The future of work is here and connection is priority #1

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Remote work is here to stay and demand is expected to grow for even more flexibility in the future, trend watchers say. Cross-pollinating connection, engagement and resilience will help your organization thrive as the nature of work evolves.

Rethinking assumptions about work and learning

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced “society to rethink many of our assumptions about how we work and learn, and our socioeconomic structures and systems,” according to a new report from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BII+E) at Ryerson University. 

The role of the office

A recent report by McKinsey & Company observes that the transition to remote work will involve deciding “the role of the office itself, which is the traditional center for creating culture and a sense of belonging,” including decisions on professional development. (“Is there such a thing as remote mentorship?” the authors ask, to which we at Pollinate reply a resounding yes!)

Reskilling and resilience

This dramatic shift in how and where we work, and the explosion of new technologies to support it, will call for rapid reskilling and a culture of lifelong learning to build resilience among workers. The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2020, cites the top skills that will required by 2025, including:

  • Complex problem-solving
  • Active learning and learning strategies
  • Leadership and social influence
  • Creativity, originality and initiative
  • Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility

Increasing flexibility

The trend to increasing flexibility will continue to escalate, shifting from “location to time,” writes Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice, in Harvard Business Review. “While enabling employees to work remotely became commonplace across 2020 (and will continue this year and beyond), the next wave of flexibility will be around when employees are expected to work…In 2021, I expect to see a rise of new jobs where employees will be measured by their output, as opposed to an agreed-upon set of hours.”

So how will employers address concerns about the impact of remote work on productivity, engagement, effectiveness, wellbeing and work culture?

Strategies for connection and learning

Strategies and tools to build and maintain connection and support learning among individuals and across organizations, networks and ecosystems will be essential – priority #1 – for success in the future of work.

“To address concerns about productivity and well-being, about one-third of all employers expect to also take steps to create a sense of community, connection and belonging among employees through digital tools, and to tackle the well-being challenges posed by the shift to remote work,” the World Economic Forum report states.

Mentorship is the glue

Mentorship is a proven strategy that glues an organization together, delivering higher engagement and retention rates while cross-pollinating knowledge and new skills across silos and management levels. (See 4 key benefits of mentoring here). 

Get more strategies to support employee wellbeing, build social connection, ensure productive meetings and keep things agile in the virtual workspace.

Want to explore how to cross-pollinate connection in your organization?

Let’s talk


Mentorship Guidebook for Leaders

Mentorship programs build networks in and across organizations, professions and industries to transfer knowledge, develop and retain talent, and improve workplace culture. Learn the 7 strategies that successful mentorship programs must include: Get Pollinate’s 7 Elements of an Effective Mentorship Program: A Guidebook for Leaders today.

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