The Future of Work Lies in More Humanity in the Workplace

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During a time in which we have faced unprecedented instability in all life and business sectors, leaders have tried to instill resilience in their organizations through three key phases. 


First, there was the "response phase," Leaders were forced to make bold decisions, accelerating transformation and adapting to keep their organizations afloat through rapid changes. Next, there was the "recovery phase." This included rethinking, reflecting on the decisions made during the previous phase, and trying to reboot the business to come out of the crisis more robust than ever. The final third phase is the "thriving phase." Making sure that your organization thrives in a forever-changed landscape means embracing new insights and rules for the future of work. 


Among other things, this means your business must take a humanity-first approach to the workplace, rebuilding and rethinking the way you do business to prioritize your team members' needs.


Bringing Humanity to the Workplace


The 2021 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Survey has found that 96% of people believe that organizations are responsible for the well-being of their employees. However, as many as 79% of the respondents said that well-being wasn't integrated into their workplaces.


Never has this imbalance been more evident than during the pandemic. Despite the apparent flexibility provided by virtual workplaces, many critical-yet-intangible qualities of well-being have been thrown out of the window. 


Hiring the best people in your industry can help keep your organization afloat through trying times. Still, even the top recruiting agencies can't save you unless you know how to steer people in the right direction once they become your employees.


Cognitive technology, smart devices, and remote workplace software may do wonders to boost efficiency, but employees are feeling more burned out, anxious, and isolated than ever.


Now is the time to strengthen your team members' sense of belonging. Now is the time to increase their sense of purpose, satisfaction, and pride in doing work that keeps the entire organization going. 


Remember, it is not the technology and latest software tools making your business resilient — it is how you empower your people to apply their ingenuity, strategy, and creativity.


The Future of Work in Three Steps


Taking your organization forward and moving into the future of work will rely on taking the three following steps:

  1. Develop an enterprise mindset — Make the humanization of your workplace a strategic priority, thereby setting an enterprising attitude throughout the organization. This change will help foster collaboration and coordination across departments and practices, allowing your employees to align with your vision and mission.
  2. Give your employees creative freedom — Your people will be more inclined to recognize their work as motivating if you clearly define the expected goals and let them apply their own creative and innovative thinking to meet said goals.
  3. Look to the future — Focus your entire organization's attention on future potential rather than past performance. This invites your employees to imagine new possibilities and pursue new paths to success.

Your entire organization will need to make significant shifts to put the concepts outlined above into practice. Let's look at these shifts in a bit more detail.


Process vs. Flow


People are not machines, so you can't expect them to work that way. We're not programmed to operate in routines — instead, human nature compels us to bring out our creativity, motivations, and ideas to the surface. 


Putting humans at the center of processes within your organization means infusing more meaning into their work. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Focus on unlocking the flow state rather than optimizing outcomes.
  • Apply technological capabilities to elevate human capabilities.
  • Use your leadership skills to unlock the true human potential of your employees.

Changing the Model


As technology keeps evolving, so do employment structures and customer needs. Much of this change is driven by the workforce as they seek greater flexibility in their jobs in terms of physical location, working hours, etc. The Deloitte survey we linked in the first part of the article also states that executives cite their employees' ability to reskill, adapt, and assume new roles as the most critical factors for thriving in a disrupted business. Yet, only 17% of c-suite executives believe that their team members can do this.


To truly unleash the flexibility and creativity of your workforce, you can do the following:

  • Elevate and personalize the work experience, helping people reach their potential.
  • Encourage insights and uncover new opportunities for creativity through technology.
  • Build a broader talent pool to achieve more remarkable outcomes.

Focusing on Company Culture


The traditional office was already rapidly disappearing before the pandemic. Covid-19 only sped up the process. Today, the office is no longer a building but a mindset that comprises the cultures, policies, and procedures encouraging engagement and collaboration regardless of physical location.


You can think of your organization as an adaptable, flexible hybrid that can use both the best digital practices and the assets of your physical space. You can optimize the human potential within your workplace by reorienting the environment in the following ways:

  • Adapt to your workers' personal needs and preferences, prioritizing their well-being.
  • Nurture a culture of safety and belonging, ensuring the leaders within the team can build confidence and trust.
  • Emphasize culture-building and collaboration by redesigning your digital and physical environment.

Closing Thoughts


Each organization has its own goals and challenges when advancing into the future of work. Transformation is a process, not a singular event. Your organization must have a vision for the future centered on humanity's power so it can unlock human creativity and create lasting value for its people and society as a whole.


One way to bring humanity to the workplace is to ensure your behaviors & Values align. DH's Values to Behaviors Workshop will help clarify, express & measure your culture.

values to behavior workshop

About the Author

Christopher Oldman

Christopher is a Project Manager and Editor at Find Digital Agency and a passionate blogger. He is a devoted and experienced author who loves to pay attention to quality research and details. Focused on new digital trends and voice distribution across different channels, he starts the day scrolling digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee. 


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