The way we work is changing, but there are still some constants.
The way in which we work is evolving. It’s a bold statement, but it’s one that we can’t deny. The past two years have fundamentally changed the way many of us view our personal wellbeing, and in turn, our relationships with work and the things that impact us.
So how does this impact the future of work for employee’s, business owners and those who lead these organisations? Well, simply put, it impacts in the biggest way possible.
Human capital is at the core of every business, if you’re employees aren’t happy, or are facing challenges that are impacting their performance, then it is natural to see negative flow on effects to the performance of the business, and ultimately, it’s bottom line. Therefore, if businesses fail to identify, evolve, and adapt to the current challenges facing them (and those they will soon face), they run the real risk of causing permanent detriment to the success of their organisations, and the health and wellbeing of those within.
According to the recent Our Future World report by the CSIRO, 62% of Australians reported experiencing stress in 2021, up from 47% in 2020 and those who experienced anxiety rose from 48% in 2020, to 57% in 2022. Compounding this, the number of Australians experiencing depression rose 12% in 2021. These figures suggest that the effect of a multi-year pandemic, coupled with global uncertainty, and the increased workloads of a world returning to normal is having a tangible, negative impact on our wellbeing.
So we’ve established that our wellbeing is suffering, but how will this impact the future of work?
It all comes back to human capital. Failing to provide and cater for a healthy workforce is no longer an option. Flexible working arrangements, better renumeration and boundaries when it comes to working hours are the new norm, and if organisations don’t subscribe to this, then it can be expected that their employees will find somewhere else that does. In 2021, Microsoft predicted that 41% of the global workforce was considering leaving their current employer, and 46% of these people made their decision due to the option of working remotely.
And don’t just expect flexible work to just mean working remotely. Across the world, there are multiple trials and pilot programs underway exploring the concept of the 4-day working week- that is working fewer hours, while still getting paid the same amount. The reasoning behind this is employees who are happier, healthier, and more fulfilled are more focused when they are at work, leading to increased productivity, which in turn, allows them to complete the same amount of work, in less time.
While in theory, these initiatives will help to reduce stress and anxiety, it will not eliminate them completely. This is why programs such as Corporate Wellness Coaching and those that teach employees how to manage stress and anxiety will be imperative in the future.
Equipping your employees with the tools needed to navigate change & uncertainty and avoid burnout & fatigue will ensure your human capital remains agile, healthy, and able to adapt to change. While providing leadership with the skills needed to foster a positive organisational culture, and the abilities needed to provide effective communication to employees, will ensure a workplace environment that’s conducive to productivity, and one were employees are encouraged to thrive.
All these factors lead back to the wellbeing of employees (human capital), through finding a healthy work/life balance, and equipping your workforce and leadership with the skills needed to tackle roadblocks, provide effective communication, and foster productive workplace environments, you are ensuring that you are best placed to tackle and take advantage of any challenges that lie ahead when it comes to the future of work.
The three pillars of communication, mental wellbeing & performance form the foundation for how your human capital experience, interact and achieve within your organisation. If these pillars are not nurtured and catered for, then your organisation runs the real risk of not being prepared and future proofed when it comes to what lies ahead for the future of work.
For more on the future of work, we encourage you to join us at Brain Hack 22: The Future of Work Symposium from 5:30pm on the 27th of October 2022. Bringing together Australia's most innovative CEOs, industry leaders, tech & HR experts for a stimulating discussion on the future of work, what it looks like, and what we must do to ensure we are best placed to tackle and take advantage of the challenges that lie ahead.
Tickets are strictly limited, to purchase yours, and to find out more, click on the button below.