Now is the time for brave leaders to find their company’s new way to work

BrandPost By Slack
Aug 08, 2021
CIOEmployee ExperienceInnovation

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What does the future of work mean? “Getting back to normal” with everyone in the office 9-5? Doing the same meetings but over Zoom? Or finding more efficient ways of working?

These are the questions that Slack is asking CIOs to consider as the IT industry navigates what the “new normal” looks like.

According to the Future Forum Remote Employee Experience 2020, which surveyed skilled office workers in Australia, the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan, only 12% wanted to go back to the office full time. 72% wanted a hybrid working model, and 16% wanted to remain remote full-time.

Clearly, the challenge for CIOs is that after more than a year of working remotely, employee sentiment is very clear that going back to the office full-time isn’t even on the table.

The other reality is that top talent isn’t interested in punching the clock or attending a fixed quota of days in the office. And they’re definitely underwhelmed by their organisation issuing a new one-size-fits-all policy about workplace attendance.

Instead, Harvard Business Review found that the most capable workers are motivated by a strong sense of collective purpose and an organisation that is capable of transforming for the better.

In the context of a work environment that is changing whether employers like it or not, this means employers with the best, most flexible employee experience will naturally attract the most skilled people.

A good employee experience (EX) translates to significantly positive business outcomes. Leadership futurist Jacob Morgan surveyed 252 global organisations and found that those with high EX reported 4.2x average profit, 2.8x revenue per employee and 40% lower employee turnover.

The top priority for CIOs in 2021: evolving the workplace

After the most difficult year in most business’ history, finding an evolved way to work, taking into account what has worked and what hasn’t since March 2020 is the most pressing priority for every business leader.

According to researcher Prof Brené Brown, brave leaders have the chance to rethink what’s possible in the workplace, taking a holistic view of what’s possible for both their business and their customers.

In parallel with this research, collaboration platform Slack has published a new eBook, Reinventing work: New imperatives for the future of working.

The company interviewed forward thinking business leaders from all industries, company sizes and disciplines about what their new way of working looks like and identified five key themes for success.

They explore how employers can break free from a 9-5 mindset for better employee engagement, find their next source of advantage in culture and alignment, write a new playbook for the ecosystem economy, converge CX in response to customer led disruption and win over their competitors by accelerating and automating work

Keeping employees engaged, energised and heard

According to Slack, leading CIOs should be asking a number of key questions to define their company’s new way of working.

Firstly, what are you doing to make sure we keep employees and customers engaged and energised – especially when the pandemic environment continues to be volatile and no-one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.

Then, as an IT leader, what are you doing to enable innovation in your company?

And finally, where is the voice for every employee to try and do things better? How are you encouraging and harnessing that collective voice?

As a collaboration platform, Slack is helping a range of Australian and global companies to shift away from ‘bricks and mortar’ HQs to virtual HQs that allow employees to work anywhere, any time, getting more done with better focus.

Companies getting results from new ways of working

Sendle, the Australian challenger to Australia Post’s Parcel Post service and now US parcel giants like Fedex, UPS and Amazon, is one of Slack’s customers that has used its collaboration platform to reinvent the way it works.

It works across four timezones – Australia, New Zealand, the Phillippines and the U.S., and says that it is has embraced the concept that physical headquarters are no longer the best way to bring people together to collaborate. Instead, the heart of its employee experience is a digital headquarters — a central place for work and social interactions.

“If we think about what we used to wake up to, for me that’s hundreds of emails. Whereas when you start working with Slack, everything’s triaged,” says Eva Ross, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer. “You’re already in your established groups, whether it be with my team, my executive team, the whole company.”

Up, a mobile-only neo-bank that is a collaboration between software developer Ferocia and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, has also found it can work much quicker as company while also providing faster service to customers by using the Slack platform.

‘We’re a really tight team with very ambitious goals,’ says Anne Shea, Up’s Content and Community Lead. ‘We use Slack obsessively to stay close, combining our talents to help Upsiders simplify their money and get what they want in life.’

The banking industry’s average time for support responses ranges between four hours and four days. Up, on the other hand, uses Slack to coordinate responses for social media or via the app’s custom-built ‘Talk to Us’ chat in an average of just a couple of minutes.

What to do next

  • To find out more about building the future way of working, reach out to the Slack team for a discussion.
  • Read Slack’s new eBook, Reinventing work: New imperatives for the future of working.
  • Talk to other executives at your company about how you could make the change to a ‘digital HQ’ concept like Slack, which enables staff to work anywhere, anytime.