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Future of work research findings predict a hybrid future

Kristine Dahl Steidel, Vice President, EUC EMEA at VMware, joined Aubrey Masango on his popular South African talk show on 702 Radio, to talk about the Future of work. 

Their conversation deep dived into the emerging trends that we’re seeing unfold globally as far as the world of work. Different countries naturally face various socio-economic problems, and the pandemic has highlighted this disparity, with organisations have found themselves forced to work remotely overnight. 

Technology has been a critical part in enabling businesses to survive this pandemic. The rise, intensity, and role it has played in our lives have allowed new careers and decisions to take fruit due to this. VMware has helped organisations deliver better experiences to their customers and their employees by providing them with software across app mobilisation, cloud computing, and digital workspaces. 

The national lockdowns across the world illustrated that remote work could be successful. There is currently widespread experimentation of a more hybrid model, enabling new flexible opportunities for employees as the one-size-fits-all falls away.

Developers who would have previously built office spaces are now going to have to reinvent themselves, and those who provide goods and services such as computers, desks, and so on are in high demand. Industries that have not typically seen work from home have begun to deliver services from home. Clinics, healthcare services and doctors who are usually in a hospital have disbanded and become remote where it was unthinkable and impractical before, and with success at that. 

The technological experience is really at the core of everything we do now. The connection between the employee and the organisation and the customer and the employee is a vital lifeline. It enables every single one of our interactions through an accelerated digital transformation. 

Every organisation should be introspecting how they should be using this technology to best leverage and accelerate their business.

Blind spots that we’re missing

Having face to face interactions as a counterpart to remote work is a delicate balance to achieve. We are becoming increasingly hungry for human interactions, and a hybrid model is the anticipated model of the future. You are at the office, on the move, and at home – connected from wherever you are.

Not everyone is best suited to work from home. We have seen countless people struggle with feeling detached from their colleagues and boss, mental health issues have arisen, and running a household with children has been a great new challenge. 

There has been a call to revaluate the business model to better accommodate the business and its teams. Experimenting with more noble office hubs instead of commuting into the office in the city may be an option in the future. We are all different as individuals, and not every job is suited to be entirely remote going forward sustainably over the longer term.

Recently, VMware commissioned analyst company, Vanson Bourne to assess people across 20 countries in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Decision makers, IT teams, and employees were evaluated to gain a greater understanding of their experience of COVID and better understand the way forward.

It was found that a fundamental change in leadership models is needed because, for too long, managers have trusted inputs seen in the office as opposed to their output. Working with freedom is now required, and productivity is measured entirely differently, with less emphasis put on the time spent on a task and more on the quality of the result, engagement, value. A distinct mindset change that penetrates the entire business is called for.

The task master needs to manage inputs in a more collaborative style 

Fostering and sustaining innovation in the organisational structure is critical to maintaining a sense of efficiency with employees. This continual learning should come from within each person as to a certain degree, being more collaborative cannot be transferred with skills but is instead a choice. Team members are now going to need to live by their company’s internal values instead of just being an intangible slogan.

Leveraging face to face as opposed to work from home is a decision that is to change and evolve ongoingly. Employees will be judged on being self-starters as opposed to the closely monitored helicopter vision they experienced in the past. Because we are now able to attract talent from across the globe with remote working, the criteria for potential workers have altered to contain good communication and collaboration abilities and the ability to utilise the various resources and competencies available.

The future of work is sure to be very interesting, and look nothing like we can imagine. What’s more, it is certain to be one driven by technology and software that makes it all happen.

Listen to the full interview here:


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