How the Future Works

Flexibility drives satisfaction.

Future Forum equips leaders to drive transformation at work and their research cites flexibility as the most important driver of job satisfaction behind compensation. Flexibility is not only about where you work, but when you work.

The great disconnect.

The Great Resignation is still a trending term, and the root cause of the mass exodus is that in many organizations, the executives and the employees are still not on the same page when it comes to flexible work. The disconnect is real.

  • Executives have a 62% higher rate of satisfaction than employees.
  • Non-executive employees report twice as much work-related stress and anxiety.
  • 68% of executives surveyed want to work in the office all, or most of the time — three times the number of non-executives who said the same.

Bust the flexible work myths.

Let’s be clear, the negative myths about flexible work are not backed up by data:

  • Some express concern that flexible work will negatively impact productivity. Research shows the opposite: Flexible work increases productivity.
  • Flexible work can also lead to better creativity and innovation, but many fear it will inhibit growth, which is not the case.
  • Many leaders worry that flexible work will erode company culture and employee connectivity. Research indicates that flexibility is a critical tool in improving a sense of connection and belonging.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and flexibility.

Flexible work leads to a greater diversity of applicants and a wide talent pool for organizations seeking to fill critical roles, retain top talent, and build a leadership bench for succession planning.

New measures for success.

Butts in seats is an antiquated activity-based measure of success that equates to hours, keystrokes, and presenteeism. A results-driven approach turns the old model upside down to focus on a more holistic outcomes-based approach.

Break away from perpetual meetings.

Nobody enjoys endless meetings that suck the oxygen out of day and eliminate white space on the calendar to reflect, think creatively, and do the work. The co-authors of How Future Works suggest the Four-D model where meetings should only be held when team members need to engage in: Discuss, Debate, Decide, and Develop actions.

Flexibility supports wellbeing.

It’s clear that flexibility supports workplace health and wellbeing. The return on investment is better productivity, outcomes, and retention. The talent wars continue, and companies must be willing to rethink how people work to attract and retain a loyal workforce.

Be bold and test drive.

With flexible work and digital tools emerging as norms in many industries, leaders need to redefine the role of managers and reskill them for success. Investing in coaching, structured feedback, and recognition is a great start.

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