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Running a business, even without a pandemic, is a tremendously challenging task. When you add an additional layer of complexity, things start to get overwhelming. It’s easy to lose focus and spread yourself too thin. The pandemic has made us question the past and now, the future of work after covid-19.
In such times, it is important to pick a few aspects of your business and prepare for the future. A transformation is inevitable, but it is crucial that you grab the reins and guide your business to shape the future of work in a constructive direction. To do that, there are three key verticals to look after the work, the workforce, and the workplace.
Three Elements Key To The Future of Work
In order to survive and thrive in such uncertain times, it is important to strengthen the roots that hold up your business. That, undeniably, is a balancing act. Focusing too much on a single aspect and ignoring others can hurt your business. If you can find ways to balance the three basic Ws—the work, the workforce, and the workplace—you’ll be just fine.
Work: Articulating What Work Means
Your business should have a central value proposition that guides you in making decisions. The way to get at that proposition is simply to ask “How do we make money?” The answer will give you a value agenda. Of course, you can have tangential values that you uphold, but your decisions should be driven by the goal of improving your primary value agenda.
When you articulate your value agenda, you put into words what your work is. That’s helpful to keep in mind because the next challenge is: how can that work be done better? What investments do you need to make as a business to do better work?
Your organizational priorities should emerge from this mission of doing better work. Having this clarity will help you cut through the noise of norms and expectations, and create a unique work culture suited to your needs.
Workforce: Nurturing Your Talent
A basic question that organizations struggle with while hiring is: what are we looking for in a person? If you’ve articulated your value agenda, that’s easy to answer. All you need to figure out is “What kind of person would help us deliver on our value agenda?”
Once you establish a link between the kind of person you’re looking for and your company’s value proposition, you’ll never be confused about hiring. The next thing to focus on must be nurturing your talent. How do you get the most out of your employees? What kind of work culture can help facilitate better work?
Once you think clearly about the link between nurturing talent and your value agenda, a lot will start to make sense. Every policy you have for employees should come into question. You can build a unique work model for your employees that keeps them engaged and helps you achieve business goals.
Workplace: Re-imagining The Office
When people think of a workplace, they imagine a physical location. In a post-pandemic world, we need a much broader definition. A workplace is not just a specific physical space but also captures organizational norms and ways of working. Whether working from the office or home, a workplace is defined by what working for an organization feels like.
Before the pandemic, having a better workplace meant perhaps installing sleep pods or bean bags, but things have changed. Now, you need to reimagine how a workplace can be improved for remote work. That could mean strict boundaries when it comes to working hours or fun daily rituals that your team partakes in.
The nature of work, in general, is going through a transformative period. When emerging from this transformation, you can choose to unthinkingly practice outdated rituals, or reimagine what work looks and feels like for your company.
No matter which way you go, the key to the future of work is balancing the three Ws. If you manage to give equal priority to work, your workforce, and your workplace, you’ll have a stable company that serves as an anchor in the midst of uncertainty for you, your employees, and your customers.