Future of Work - Embrace or be left behind!

Future of Work - Embrace or be left behind!

Fast forwarding to present day, work is no more a place where you go every day, but is rather something you do.

Sigmund Freud said happiness depends on our ability to love and work. For decades, "work" typically entailed a home-work-home concept, confined to the four walls of an office cubicle. Fast forwarding to present day, work is no more a place where you go every day, but is rather something you do. Work is something that moves with you and lets you connect and communicate through mobile workspaces. As long as you feel motivated, work can be accomplished from anywhere. With disruptive technologies like IoT leading the change, the new age workforce has broken free from the shackles of a 9 - 5 existence and moved to digital workspaces, thus changing the fundamental nature of work.

1. Moving beyond the cubicle

Modern-day professionals have become highly mobile, and workplaces too have moved in this direction; bidding farewell to the traditional office cubicle. The ability to access data and work applications on any personal handheld device ensures that not a minute of productivity is compromised. The concept of work from home, tele-commuting, remote working and outstation work has made in-house coordination and communication a much smoother and seamless process for the new-age employees. Additionally, a large number of organizations are now providing their employees flexibility in terms of policy changes with the advent of mobile technologies. Having said that, what remains constant is the importance of ensuring a secure infrastructure within which data is managed. While the approach to security may differ based on the scale and nature of the business, it remains the responsibility of the IT teams to ensure that the organizations' security posture remains intact.

2. Shifting business models

With most enterprises adopting disruptive technologies one by one, the shift towards newer operational paradigms is irrefutable. Considering the mammoth proportion of changes the industry is undergoing, organizations are struggling to rapidly adopt newer technologies and deliver productivity gains while simultaneously fighting a battle with the new disruptive competitors. The struggle to equip oneself and optimize results utilizing these advanced technologies is real and felt across. In a bid to accelerate their pace of growth, enterprises are transitioning towards a 'connect-and-collaborate' structure with the right policies in place to promote the right corporate culture. This structure allows people to work in tandem with machines and produce results that have combined capabilities. A progressive business structure like this allows organizations to strategize based on internal skills and capabilities and carve out the best possible outcome for business growth.

3. Digital Natives vs. Traditional stalwarts

The workplace today is more divided than it has ever been. Most mature organizations have employees spread across 5 generations with varying levels of dexterity when it comes to using and leveraging technology. In light of digitization becoming the new norm, enterprises are now moving towards integration of a multi-generational workforce. The younger workforce constitutes 'digital natives' who view work as an activity rather than a location. They are handy with the software and tools allotted to them and can work around them with ease. On the other hand, older employees who have been accustomed to traditional tools and have recently hopped onto the digital revolution bandwagon, will transition at a slower pace. Simplifying technology and delivering it in an easy to use format has been universally recognized as driver for greater adoption, productivity and widespread adoption.

4. Changing Mindsets

A huge step organizations have had to take in order to drive the success of the future of work and flexible workspaces, has been moving away from the current model of "management through supervision" to a result based model. This means more delegated decision making and empowerment opportunities for employees. In order to enforce this, leaders are working with their employees to bring in systems that ensure performance is being measured on the number of hours logged in and not on physical presence. In parallel, leaders are also equipping themselves to adapt HR strategies to create an environment conducive to smoother business operations, to attract, engage, and retain employees and tap into undiscovered talent pools. This shift is also meant to drive more opportunities for business growth.

By Makarand Joshi - Area Vice President & Country Head, India Subcontinent, Citrix