rather than what they know.

These skills are essential for creating a successful working environment where your employees can innovate and empower one another.


People management and team leadership is key for leaders

Following on from soft skills, young leaders find that having a strong people management and leadership skills is more important for leaders of businesses. Without a strong leader, companies are unable to define their goals and aim for their achievements.

A strong leader who can manage their employees will help to pave the path for success within a business, aligning business values and strategizing for the future. By having a good understanding of the people in your business, leaders can lead with the people in mind, taking in account not just the future of the business, but the future of everyone involved.


Mental wellbeing is more important than ever

The pandemic has opened the eyes of many to the severity of the mental health crisis that is occurring around the world, as well as highlighting areas of weakness in support for employee wellbeing. Research from the CIPD shows that mental health related issues is the most common cause for long-term sickness absence in the UK, with 37% of respondents saying that stress-related absence has increase in the last year.

Business owners need to ensure that when building a hybrid work model, employee wellbeing should be the top priority, ensuring that there is support for individual employee needs.


Higher education qualifications are becoming less crucial

Whilst higher education and degrees over valuable lifelong skills and expertise, these should not be seen as a necessity for all roles. Instead, the focus should shift more to what the individuals’ skills are rather than a title or a certification.

By providing individuals with a chance to prove their skills in the interview stage, without the prior knowledge to their full education, you can usually find the individual who meets your business requirements. Also, it is important to focus on individuals who are aligned with your business values and suitability amongst current employees.


Flexible working in fact is the future.

As stated earlier on, there are a wide range of studies that express employee opinions on working remotely and working in the office. However, the term ‘flexible working’ means enabling your employees to achieve a better work-life balance, allowing for flexible working hours and flexible workplace arrangements.

Back in March 2021, our director Andy Hughes hosted a lunch and learn which discussed the true meaning of flexible working, which you can find the presentation here.


The main three factors for flexible working are:


If you can provide that experience for your employees, whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you should be on the right track for a flexible work environment.


Managers should be equipped to handle their teams – wherever they may be

Whatever path a business takes in deciding on a flexible work environment, a hybrid one or a fully office based, it is important to have confidence in your managers that they will be able to lead their teams, no matter the circumstances.

Managing teams from the office and remotely are varied, in which managers need to adapt to leadership challenges to be able to adjust to their environment. The pandemic has given managers a chance to test out their new managerial skills with their remote working team, whilst testing the waters with new technology. But on top of that, managers should be taking regular steps to improve themselves, taking training whenever possible to better understand how to support their team moving forward.

By having strong leadership skills, being adaptable and support by fast-evolving technology, managers should be able to support their teams, wherever they work. If you are a manager handling a remote team, make sure to schedule daily check-ins, take advantage of the technology at your disposal, provide resources to support your team and remove obstacles: physical and emotional.


Drive for an inclusive environment and work ethic

By promoting and encouraging employees to take part in open conversations, business leaders can empower their teams to come up with innovative ideas and solutions that can boost your business forward in the future.

Alongside lifting morale and improving productivity within teams, this methodology helps to create strong relationships between employees and ensures that everyone is a priority, no one is left behind.

Looking ahead to a brighter future

By taking onboard the advice of the future young leaders of the world into a business model, people can lead their company successfully, whilst minimising the impact of the inevitable challenges that they face with any working environment. Some of the challenges that are regularly faced are inequality in the workplace, dips in productivity levels and cybersecurity issues. Hence why this is part one of our Future of Work series.


Next in our two-part series, we will be looking at the evolution of technology within the workplace, focusing on the options available to support future work environments and the best practices to follow to help your business thrive and be prepared for the future.


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