It’s been a full year since a majority of the world’s organizations began remote work during the pandemic. For some, the switch to a fully remote workforce was a bumpy one. After all, getting an entire company online, delivering the tools that teams need to be productive, and spinning up new processes to keep work moving, is not easy.
With this change in where we work came a change in how we work together, the pace at which we collaborate, along with a business’s remote work expectations of their employees. For some of us, this meant we lived in a Zoom world. For others, we became solitary contributors who handed our pieces of work to the next person with no idea if our work was ever done. All of us struggled with processes and tools that suddenly felt outdated or clunky.
Now that we’ve had a year of remote work during the pandemic, many of us realize that work has changed forever. As have the ways we manage and facilitate productive, efficient work across teams.
Today, we find ourselves facing a what-comes-next wave of big decisions. Namely, do we stay remote, do we bring everyone back into the office, or do we adopt a hybrid model?
It may be too soon to tell which of these is the best choice but two things are clear:
- The decision to stay remote, return to office, or go hybrid requires the creation of longer-term, holistic work collaboration and management strategies.
- Whatever strategy you devise, you’ll need the proper solutions and resources to simplify how people and teams work together (to remove the threat of burnout).
As a company that spends every day working alongside some of the biggest companies in the world to help refine their collaborative work management strategies, we’re noticing a few trends. Firstly, what we’re seeing now is a desperate need for a centralized platform that allows people to work in a way that suits them, that automates workflows, tracks progress and resources in real-time, and makes it easy to access the assets and information they use most in the same platform.
3 Trends shaping the (near) future of work
Recently, Executive VP of Business Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Citrix, Tim Minahan, and CEO and Founder of Wrike, Andrew Filev connected on a call to discuss how the future of work is taking shape in these near, post-pandemic times.
Watch the full video here:
Trend 1: Work solutions aren’t keeping up with employees needs
For all the technological advances made in the workplace over the last decade, there are still legacy solutions that refuse to go away. For example, email. (BTW, happy 40th birthday email!) There are organizations that still use email as a primary means of communication or as a project management tool. If this works for your business, fair play. However, there are better solutions and legitimate reasons to replace outmoded ways of working and collaborating.
As Andrew Filev points out, “For some, the more the workplace has changed, the more it has stayed the same. Specifically, when we coordinate work across multiple teams, they might use their own five to ten different apps within their silos but when they need to work together, they often fall back to the common denominator. There are businesses that rely on the same tools, such as messaging apps, emails, and spreadsheets…These are in no way a match to the complexity and velocity of modern business.”
One rapid modernization tactic Filev recommends is automating repeatable processes. He states, “The application of AI and ML features have been especially important for business leaders looking to extend resources and increase productivity, efficiency, and consistency during the pandemic. I think we’ll see more of this as we shift toward hybrid work environments. There will be another period of transition and adjustment where organizations will need to ensure their workers are provided with the tools needed to do their best work, no matter where they are.”
Trend 2: The future of work is frictionless, secure, and reliable
Another urgent need within the organization is to remove the complexity from today’s hybrid and distributed work environments so employees and organizations can do their very best work.
“I think organizations made great strides last year in their digital transformation,” Filev says, “however, it was done in haste, and now they need to think about the next, most intelligent move that will set them up for success over the long haul. Organizations need to move beyond the basic infrastructure they put in place in 2020 just to survive and roll out more comprehensive solutions that will give them the competitive edge and help them thrive.”
The very act of managing remote and hybrid teams is daunting but with Citrix’s unified workspace infrastructure and Wrike’s collaborative work management platform every employee, remote or in-office, can operate in a simplified, secure digital workplace that will enable organizations to transition to “anywhere working” by keeping employees engaged and productive.
Trend 3: Distraction, the productivity killer
Despite the prevalence of apps, devices, chat channels, and other technologies, today’s workforce isn’t able to manage work as a contiguous business process. “We’ve reached a tipping point,” says Minahan, “many of the technologies that have crept into the workspace are creating an increase in distraction, an increase in noise, adding complexity.”
Did you know today’s knowledge worker:
- Uses more than 35 critical apps to get their work done — often four or more just to complete a single business process.
- Spends 28% of their time managing e-mail and nearly 20% looking for information across a disparate array of apps and collaboration channels or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.
- Is interrupted by a text, chat, or application alert and forced to switch context between these work channels 373 times per day or around every 40 seconds. And once interrupted by a text, chat, email, or other notification, it can take up to 23 minutes to get back to the task at hand.
(And let’s not even get started on the myth of multi-tasking.)
There’s much more to the conversation, and more insights regarding future of work trends to look out for, found in the video above.
If you’re interested in learning more, visit www.wrike.com or sign up for a free two-week trial to discover how Wrike is helping teams usher in the future of collaborative work management.