Globalisation has seen a rise in the number of organisations that are no longer country-focused and are instead linking over much wider spaces. Where before organisational structures and working hours were limited to the country they operated in, now virtual teams are spread across the world. Larger organisations are gobbling up smaller ones for their expertise, while organisations of a similar size are merging to gain economies of scale and wider reach.
It naturally follows that teams are spread out across the globe and remote working is becoming increasingly prevalent. This brings challenges in terms of ensuring each team member, wherever they are and whenever they’re working, is connected, engaged and supported.
This rise in global teams means that remote working doesn’t necessarily mean working from home: rather that a leader could be New York with team members in London and Hong Kong. Employers must ensure that the culture of their organisations takes this into account with a clear remote working and wellbeing strategy to avoid always-on-call burnout situations
Even organisations that don’t operate internationally are increasingly recognising that insisting on all employees being present in one single location isn’t the most cost-effective or productive way of working. The savings on real-estate costs gained by flexible working are being channelled into infrastructure that allows remote employees to communicate effectively.
It’s increasingly becoming the norm for teams to work remotely for the majority of their working hours, coming together only for essential meetings with stakeholders and clients. These new teams – whether global or local – need to adapt to new ways of working, with a focus on digital technology for communicating, as well as the use of data for decision making.
Younger generations place increasing importance on culture in the workplace over pay and bonuses. Changing jobs frequently is no longer viewed as a negative and people will quickly move on if they don’t feel a cultural fit. Forward-thinking organisations recognise this and as a result there is more focus on creating a better working environment and innovative work practices, rather than offering company cars or subsidised gym memberships.
Although zero hours contracts get a bad press – deservedly, in many cases – there will continue to be an increase in their use. People want flexibility and agile working, and although these contracts may be negative for many people, those who want to work around commitments, or perhaps continue to work after retirement, find them convenient and beneficial.
The traditional retirement age is now redundant and people are living and working up to 20 or 30 years longer than before. This generation of ‘unretired’ people are increasingly seeking roles with no commitment but that allow them to but their experience to good use.
We are currently seeing a massive shift in the demographic of the working population. Baby boomers are retiring in their droves and being replaced by a generation who grew up with social media and smartphones and expect to use this technology within their workplace.
At the same time, the use of AI and robots are the replacing routine tasks. This area will continue to develop apace and whole sectors and roles will eventually be replaced by automation or the use of robots.
Is your business ready for the future?