We know there’s lots of great thinking and work happening to create clarity and direction in all businesses around their Future of Work. We also know there are lots of questions and unknowns. So last week we brought together 5 CPOs leading the agenda for their companies to share what they’re up to and debate the big things on their mind.
Across businesses there is lots of agreement on keys areas like providing a destination and framework for different locations to navigate toward, using office space for creativity, connection and coaching, and using technology to be truly enabling and inclusive. There also emerged a number of common conundrums. Here are our 5 key takeaways from the debate:
1. Our evolving cultures will leave people behind…
We have all worked on culture change programs and we know how hard, yet rewarding they can be, but we have yet to address them in the context of the future of work and a ‘hybrid’ working model. What does that look like and how do we set up our leaders to role model for it, and more importantly, where we have a divided workforce between offices and the frontline, how do we make sure the cultural evolution benefits both?
2. Adult–to–adult: but to what extent?
With increased flexibility in the workplace comes an inflexible attitude, as people may struggle to balance domestic responsibilities and work. The parameters of wellbeing are shifting, and expectations are changing, but is employee wellbeing being left behind with increased productivity, and how do you manage the shift into the hybrid world?
3. Inclusivity – gains and watch-outs
The hybrid workplace creates more inclusivity for some (e.g., the woman in a wheelchair is suddenly on a totally level playing field), and is challenging in other areas, (e.g. people unable to be present in person have less of a voice).
4. One size does NOT fit all
The shift to a hybrid working model will require experimentation, both globally and locally. It’s about letting go of what you know and giving people room to experiment - but how do you foster a productive culture of experimentation in building the future of work?
5.What does effective leadership look like in a hybrid environment?
We have learnt how to manage teams in the office, and teams remotely, but what does hybrid management look like? How do you make this new workspace an inclusive, output-focussed environment for all layers of leadership within an organisation?
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