I remember a song from my youth by Roger Whittaker called ‘New World in the Morning’ which I sometimes sing to myself as a distraction to social distancing. It helps me think about what life will be like post-pandemic.
Most of us know that maybe the worst is yet to come, yet with my cup half full rather than half empty I’ve been wondering about the world of work in the future – as well as all those other things that occupy the mind at a time like this. With hindsight we can think about how things might and should have been done differently. There is a time and place for that conversation but it’s not now as I don’t think it helps the situation other than to avoid earlier mistakes. Fortunately it’s in the nature of the human spirit to look forward and not backwards.
I was lucky enough to be recently recognised as amongst the Top 50 Thought Leaders and Influencers on the Future of Work so I feel almost duty bound to offer my two-pennyworth. I’ll keep it brief.
- On leadership, I believe a new style of leadership will emerge which will be even better at coping with uncertainty. They will be less dependent on experience and more forward looking, agile in attitude and decisive in decision-making. It’s a style perfectly suited to the new age of data.
- Regarding working practices, our traditional understanding of the ‘workplace’ is likely to change. We will increasingly realise that the traditional workplace as we know it has mainly become a place of social interaction rather than productivity. This will also fundamentally alter how we view the concept of the work-life balance, with life becoming especially more important.
- The concept of business models, that is, the way that a business operates, (such as sources of revenue, intended customer base, products, and financing) will be reinvented, perhaps towards a way of working which is less linear in nature. It’s a way especially suited to a new age of AI
- The future will look increasingly digital. The most forward looking professionals are already improving their digital skills (through on-line courses) so that they are ready for the ‘upturn’ in fortunes. One of the default interview questions in the future will be ‘What did you do in the lockdown?’
It’s not going to be an easy ride for a little while but we have to believe that this is a temporary issue and not permanent. There is light at the end of the tunnel even if we’re not sure at the moment how long that tunnel actually is.
There will, I’m sure, be a ‘New World in the Morning’. Personally, I’m definately planning on being there!