Workplace 2.0: Reimagining offices in post-Covid world

Specifically, the chasm between traditional workplace norms and what is now expected from a post-pandemic work environment, is widening and giving rise to Workplace 2.0.
Workplace 2.0: Reimagining offices in post-Covid world
Representative Image

CHENNAI: As we enter an era where new and dynamic workplaces are emerging, the future of work is being reimagined. Specifically, the chasm between traditional workplace norms and what is now expected from a post-pandemic work environment, is widening and giving rise to Workplace 2.0.

Three factors are at the heart of this shift:

„■ Expanding and evolving work models: Unlike the previous workplaces, enterprises—big and small—are developing their work models based on their nature of work and the feedback from employees.

„■ The Great Reshuffle (TGR): Originally coined ‘The Great Resignation,’ this employee exodus morphed into a nuanced learning opportunity. Instead of people management practices and polices being mere boxes to be ticked, companies worldwide are recalibrating their HR initiatives to be more purposeful and value-driven.

„■ The voice of the global workforce is louder and clearer: As TGR took the world by storm, employees everywhere took to social media and called out toxic and unfair workplace practices. This social media exposé also helped shift the needle in the formulation of a new way of work.

What is Workplace 2.0?

This evolved version of the workplace synthesises a people-first approach to talent management and optimised, contextual technology integration. It aims to encapsulate and better facilitate all the human elements of HR while also creating a level playing field through the application and usage of powerful tools and platforms.

The path to the future

While some companies are already on track, many others are navigating through this new workplace model for the first time. In the medium to long term, Workplace 2.0 will exemplify the following:

„■ Privacy first: As companies embrace digital and cloud technology, they will also be privacy-conscious—not just towards their clients but also their employees, with respect to their personal information. Privacy is a growing concern for people as ‘digital’; becomes synonymous with; normalcy.;

„■ Non-intrusive tools and technologies: A recent report indicates that demand for employee surveillance software increased 59% since the pandemic. If you look at the core reason for this demand, it stems from a lack of trust. Companies need to create a bond with their workforce so that they don’t need to have live feeds or any spying tools to track what their employees are doing. Instead, tools like project and task management software can be used for longterm or critical projects.

„■ Flexibility and autonomy: As the workforce partially heads back to the office according to their company’s flexible workplace policies, the debate between flexibility and autonomy is still evolving. While some believe employees should be told where and how they work, others believe that they should be allowed to decide for themselves. However, employees are increasingly demanding flexibility and autonomy from their organisation. A recent report states: “Increased autonomy will positively impact their sense of belonging, motivation, productivity, trust, work-life balance, and mental well-being. Decreased, it’ll begin to erode these foundational pillars of organisational culture and success.”;

„■ Human connection backed by the power of technology: Relationships at the workplace are the cornerstone of a meaningful work environment, personally and professionally. However, in an environment where some teams work from home, others come to the office on different days, and the rest have flexible hours, its powerful digital platforms with centralised, accessible features that tie it all together.

Organisations must make these technological resources available if they expect to enhance authentic connection among their workforce.

These are just a few key trends that will become the fabric for future work models. How prepared are you and your company to weave this into your own organisational structure? Are you ready for Workplace 2.0?

By RAJENDRAN DANDAPANI

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