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Discover The Future of Work

Calling all innovators, culture creators, tastemakers, and game changers! We are in the midst of a fundamental change in how work is done. Thanks to meaningful advancements in technology and the pressures of a global health pandemic, we are living the newest evolution of work – remote work at scale.

Many leaders are struggling to come to terms with the shift to remote work, adopt the flexibility required to meet employee expectations, and manage rampant attrition. One of the reasons remote work has been so challenging for many organizations over the past 18 months is due to an ailing employee-employer relationship.

Work is only one of many, many facets of an average team member’s life. When the daily grind was put on hold for many office workers last year, people had the time, space, and perspective to evaluate how their professional choices contributed – or not – to their own value systems. People started to see their lives were fitting around work instead of work fitting into their lives. There has been a shift in the power dynamic with employees and candidates have unprecedented access to

  1. information ABOUT WORK (commensurate compensation, competitors, environments, practices, bargaining rights, ownership models, distribution of profit and wealth, and the impact of those investment decisions) and
  2. alternatives TO WORK (from competitors, downshifting careers, entrepreneurship and self-employment, and much needed vocations).

Organizations that put in the work to get it right and become fit for the future of Remotopia as an essential place where the future of work happens will thrive. Those that don’t will continue to struggle to attract and keep top talent.

To date, however, Remotopia has been long on “remote” and short on “utopia.” To find success in this moment, leaders must build in remote work’s missing pieces of autonomy and flexibility by taking a personalized approach to work location strategy. One size does not fit all. Take the time to think through what your business needs.

Spoiler Alert: The short answer is your business needs dedicated, energized, and inspired employees.

Our Guide to Modernizing Talent Management in the Hybrid-Work Era sets out the guidelines for what leaders need in order to introduce a bit of utopia to their remote workforce. As organizations shift into more flexible work structures, short-, near-, and long-term success depend on adequate investment across planning, preparation, and execution of hybrid work. This is the time for organizations to revamp talent management from job design through to exit interview.

A major piece of the modernization effort detailed in this guide centers on developing role-specific work location strategies using our Heads-Down/Heads-Up work model. We understand the office to serve three purposes:

  • A place where employees complete Heads-Down work that requires focus and time alone to complete. Think of activities like research, analysis, planning, individual training and development, and emails.
  • A place where employees complete Heads-Up work that requires collaboration and time together to complete. Think of activities like knowledge sharing, networking, ideation, and problem solving.
  • A lab, studio, or showroom where employees complete research and development and showcase capabilities to vendors, clients, and partners.

Successful flexible work structures will be customized, best-fit arrangements. To achieve this, work redesign teams will need to invite employee input and guidance, then look at work based on activities instead of functional groupings. Using our Heads-Up/Heads-Down work model, teams can estimate how much of a given role’s time and responsibilities are spent on activities that are currently best facilitated in-office or remotely.

This moment is about so much more than learning about best practices and seeing what other organizations are doing. This isn’t the time to “lift and shift” a market leader’s work location strategy or approach to hybrid work. Success depends on doing the hard work of talent management now: implement the disciplines and exercises that will help you develop a coherent, cohesive, and functional return to work strategy.