What is the future of work?

the same old thinking and disappointing results, closed loop or negative feedback mindset concept - a napkin doodle with a cup of coffee

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It’s clear that as the Irish economy reopens after COVID precautions that many organisations will be pursuing a hybrid future in which employees work from the office some days and at home on other days. 

While some managers may be inclined to let employees choose their schedule, CEO of TTI Success Insights Ireland Limited, Padraig Berry says this shouldn’t be the case, “if one is working for an organisation one has to recognise that the organisation has particular goals, objectives and Modus Operandi.” An example Padraig used is the concept of creative people working remotely. “It doesn’t really work,” he said.  He believes that in order for a team to promote spontaneity and creativity perhaps physical presence is essential in some organisations and contracts. 

Padraig Berry, CEO of TTI Success Insights Ireland Limited.

On the contrary, “Most organisations are recognising that in order to find, engage and retain talent, you have to play by the new rules and clearly the world has changed,” said Pádraig. “If you want smart, successful, and engaged people to contribute to an organisation you have to recognise that expectations have changed.”

What is the future of remote work?

One expectation that the pandemic has positively impacted the future of work is that people have and want to maintain more control over their work lives and their time. According to Pádraig, for young people today “time is more important to them than money.” Those who want to work in a way that suits them will require a blendend model, but how can the workplace be redesigned so that it creates optimum creativity?

For Pádraig and his business, giving people the option of working from home is a better economic model and people are much more productive. “We’ve had a new experience and new way of being and I don’t think we want to go back to the madness that was before.” Pádraig thinks remote flexitime and remote creativity sessions will be a thing of the future. We need to fit people to the roles, or as Pádraig put it “the right people in the right seats.”

He explains that in order to do that you have to know what the seat is, “define the key deliverables of a role, once you understand that, you then think, if that role could talk what would it say is required for superior performance? What’s the ideal environment for that person? Science.” 

Matching people to the right roles

Once we know what the role requires, Pádraig puts forward the questions: How do we design an engagement process? Why do we need to meet our boss?

“There needs to be a redesign, more understanding and reinterpretation of people’s roles and what the ideal environment is for that person and then design how we work with people in that context.” 

For Pádraig it’s not just a case of going back to the old way of working, it’s an opportunity. “Never waste a good crisis,” he said. 

He reaffirmed that if an organisations wants to attract, engage and retain talent they must play to the new rules and those new rules won’t just be about a little bit more money.

“The new rules will be about the way people work, the quality of their life, the amount of time they have, and the control they have over that time. We’re willing to sacrifice a bit of security for control over our lives,” he continued. 

Championing equality  

The question still remains, how can the new design of work create new equal opportunities for everyone involved? “Women are naturally disadvantaged and slowly but surely the world is waking up to the fact that we’re losing talent in women because we can’t design the workplace around them and around the realities of being a woman.

The same concept needs to apply to everyone, slowly realising that if we want talent we have to play by talent’s rules and that can be done by defining roles differently. That requires science to look at our team and see who is the best match, as opposed to the person we know best. We hire people who are like us and we hire people who we like; the same is for promotion and that has to go, that’s where science comes in.,” he concluded. 

What should your company do to succeed in the future workplace?

Aside from the pointers that Pádraig has mentioned above, here are other tips on surviving and thriving in the post-COVID workplace.

Re-evaluate the needs of employees

According to an article posted by the Maynooth University, entitled, 5 Tips to Adjust to the Post-Pandemic Office, both employees and managers should reflect on their needs and wants in respect to their employment. There should be an open dialogue between stakeholders and their employees on what could be done to adjust to the “new normal”, whether it be flexibility of working conditions, cutting down on meetings, etc.

Connect hybrid employees to culture

Connecting hybrid employees to the organisational culture is another recommendation that Gartner mentioned in their study, Organisational Culture and Connectedness in Crisis. According to them, with employee satisfaction down and turnover rates high after lockdown, it is important to invest not just in talent, but also culture.

 Find the right talent with the right strategy

Is it time to assess your hiring strategy as well? Perhaps you need to go back to the drawing board in terms of your recruitment plan. Make sure you are using the correct platforms and trusted websites, like Recruit Ireland. You may advertise jobs here on Recruit Ireland and find the right talent that would fit your requirements and company culture.


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