Published on March 7, 2019
Advances in technology, a shifting socio-economic landscape, and the changing behaviors of a generation are powering new ways of working. Experts predict the next few years will bring never-before-seen disruption to the workplace.
The companies well positioned to succeed in the near term amongst this changing landscape will be those who engage their employee workforce, enable collaboration, and design environments, tools, and employee experiences today with tomorrow’s needs in mind.
Last week, we kicked off our first ‘bynd.talks’ session of 2019 at our NY studio to talk all about the future of work. We were joined by leading changemakers to learn more about how companies can embrace and shape how — and why — we’ll work in a future that starts now. Panelists included:
- Lenore Feder, Director of Internal Communications at PayPal
- Ben Goldman, Director of InVision Films at InVision
- Justin Kerr, President at Imprint Projects / Author
Beyond’s own Director or Growth, Molly McGaughan moderated the panel.
Panelists gave us an inside look into what they’ve seen succeed — or fail — when it comes to the role of human-centered design in an evolving workforce. They see organizations and agencies that create for humans as particularly well poised to experiment and spearhead new business methods. With their work already grounded in empathy, human-centered design companies can see what other industries can’t, change what others are afraid to, and better engage and empower their employees.
Managers are the key to unlocking new ways of working
Training managers to help create a positive and productive atmosphere for employees is essential. We have to build this mentality into the day-to-day roles of our team leaders so that its impact is truly felt.
If you love your teams, set them free
The speed of innovation is dependent on the speed of decision making. Giving teams radical autonomy and owning a section of the product will make a major impact — with more autonomy, comes more responsibility.
Work with employees to determine success
At the end of the day, money isn’t going to be everything for employees. New generations aren’t going to measure the success of their work by their salary, but instead if their work is truly important. It’s more about who they are and what they’re signing up for than the title and their pay.
Employees and candidates are looking for companies to be mission driven. They want to work for companies they believe in, and furthermore companies that take a stance for what THEY believe in. More and more, people are looking to their employers more than they look to government. Many want to be part of something bigger than themselves, and be proud of the mission their company is driving to. It matters.
Take risks — like no Fridays
More and more we’re seeing companies and whole nations challenging the 5-day work week. We know creativity and productivity isn’t correlated to 70-hour work weeks, and any project manager can attest to the truth of the cliché “work smarter, not harder.” It’s not always going to be feasible, but having the conversation about getting all work done in just four days is an interesting starting point.
Be the change we already see in the world
It should come as no surprise that diversifying our workforce is crucial. The diversity of your workforce directly impacts the quality of your product. Time and time again, we’re designing products for people in all different parts of the world and from varying socioeconomic backgrounds, and your team should reflect the diversity of the world you’re creating for.
Make Human Resource a resource to your humans
Now more than ever, the HR function is taking a lead role in evolving the landscape of work. Companies are realizing they need to not only understand the needs of their diverse workforce, but also must put this knowledge into action to keep them. Human Resource managers will also help drive product design and development, providing an integral perspective for products that enable and connect employees.
Get to know your contractors, and then woo them
The growth of the ‘gig economy’ — which is roughly 57 million people — means that more talent is leaving traditional 9–5 positions and choosing to work independently or as contractors. So what does this mean for organizations? Companies need to up their game to entice employees to stay put and provide an employee experience that is way above average. Think about the draw that pulls people into the “gig economy,” and subsequently what causes hesitance. Leverage that to build your internal experience, whether it’s agile ways of working, incredible mission-driven initiatives, or environments that inspire and offer freedom.
About bynd.talks: bynd.talks is a curated event series hosted by Beyond, where industry leaders speak to trends and topics affecting our community and work. For more information about bynd.talks or to attend our next session in New York, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.