Most business leaders are preparing for the Future of Work now, but some are coming against roadblocks, which is halting business progress. To prepare for these potential roadblocks in your workplace, you first need to know where they come from.
The first roadblock to the Future of Work is employees and leaders who are stuck in the past. When asked “Why do you do it this way?” they answer “Because that’s how we’ve always done it.” When encouraged to try something new, they refuse. They are old school in how they approach work. These employees are focused on traditional or habitual thinking and reject change.
The Future of Work, on the other hand, requires forward-thinking. Those pursuing the Future of Work recognize what history and tradition teach us about our futures, but they don’t stop there. They embrace the present and anticipate the future, always looking for ways to improve processes and their mindset concerning work.
Lack of Transferable Skills
In our modern workplace, a growing number of employees (about 40% of Millennials, specifically) change jobs every few years, and employers expect this. Because of this, companies focus on hiring for the short-term, which means fewer companies provide training for new employees. Not only does this mean entry-level jobs require experience, which is a problem in and of itself for college graduates, but this focus also makes it harder for employees to switch careers, climb the corporate ladder, and return to the workplace after an extended leave.
With employers providing less training to their employees and automating more processes, employees can fall behind on hard and soft skills that are critical in the workplace. Without the company’s leadership to direct them in their development, employees look elsewhere for education and training.
While this self-driven search for personal and professional development, there becomes a wider divide between employees: skills inequality. With this type of inequality increasing in the workplace, companies may realize that their company culture starts to sour, causing large initiatives to slow or fail.
Failing Team Culture
As companies start pursuing the Future of Work and implementing modern initiatives, such as Work From Anywhere (WFA), some may run into an unexpected roadblock concerning team communications. Collaboration platforms are implemented, but teams act fragmented.
Cisco Webex says, “When it comes to how people collaborate, form follows function.”
This means that if a remote team can no longer collaborate with tools in place, then it’s important not to blame the tools for the challenges. Instead, the roadblock is actually the team’s culture. The team likely can hardly collaborate in an in-person environment, so they do not transition well to a remote environment.
One cause of this may be the size of the team. If a team is too large, they can be ineffective because they are taking up a lot of time and energy to come to an agreement. On the other hand, smaller teams with clear accountability often perform better because they are focused on getting things done instead of appeasing the entire team.
Another cause of the fractured culture may be the leadership. If teams are empowered and individuals are allowed to be independent while they WFA, they will flourish. But if the company or leadership focuses on controlling the remote team, the team culture will be harmed and individual employees won’t perform as desired.
The Future of Work in your company depends on your employees and leadership team. You decide where the company is going and how long it will take to get there. Where are you headed right now? What changes does your organization need to make for the future? What roadblocks do you need to get rid of in order to pursue the Future of Work?
If your company needs guidance for transitioning to a new collaboration platform or learning how to use one, learn more about our collaboration services here and learn more about our training services here.