Purpose and unity as a corner stones of future work

Antilooppi and Alma organized a seminar called work life 2022, where operators and influencers from different fields of business shared their vision of the future of work. The topic is interesting and If something, it’s definitely current.

Before Covid19-pandemics flexible working was already every day living for some, but pandemics made it reality for all. We adapted to digital tools and ways of working very fast. Faster that anyone could predict. Sure, we had some problems. We are all already used to kids crashing into Teams-meetings and some have even more dramatic examples of meetings that didn’t go exactly as planned.  People also adapted to the freedom that working from home offered them, and they loved it. The work-life balance became easier to control, at least for those who were not hanging in 14 different Teams- meetings per day.

The need for collaboration has not disappeared. People feel that when working from home from “silo sized for one”, they need more interaction with others and quite soon also in different channels than only on-line. Elina Kiiski Kataja from Ellun Kanat pointed out that companies should focus on thinking and communicating the purpose, why they exist and do what they do. This is due the fact that people in the future are more interested of the shared values and why things are done. This might become even one of the most critical recruitment assets. Ellun Kanat have studied mega trends in business life and the companies ability to change from inside reflects to their success. 

Photo: Päättäjä Foorumi: Työelämä 2022, Ellun Kanat, study findings

Panu Liira from Reaktor pointed out in his speech that employee experience was before pandemics a critical business factor and it is even more critical now when companies are planning their “return to office”. Physical contacts and interactions are in big role when talking about well-being in the future and many companies renew their offices to better answer to this need. 

But is it this simple? Can we, or is it vise to force employees back to office? Do we really need rules and remote policies? Can’t we just trust people to know, what is best for the job and best for themselves? From service designers’ point of view, co-creation and iterative transparent discussion would be in order in many places. Instead of setting up “return the office teams” and “return policy- groups” should we let people to decide? What would happen if we would explain the goals, set up the frame and then see what happens? This was also the deep message and learnings from Reaktor.

Photo: Päättäjä Foorumi: Työelämä 2022, Reaktor, Employee experience 

IN the end of the seminar was a panel discussion where Timo Lappi from Heltti Oy, Alex Nieminen from N2 Helsinki, Anu Eiro from Intrum and Tuomas Sahi from Antilooppi debated of hybrid working.  Well, debate is quite far from how the discussion went. All agreed that there is a lot of need and will for meeting people face to face. Collaboration is important for both company success and as well to well-being. 
Panelists said that empathy and good eye for the game is now needed. Too big changes and one-size-fits-all thinking might cause difficulties. We need to remember we are again facing a change situation and adapting to change takes time and needs support. Hybrid work, or how ever we finally end up calling it,in the future, is more flexible than work before. 

During the seminar, I heard the words empathy, co-creation, discussion, working together, agile etc, at least twenty times. This makes me smile and gives me hope. The world is changing and there is more and more need for designers working in various roles. Service designers can help in so many change situations by bringing their skills and tools into table. Let’s co-design a better work life together.

Source: Työelämä 2022- tapahtuma, Antilooppi ja Alma Talent

24.9.2021

Duration: 2h

Tarja Paanola, SID MBA Student at Laurea University of Applied Sciences

One thought on “Purpose and unity as a corner stones of future work

  1. Thanks, Tarja for raising this subject!

    Today, the pandemic has normalized remote working. Will we go back working in offices? It is difficult to say, but one thing for sure is that, some employees prefer to continue working from home, while others prefer working in offices. Christine Ro in a BBC article based on working life mentioned that; companies are looking to the post-Covid future model, a hybrid way of working that combines remote work and office time.

    During Covid-19 most workers around the world have been remotely working from home. Now that, countries are reopening their societies, some businesses are permitting their employees to continue working remotely. Others are recalling their workers back to offices, or allowing them to decide how they want to work. However, some companies are still trying to find suitable way of working for their employees.

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