The year is almost over, so let's see what the experts expect for 2024 so we can look back on it.
It's been more than a month since we came back from Paris, from Unleash - but November passed by so quickly that we didn't even notice it had started. And now, as the first empty 60 minutes in the calendar emerged, I realized that I left this train of thought in draft on October 19th.
That granny used to work in an office.
So, what are we expecting now? Not just us, but those who make (or tolerate) the most important HR decisions on the continent.
1. Work from anywhere instead of home office - WFA, to put it nicely, in this BANI world. #idiotseverywhere
Today I had coffee with a coach colleague from Tennessee, who told me that the real estate pressure is so high there that it's not proper to write among the official expectations that hybrid work, shifting towards full home office, will remain. Especially not in a conservative state. It's possible in California. Good thing we don't have states here. :D
So far, no official comprehensive survey has managed to show a loss of efficiency with home office work, even in creative jobs, much to Google's regret. So the clear expectation is that this will continue. Nobody can be lassoed back into the office, except for a drastic spike in unemployment and a few unfortunately inflating countries. Robotics or not.
- 2. Asynchronous work instead of synchronous
ROWE may finally arrive here too. We wrote about it a little over five years ago, but I don't know whether we were very modern or the world is changing incredibly slowly, it still hasn't arrived, maybe now.
Because if you don't know where the other person is working, you don't know if they are asleep or awake, and if you don't know if they're asleep, you don't invite them to a meeting. (Or if you do, you need leadership sensitivity, leading with EQ, psychological safety in my team -> email@example.com :) )
If you can't invite them to a meeting, there won't be a meeting, so initiatives will expand from meeting-free Fridays to more. The transition to free Fridays and meeting-free weekdays will be long (and painful), but it seems certain to start.
- 3. Neurodiverse sensitivity
Here in the CEE region, we are still at a point where if you can work on inclusion meaningfully, and carry out a plain - not neuro - diversity program beyond laminated signs, it's a miracle. Yet, as a development company, we should also be pondering how to integrate neurodiverse participants even better, to ensure the safety in development where they can take off the mask they wear at the company, where for twenty years they have had to hide how they are different from the person sitting opposite.
- 4. Companies last shorter than people
In 1958, the average lifespan of S&P 500 companies was 61 years. Today it's less than 18. According to McKinsey's forecast, 75% of the companies currently listed on this index will disappear by 2027, whether due to bankruptcy or acquisition.
This pace accordingly accompanies the employee as well. You can criticize the good old days when the postmaster was a postmaster for fifty years and then had it engraved on his tombstone, but today neither the post nor the master lasts that long. So let's get used to fluctuation and the fact that our grandchildren might not even understand the word 'profession.'
Just as they won't understand why we still wore high heels before 2023. Because this year, finally, out of the five thousand participants, more than two did not wear such things, that's for sure.
Just as our parents tell us about free Saturdays, we, the millennials, will be the ones who tell our grandchildren that when we started working, we could wear T-shirts on Fridays, and we saw the CEO in a collared T-shirt too. And like our grandmother's tweed suit, we can take out the dusty, cracked high heels to show them, because luckily, there won't be much need for those, just like for offices.
Just as no one will work on Fridays.
Neither in a collared T-shirt nor without.
Sic transit gloria mundi.