The creation of purpose-driven organisations
When screening for prospective workplaces, employees are increasingly considering the extent to which the values of an organisation overlap with their own. Besides a salary, a brand name and a place to improve your skills, employees are looking for the additional dimension of purpose in their work. While purpose means something different to everyone, companies can make it a fundamental part of the talent lifecycle, by allowing employees to create a positive impact, by nurturing employees in their personal interests and by allowing connections with people who share these goals. Companies now cannot merely be bystanders and respond to socioeconomic issues when it affects the bottom-line, but need to rethink and define their stance on social issues from the ground up.
- For instance, My Resonance engages the workforce by measuring social and environmental impact and rewards and recognises employees with a cultural currency. This cultural currency can then be donated to causes that employees care most about, fostering not only engagement but also a purpose.
- Deedmob, on the other hand, builds an online platform for volunteers. Companies such as Red Bull or Atlassian use Deedmob to enable their employees to discover the right corporate volunteering opportunities across various interests, including poverty & homelessness, animals, refugees and the environment.
The inclusive and flat organisation
In the future, inclusive and flat organisations will not merely remain buzzwords that are promoted by PR departments on grounds of mounting social pressure but will have to be baked into the very fabric of organisations. While an inclusive and flat culture certainly encompasses the representation of a diverse group of people, it is not limited to that; it also indicates a climate that respects and cultivates differences in working styles and skills, tailors positions according to the abilities of employees, and provides equitable access to resources and decision-making processes. Hence, HR professionals are becoming more interested in adopting a data-driven approach to providing the most inclusive experience across an employee’s career.
- Peakon, for instance, automatically collects employee feedback, analyses it, and then delivers back the insights in order for companies, such as EasyJet or Verizon, to measure and collect employee engagement.
- Equalture, with the help of behavioural science and ML, identifies hiring needs by benchmarking the current skill set and cultural traits present in your team, and based on that predicts the ideal candidate fit. The ideal candidate fit is then ingested into applicant tracking systems to help companies build bias-free and diverse teams.
- Lytt, on the other hand, has a different approach, by enabling every employee to have a voice in addressing difficult issues anonymously and safely without fear of discrimination. Through this tool, companies identify cultural problems and psychological stress at an early stage and promote employee satisfaction and health.
The decentralised and distributed organisation
Currently, a large part of companies still retain physical offices in central hubs, where employees are encouraged to come to work in the regular weekly cycles. This traditional office structure is however crumbling and distributed work is becoming more ubiquitous, especially amongst medium- and large-sized businesses. Companies in the future will continue to become more agile, distributed and more decentralized. This will not only offer more personal freedom and mobility for employees but enables companies to also hire and retain the best talent from all over the world. Furthermore, flexible and mobile work frees up more time and lowers the barriers for freelancing and self-employment. While self-employment is nothing new per se, the rapid rise of digital tools that enable this mode certainly is. And the gig economy is only the beginning.
There are various companies shaping this trend, from communication tools, all the way to freelancing platforms.
- Loom, for instance, is a work communication tool that helps employees send messages through instantly shareable video, thus facilitating communication across distributed offices. Users can capture their screen, record videos, and narrate videos for use cases such as training new teammates or replying to customer inquiries, without being present in one place.
- Codecontrol is a curated and managed marketplace that matches large companies with a community of freelance developers, designers and product managers. It enables companies to source pre-screened candidates for tech jobs, whilst taking care of the administrative overhead for freelancers, such as billing, project management and communication with the clients.
- Comatch, (a btov portfolio company), similarly, is an online marketplace that matches freelance management consultants, within industries of operations, IT, strategy, sales, marketing and finance, with companies that need external support for a temporary project.
The benefits and security of the future workplace
Since the fundamentals of where and when people work will change, the lines of where employment laws apply might become blurry. This will likely have implications for social protection including payroll security, workplace protections and benefits. According to the OECD, nonstandard forms of work today, such as the gig economy, are 50% less likely to be part of a union and are 40–50% less likely to receive income support when unemployed.
This will bring about new companies that will provide social benefits and protections tailored to flexible workers such as freelancers, gig economy workers and people working remotely.
- Deel, for instance, handles international payment for businesses working with global remote contractors and freelancers. It facilitates the administrative process while ensuring timely payment with a payout method of their choice. Simply set up a contract with your contractors, send a single payment to Deel each month, and let us handle the distribution.
- Similarly, Papaya Global, acts as a custodian on behalf of customers and assumes legal responsibilities for employing and paying contractors worldwide. As part of its services, it offers a global payroll system for cross-border payments and a workforce management platform that handles workforce benefits and contractor onboarding.
- Wagestream, on the other hand, allows employees to stream their earned wages into their accounts instantly through a mobile app. This does not only reduce the barriers to requesting an advance from your employer, but also provides short-term financial flexibility and avoids unnecessary overdraft fees, especially for employees that work paycheck to paycheck.
The ideas in this blogpost barely scratch the surface of some of the measures that can be implemented by organisations. Also, I am sure that my view on the future of work is incomplete, so I am always happy to start a conversation, receive feedback and learn from entrepreneurs that are building companies in this space! Reach out here on Medium or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While this post focused on organisations as entities involved in the future of work, my next post on this topic will explore the future of work through an ethical and political lens and, therefore, identify possible solutions how policymakers may counteract the negative externalities of this transition.
This blogpost was orignally published on Medium on February 14th, 2020.