Beyond Now. How will work look in the future?

Nine Feet Tall have produced a guide to the Future of Work with input from top businesses such as Royal Mail, The White Company, Danone and Nationwide. We explore the issues they have faced and consider new working practices which could be adopted for the future. To download your free copy of the guide click here.

Through these conversations, we learnt that technology was no longer the main concern. Companies are now more focused on the human implications of remote working. We heard recurrent considerations around presenteeism, isolation and division. Conversely, we also heard positive tales of collaboration, better work/life balance and a welcome end to the daily commute. Here is an extract from the guide, exploring how even conversations at the photocopier were part of an organisation’s decision making fabric:

Informal Work Positively Affects The Bottom Line

In organisational psychology, the value of ‘informal’ work, as opposed to ‘formal work’, has long been recognised and is at risk of being ignored in the move to virtual ways of working. Informal work such as chats in the corridor, stopping by someone’s desk, vaping together, having a cup of tea, drinks after work, create productive relationships and much ‘work’ happens either in them – or as a result of them. These informal work structures are as essential as formal work structures, such as meetings, official correspondence, performance reviews. These methods aren’t the only way people get things done.

100% remote working doesn’t support informal work at all well. Instead, the online substitutes (private WhatsApp groups or quick social catch up calls) can verge on the cliquey. Informal work relies on and fosters our sense of each other as real people who matter. It happens when we are ‘off-duty’ and at our most unguarded. If companies fail to understand the value of this interaction, in the longer-term they will lose competitiveness. Keeping employees in touch with each other – is the mirror of keeping the company in touch with its customers. A single-minded drive towards efficient remote-working can not only damage employee’s sense of connectedness within the company; but eventually will be reflected in the bottom-line – as the company loses contact with customers’ needs and the ways to communicate these throughout the company.

Understanding the full implications of a move to remote working is essential for future success. In order to learn more about the Future of Work and considerations which might affect your organisation, download your free guide here.

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