Remote, Hybrid, or Office-Based: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Work in 2022 and Beyond

 Remote, Hybrid, or Office-Based: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Work in 2022 and Beyond

Remote, Hybrid, or Office-Based: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Work in 2022 and Beyond

“A few years ago, people were scared of technology. Well now you have no choice, you have to do everything through technology.” – Sachin Goklaney, Chief Commercial Officer, PayGroup

Resetting the focus from past performance to future potential remains critical. But how can companies stay ahead of future trends and master growth strategies for the next decade and beyond? 

To start refocusing, leaders must master nonverbal communication, strengthen employees’ sense of belonging and purpose, and leverage technology to uncover opportunities and critical insights. 

Building key strategies to better manage dispersed workforces in 2022 and beyond was the central topic of discussion at this PANGEO panel titled, “Remote, Hybrid, or Office-Based: Key Trends Shaping the Future of Work in 2022 and Beyond.”

Moderated by Graham Lim, Partner Manager at Globalization Partners, the discussion also featured guest panellists, Sachin Goklaney, Chief Commercial Officer of PayGroup; Gordon Dudley, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of RDI; and Casey Abel, Executive Director at HCCR. 

The “no-choice” syndrome 

Goklaney kicked off the session by introducing a concept he calls the “no-choice syndrome.” As global workforces remain dispersed, organizations and thinking models have had no choice but to advance and embrace technology.

As companies expand their international footprint and make cross border hires, they also have no choice but to implement compliant payroll technology

“You have people working remotely all around the region, talking in a different payroll language and in different compliance terms – superannuation in Australia, central provident fund (CPF) in Singapore, and Jamsostek in Indonesia – then you mix in multiple currencies, multiple banking processes, and different cut off times. That’s complex in itself when you’re sitting in a beautiful office environment, but now you’re sitting at your kitchen table. So what kind of flexibility do we talk about here? So once again, it’s the no-choice syndrome,” continued Goklaney. 

The syndrome kicks in once more for traditional organizations that need to adapt to sophisticated digital banking systems. They have been forced to adopt automation in technology, be it for payments or banking systems.  

To Goklaney, credit must also be given to people who have transformed, adapted, and displayed a willingness to adapt. 

“A few years ago, people were scared of technology. ‘Well, look, I’m happy with my process. I don’t want to access my bank on the phone. I’ll just do it through my laptop or my computer because I’m a bit scared.’ Well, now you have no choice; you have to do it that way.” 

Employer branding is not an afterthought 

With employees now holding more cards against organizations, employer branding is more important than ever before. Technological advancements and increased digital transparency have only made this more apparent. 

“Candidates have unprecedented access to insider information about how companies are operating, what their cultures are like, even what it’s like working within specific teams, and within a specific organization. This level of transparency is really only new in the last ten years,” said Abel. 

As a result, companies that continue to treat employer branding as an afterthought will struggle to attract that talent they need to execute their corporate objectives. 

“People can sit at their kitchen table operating a payroll process and also be checking out what it’s like to be working with their competitor at the same time with very little fear of employers seeing what they’re doing,” continued Abel. 

Organizations must begin a thoughtful examination of the candidate journey. This means an acceleration toward adopting marketing best practices in considering a holistic view of their employer brand and talent acquisition strategies. 

According to Abel, companies in Northeast Asia are particularly behind in employer branding and how they treat candidates they wish to reject. This is problematic because leaving these candidates with a positive impression, despite them not being hired, will build the company’s attractiveness over time, and the candidate might reapply later for a better-fit role. 

“Companies are going to reject anywhere between 80 to 90 percent of the applicants they receive. So how these people perceive their interaction with your organization is arguably just as important, if not more important, than the people that you eventually hire because there are far more of them out there.” 

This might be a daunting task when hiring at scale, but organizations can leverage customer relationship management (CRM) technology to help ease the process. 

“At the end of the day, your market reputation highly correlates to your ability to access and attract talent that you need,” said Abel. 

Gen-Z has entered the chat

Lim pointed out how data predicts that Gen Z will make up over 27 percent of the workforce by 2025. According to Dudley, this generation has also begun taking up leadership positions. 

“Organizations that promote talent and are very performance-driven will simply cultivate the best person for the job. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the person with the most years of experience,” said Dudley. 

So how can companies better support and allow the Gen-Z population to thrive? 

It all boils down to individualizing attention, to draw out effective management and leadership. 

“I just saw somebody post that they celebrated five years with a company, and they were given a company tumbler as a celebratory gift. If you think that person is going to feel proud to work for that company for five years and be given that as opposed to something more personal, then there’s a disconnect,” said Dudley.  

Organizations can also start asking, rather than telling. When employees are told what to do, it might not exactly resonate with them or their personal situations. According to Dudley, employing a “questioning and listening stance” is infinitely more helpful. 

Lastly, flexibility cannot be compromised, and this is best seen in situational leadership. To benefit, engage, and activate an employee more efficiently, organizations must learn to customize their approach to each individual. 

“Situational leadership is a way in which we will react and adapt to every particular circumstance differently, to be flexible. At times, be prescriptive. At other times, be adaptive,” advised Dudley. 

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