Beyond 9 to 5: The Future of Work is Already Happening 

Beyond 9 to 5: The Future of Work is Already Happening 

Future of Work

Before the pandemic forced workplaces to practice flexibility in how and where employees work, companies practicing hybrid work were often called “forward-thinkers,” though their policies were met with more skepticism than enthusiasm.  

But with the unprecedented and persistent global disruptions that continue to unfold – the pandemic, the worsening climate crisis, the emergence of generative AI, and ongoing economic and geopolitical instabilities – those forward-thinking policies have become the playbook for survival.  

The way we work is undergoing a profound revolution, and there is no stopping it – we must embrace and adapt to it or fall behind. From shifting to a hybrid work setup to fostering productivity through advanced technologies to taking collective responsibility for more sustainable practices, it is evident that what was recently considered “the future of work” is already with us.  

The future of work was at the center of discussion at the Singapore Business Federation Forum in Hanoi, Vietnam, in July. Vero’s VP for Culture Vu Quan Nguyen-Masse, joined the panel discussion to provide insights into how the marketing and communications industry can better prepare for what is ahead and invest more in reskilling their workforce for resilience.  

Here are some of the key takeaways from Vu Quan’s talk.    

Future of Work - Vu Quan Nguyen-Masse

 

As the workplace evolves, the workforce adapts 

A report by the World Economic Forum has predicted that AI adoption will create 69 million new jobs by 2027 while simultaneously causing the displacement of 87 million jobs. The changing landscape of jobs is testing industries around the world. But there is good news: businesses investing in supporting the shift to the jobs of the future through education, reskilling, and fostering environments that encourage analytical thinking and creativity will demonstrate resilience. 

As we at Vero adapt to these shifts, we are learning to develop new dedicated specializations to innovate new products. For example, the role of knowledge managers in facilitating the exchange of ideas is becoming more prominent. We are also seeing culture and governance leaders who are critical in coordinating change and reinventing policies for a positive and future-proof work culture.

We have also pushed forward a cultural agenda to create the conditions for curiosity and entrepreneurship to happen at any level of the company. By breaking down information silos, we created cross-boundary forums and facilitated knowledge-sharing, leading to organic initiatives being taken even in our smaller, more junior teams. We overcame limitations in skills and capacities by encouraging peer-to-peer mentoring and building task forces across departments and borders. The result is an increase in the effective creation of new tools and methodologies.  

Agility and cohesion can coexist – and they should 

 The growing emphasis on genuine sustainability communications and the integration of generative AI are seen as threats by traditionalists. But businesses that recognize these trends as inevitable forces of workplace revolution will see in them opportunities for growth. 

To do so, they must enable agility and cohesion to coexist, which is more challenging than it may sound, as too much of one can lead to the undoing of the other. It is especially important to manage the pace of disruptions, such as AI and sustainability, by formalizing a culture practice as an expansion of Operations rather than HR.  

Operations must be agile, but we should be careful not to stretch the organization apart in ways that hurt productivity and morale. By aligning policies, infrastructure, and programs with the organization’s unique needs and objectives, leaders can ensure that agility serves as a strategic advantage rather than a source of disarray. This approach empowers employees to navigate change effectively, enhances overall performance, and strengthens the organization’s ability to stay competitive and collaborative in dynamic environments.   

Make work make sense  

 Workplace culture can be extraordinarily complex and diverse, and companies have the responsibility to make sure they hear from all the different employee profiles – what motivates them, what makes them anxious, and how the company can help foster an environment that inspires them to thrive.  

In a world of remote work and other new business practices, it is vital to communicate about culture and values during the hiring process to see if the employer and prospective employee share the same aspirations. This responsibility has shifted to leadership, wherein the role of the leaders is no longer centered on control of employee performance but rather on providing employees with context and purpose. 

As new generations join the workforce, they will bring with them new sets of skills, mindsets, and work values. For high skills, high performance, and entrepreneurship to translate into success, it is fundamental to “make work make sense” to every talent in the organization. Acknowledge complexity, aim for simplicity and clarity, and offer kindness and perspective, and the talents of tomorrow will fill your ranks.