Preparing Your Business for the Future of Work
In the 1930s, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted the rise of automation would lead to a 15-hour workweek. Almost a century later, it’s clear that Keynes was overly optimistic. If anything, the rise of automation has meant the rise of both unemployment and underemployment, with very little effect on the 40+ hour workweek jobs generally demand. Instead, humanity has had to adjust and grow around technological advancements within their industries, preparing themselves and their businesses for an ever-evolving future of work.
What are some ways you can ensure your business doesn’t get left behind as our world and the technology within it continues to shift and change?
Stay on Top of Emerging Skill Trends
One of the most important ways to stay ahead of a rapidly changing work landscape is by keeping your workforce’s skills up to date. You can never know how roles may change or what entirely new jobs may be created in the next decade. To ensure your business can adapt, you must give yourself and your employees ample learning opportunities to fill the gaps in current skillsets. This can be done in a variety of ways, but many businesses turn to online training modules or hands-on training courses with instructors that focus on areas like data and artificial intelligence.
Whatever direction you take, the importance of ongoing learning ensures your workforce consistently stays adaptable and skilled in any new technological advancements that emerge. This, in turn, will strengthen your business and continue to drive it forward well into the future.
Staying on top of emerging skills also means bringing new talent into your workforce. Many businesses look towards hiring the next generation to help future-proof their company. When they do so, it’s important to look for potential employees who already have experience working in fast-paced, ever-changing environments or who have already worked with new technology. They’re the persistent, quick learners who know how to adapt to a changing work landscape. However, make sure you’re not also forgetting the soft skills, such as communication and time-management. These skills can be taught to new hires or younger working generations through proper mentoring from the current leadership. All of these are important, demonstrated skills that will work well as new technology and new ways of working emerge.
Master the Art of Flexibility
Flexibility can make or break a business. Before the pandemic, many companies had been hesitant or outright refused to accommodate any form of telecommuting. Their unwillingness to adapt to a slowly shifting work ethos massively hindered their productivity when COVID-19 first hit. When the world switched to working from home seemingly overnight, businesses that already had telecommuting systems in place could easily and efficiently make the transition, while those other inflexible businesses floundered and failed.
The pandemic has also shown employees that a different work world exists – one without multi-hour commutes, constant office interruptions, and with far more family time. Once the world returns to some approximation of normal, many will be reluctant to give those new freedoms up. This means businesses must once again remain adaptable and ready to continue out-of-office accommodations or risk losing their workforce.
Flexibility also includes being able to think outside the box when it comes to finding the best talent for your business. Your best employment pool may not be where you think it is. This can include opening up employment opportunities to those who deal with disability or chronic illness – people who may be incredibly skilled but were otherwise refused accommodation outside of a strict in-office working environment before the pandemic.
Flexibility also means understanding that often the best talent isn’t local. When you untether your hiring practices from a single geographic location, it means opening your business up to a massive, skilled, diverse talent pool that may not exist within driving distance of your brick-and-mortar office. Diversifying the cultural framework of your employee base promotes adaptability, innovation, resilience, and flexibility that will propel your business forward into an uncertain future.
No one truly knows what the future holds. It’s impossible to completely future-proof your business or your employees, especially for roles that may not currently exist. It’s also hard to predict the ways of working that have only started to become mainstream by the very nature of a once-in-a-generation pandemic. However, with these tips, you can make small steps towards preparing for the unknown.
The true key to preparing your business for the future of work is preparing yourself and your employees for uncertainty by cultivating adaptability, accepting the possibility of de-centralized workspaces, and keeping an open mind turned towards the future.
Are you looking to upgrade the technology within your business to better prepare for the future? Calibre Consulting boasts an experienced developer team and ongoing support to meet your software, website, and mobile app needs. We’re ready and willing to serve Canada and the world. Contact us for a free consultation!