Humanizing the Digital Era: What Experts Have to Say About the Future of Work

visions of the future

“Purpose is love in action” – Fred Canto e Castro

During the 2018 Web Summit in Lisbon, Adeva, Newmanity, and LACS Communitivity of Creators got an opportunity to hold a panel discussion that explored the topic of innovation in the workplace. It will be an understatement if we say that we had a blast!

Some of the most talented women in tech came together to give their insights into a wide range of relevant new-age topics. Each of them shared their visions of the future which will positively support human well-being, nurture emotional intelligence, and cultivate purposeful organizations.

Thanks to our co-founder Katerina Trajchevska, Filipa Larangeira, Saleema Vellani, Elena Kolevska, Rita Sambado and Fred Canto e Castro, we left the summit bursting with inspiration, faith, and motivation to work even harder towards creating a modern workplace that empowers its employees.

The speakers shared their visions for:

  • The future of work and what it will mean to employees.
  • All the ways remote work benefits employees.
  • The importance of work well-being.
  • Emotional intelligence as a means of boosting employee productivity.
  • The rise of purposeful organizations.

Visions of the future

The five international changemakers discussed the future of work, introducing fresh knowledge into how we can make it more human. Remote-working, work wellbeing, emotional intelligence, and purposeful organizations are some of the topics that were addressed.

visions of the future

The Future of Work is Flexible, Creative, and Human

As technology evolves, the traditional work environment is growing, changing, and emerging with the times.

If we get a crystal ball and try to see into the future, we’ll see that the future of work is kind and caring towards employees. There are fewer hours spent at the office, trapped into a cubicle, following rules as old as time. We’ll see employees working remotely from anywhere in the world, coming together with the help of collaboration tools.

The ball will show that the future workplace is bursting with healthy, happy, and dedicated employees. Organizations worldwide ensuring the health and happiness of their teams. Employees embracing a shared vision for the companies they are a part of, and a new workplace culture being created.

Forget rigid managers, traditional collaboration, and strict hierarchies. The future of work is creative, flexible, and human.

Remote Working Benefits Employees and Employers

If you go back in time and tell a manager that offices will become outdated, they will probably laugh at your face while escorting you to the door with a forced smile. That manager can’t even imagine the major advances in technology and innovation in the workplace we’re witnessing today.

Flexibility at work is now considered a major employee perk. Remote work has become more common, while the advances in technology make it easier to stay connected to your team.

There are even companies that don’t have offices and everyone chooses to work from where they’re happiest. Bella works from coworking spaces, Dan finds his creativity at a coffee shop, while Sarah is most productive at home.

Buffer, together with Workfrom and Hubstaff, collected data from over 1,900 remote workers around the world. Their findings showed that:

  • 90% of employees plan on working remotely in the future
  • 70% are remote 100% of the time
  • 94% encourage others to work remotely
  • 81% travel and work at the same time

Remote work also offers a multitude of benefits to organizations. They can hire the best talent at rates they can afford to pay and grow the business with the revenue. Managers can also build a business without sacrificing their private life. They can run a remote team of 20+ people, enjoy hobbies, and spend time with their families.

“The future of work lies on our ability to leverage digital transformation with human-to-human solutions, tailored to your company values and employees motivations. Remote working is one of the ways of giving your team freedom to manage their time while increasing business performance and, of course, lowering costs with staff. Humanizing work is good for your team and business.” – Filipa Larangeria, moderator and co-host

visions of the future

Work Wellbeing as a Means of Attracting Talent

An innovation in the workplace is taking place. Companies are now regarded to be responsible for their employees’ happiness and health. This trend focuses on encouraging greater work-life balance that will eventually result in higher employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.

Overworking has been shown to be one of the most harmful contributing factors to the wellbeing of employees. For this reason, companies worldwide are introducing different benefits packages. They include unlimited vacation and holistic wellness to address work-life balance and prevent burnout in the most effective way.

