The future of work is evolving right before our eyes as and as companies begin opening their doors to the public again, returning to “normal” may not be pragmatic.
According to Susan Hayter, a Senior Technical Adviser on the Future of Work at the Geneva-based International Labour Organization, the future of work has always been predicted to include flexible work arrangements, the adoption of technology and more. The unexpected part was how quickly it became part of our reality.
“A few large companies in developed economies have already said that what has been a large and unplanned pilot – remote teleworking – will become the standard way of organizing work,” said Hayter. “Employees need not commute to work again, unless they choose to do so.”
Hayter added that this is not the end of the office. Rather, companies will need to adjust to the times and create a physical workspace that keeps occupants safe, while nurturing morale, socialization and community. This can include keeping workstations distanced appropriately, installing sanitation stations, monitoring and testing, and offering PPE.
As companies adopt secure flexible and remote work arrangements, developing countries with the necessary infrastructure may also be provided more opportunities.
“The question is how we can adapt work practices and reap the benefits of this experience with remote working – for employers and workers – while not losing the social and economic value of work as a place,” said Hayter.