9 Future of Work Trends Post-COVID-19

9 Future of Work Trends Post-COVID-19

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1. Increase in remote working

A recent Gartner poll showed that 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19 versus 30% before the pandemic.  As organizations shift to more remote work operations, explore the critical competencies employees will need to collaborate digitally, and be prepared to adjust 

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1. Increase in remote working

employee experience strategies. Consider whether and how to shift performance goal-setting and employee evaluations for a remote context.

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2. Expanded data collection

Gartner analysis shows that 16% of employers are using technologies more frequently to monitor their employees through methods such as virtual clocking in and out, tracking work computer usage, and monitoring employee emails or internal communications/chat.  While some companies track productivity, others monitor 

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2. Expanded data collection

employee engagement and well-being to better understand employee experience. Even before the pandemic, organizations were increasingly using nontraditional employee monitoring tools, but that HR trend will be accelerated by new monitoring of remote workers and the collection of employee health and safety data. 

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2. Expanded data collection

Make sure to follow best practices to ensure responsible use of employee information and analytics.

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3. Contingent worker expansion

Gartner analysis shows that organizations will continue to expand their use of contingent workers to maintain more flexibility in workforce management post-COVID-19, and will consider introducing other job models they have seen during the pandemic, such as talent sharing and 80% pay for 80% work.

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4. Expanded employer role as social safety net

The pandemic has increased the trend of employers playing an expanded role in their employees’ financial, physical and mental well-being.  Support includes enhanced sick leave, financial assistance, adjusted hours of operation and child care provisions. Some organizations supported the community by, for instance, shifting operations to  

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4. Expanded employer role as social safety net

manufacturing goods or providing services to help combat the pandemic and offering community relief funds and free community services.

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5. Separation of critical skills and roles

To build the workforce you’ll need post-pandemic, focus less on roles — which group unrelated skills — than on the skills needed to drive the organization’s competitive advantage and the workflows that fuel that advantage.  Encourage employees to develop critical skills that potentially open up multiple opportunities for their career 

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5. Separation of critical skills and roles

development, rather than preparing for a specific next role. Offer greater career development support to employees in critical roles who lack critical skills.

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6. (De-)Humanization of employees

While some organizations have recognized the humanitarian crisis of the pandemic and prioritized the well-being of employees as people over employees as workers, others have pushed employees to work in conditions that are high risk with little support — treating them as workers first and people second.

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6. (De-)Humanization of employees

Be deliberate in which approach you take and be mindful of the effects on employee experience, which will be long-lasting.   Address inequities if remote and on-site employees have been treated differently. Engage task workers in team culture and create a culture of inclusiveness.

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7. Emergence of new top-tier employers

Prior to COVID-19, organizations were already facing increased employee demands for transparency.  Employees and prospective candidates will judge organizations by the way in which they treated employees during the pandemic.  Balance the decisions made today to resolve immediate 

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7. Emergence of new top-tier employers

concerns during the pandemic with the long-term impact on the employment brand. Progressive organizations communicate openly and frequently to show how they are supporting employees despite the implementation of cost-saving measures. Where feasible, look for opportunities to arrange talent-sharing partnerships with other 

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8. Transition from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience

A 2019 Gartner organization design survey found that 55% of organizational redesigns were focused on streamlining roles, supply chains and workflows to increase efficiency.  While this approach captured efficiencies, it also created fragilities, as systems have no flexibility to respond to disruptions. Resilient 

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8. Transition from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience

organizations were better able to respond — correct course quickly with change. To build a more responsive organization, design roles and structures around outcomes to increase agility and flexibility and formalize how processes can flex.  Also, provide employees with varied, adaptive and flexible 

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8. Transition from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience

roles so they acquire cross-functional knowledge and training.

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9. Increase in organization complexity

After the global financial crisis, global M&A activity accelerated, and many companies were nationalized to avoid failure. As the pandemic subsides, there will be a similar acceleration of M&A and nationalization of companies.  Companies will focus on expanding their geographic diversification and investment in secondary markets to 

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9. Increase in organization complexity

mitigate and manage risk in times of disruption. This rise in complexity of size and organizational management will create challenges for leaders as operating models evolve. Enable business units to customize performance management, because what one part of the enterprise needs might not work elsewhere.

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9. Increase in organization complexity

As organizational complexity complicates career pathing, providing reskilling and career development support — for example, by developing resources and building out platforms to provide visibility into internal positions.

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