Wellness benefit programs are now popping up in companies worldwide like kale at a salad bar. These programs might include:

  • meeting with a personal coach on a regular basis
  • going to a gym free of charge or at a reduced price
  • extensive healthcare and dental care
  • 4-day summer work weeks
  • paid parental leave
  • annual continuing education allowance
  • coworking space stipend

Slowly but steadily, wellness programs are becoming a competitive advantage for attracting talent and are revolutionizing the future of work. Companies may be surprised to learn that it doesn’t require a 6-digit budget to offer employees good workplace benefits and to invest in their wellbeing. The benefits are well worth the cost.

Emotional Intelligence is Essential for Success

Every day, employees feel left out, unappreciated, and mistreated at work. Especially those who work remotely, they feel like their colleagues are keeping information from them, say bad things behind their backs, and leave them out. According to the study by Buffer, remote employees listed loneliness as the #1 issue with the future of work, followed by struggles with collaboration.

The modern manager has a challenging task ahead. They must be emotionally intelligent to tackle any problem that arises along the way. They should encourage routines that lead to feelings of trust, connection, inclusiveness, and common purpose. Employees’ visions of the future include a manager who:

  • Uses face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact.
  • Demonstrates exemplary communication skills.
  • Makes expectations explicit.
  • Is available.
  • Prioritizes relationships.
  • Is open and friendly.
  • Treats them with sensitivity and honesty.

If every manager who has set on the path to becoming a modern leader develops emotional intelligence, the future workplace will certainly become a “fertile” ground for employee growth and development.

“With the current pace of technological advancement and automation, human skills are becoming increasingly valuable. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is extremely important, and the next big thing will be the adaptability quotient (AQ)–our agility and resilience to adapt to fast-changing circumstances.” – Saleema Vellani

visions of the future

Employees Thrive in Purposeful Organizations

For some employees, a high salary gives meaning to their job. For others, and this number is constantly rising, it’s innovation in the workplace, serving people in need, and work relationships. The value of paycheck is replaced with a sense of purpose and employee engagement rates are skyrocketing.

Research by Gallup showed that employees who work with a sense of purpose are four times more engaged in their jobs. Companies who create a purpose at the workplace are three times more likely to keep their employees.

Does your company give back to the community? Does it have social responsibility? Make sure you tell your employees. A study by The Society for Human Resource Management found that:

  • nearly 94% of millennial talent want to put their skills to benefit a cause
  • 57% said there should be more company-wide service days

Organizations worldwide should strive to bring the impact of the work close to their employees. When employees understand how their work contributes to making a notable change in the world, they’ll feel like what they do matters and will find the motivation they need to engage with their jobs.

“At Adeva, we believe that great developers are distributed everywhere around the world. And, our purpose is to bring them the exciting opportunities for growth that developers in the global tech centers have. Building our team around this vision helps everyone understand what they work for. At the end of the month, it’s not just about the payroll or achieving their own career goals. There’s also a sense of contribution to a world where everyone has the same opportunities no matter where they were born.” – Katerina Trajchevska

What lies ahead?

By the year 2020, 60% of millennials are predicted to leave their company. What your organization does today will impact whether this prediction becomes a reality or a false expectation. Accept your employees’ hobbies and likes, value their efforts, and support their goals.

With joined efforts, we can create the workplace of the future. We can design a workplace culture that honors employees, encourages them to bring their full selves at work, and allows space for companies to innovate and grow from the inside out.

In conclusion:

  • Forget rigid managers, traditional collaboration, and strict hierarchies. The future of work is creative, flexible, and human.
  • Flexibility at work is now a major employee perk. Remote work has become more common and acceptable, while the advances in technology make a lot easier to stay connected to your team.
  • Companies are responsible for their employees’ happiness and health. They should encourage greater work-life balance that will eventually result in a boost in employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
  • The modern leader must be emotionally intelligent to tackle any problem that arises along the way. They should encourage routines that lead to feelings of trust, connection, inclusiveness, and common purpose.
  • Employees who work with a sense of purpose are at least four times more engaged in their jobs. Companies who create a purpose at the workplace are three times more likely to keep their employees.
Sandra Petrova - Remote Work Researcher
Sandra Petrova
Remote Work Researcher