What does the future of work mean? \u201cGetting back to normal\u201d with everyone in the office 9-5? Doing the same meetings but over Zoom? Or finding more efficient ways of working?\nThese are the questions that Slack is asking CIOs to consider as the IT industry navigates what the \u201cnew normal\u201d looks like.\nAccording 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.\nClearly, 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\u2019t even on the table.\nThe other reality is that top talent isn\u2019t interested in punching the clock or attending a fixed quota of days in the office. And they\u2019re definitely underwhelmed by their organisation issuing a new one-size-fits-all policy about workplace attendance.\nInstead, 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.\nIn 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.\nA 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.\nThe top priority for CIOs in 2021: evolving the workplace\nAfter the most difficult year in most business\u2019 history, finding an evolved way to work, taking into account what has worked and what hasn\u2019t since March 2020 is the most pressing priority for every business leader.\nAccording to researcher Prof Bren\u00e9 Brown, brave leaders have the chance to rethink what\u2019s possible in the workplace, taking a holistic view of what\u2019s possible for both their business and their customers.\nIn parallel with this research, collaboration platform Slack has published a new eBook, Reinventing work: New imperatives for the future of working.\nThe 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.\nThey 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\nKeeping employees engaged, energised and heard\nAccording to Slack, leading CIOs should be asking a number of key questions to define their company\u2019s new way of working.\nFirstly, what are you doing to make sure we keep employees and customers engaged and energised \u2013 especially when the pandemic environment continues to be volatile and no-one knows what\u2019s going to happen tomorrow.\nThen, as an IT leader, what are you doing to enable innovation in your company?\nAnd finally, where is the voice for every employee to try and do things better? How are you encouraging and harnessing that collective voice?\nAs a collaboration platform, Slack is helping a range of Australian and global companies to shift away from \u2018bricks and mortar\u2019 HQs to virtual HQs that allow employees to work anywhere, any time, getting more done with better focus.\nCompanies getting results from new ways of working\nSendle, the Australian challenger to Australia Post\u2019s Parcel Post service and now US parcel giants like Fedex, UPS and Amazon, is one of Slack\u2019s customers that has used its collaboration platform to reinvent the way it works.\nIt works across four timezones \u2013\u00a0Australia, 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 \u2014 a central place for work and social interactions.\n\u201cIf we think about what we used to wake up to, for me that\u2019s hundreds of emails. Whereas when you start working with Slack, everything\u2019s triaged,\u201d says Eva Ross, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer. \u201cYou\u2019re already in your established groups, whether it be with my team, my executive team, the whole company.\u201d\nUp, 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.\n\u2018We\u2019re a really tight team with very ambitious goals,\u2019 says Anne Shea, Up\u2019s Content and Community Lead. \u2018We use Slack obsessively to stay close, combining our talents to help Upsiders simplify their money and get what they want in life.\u2019\nThe banking industry\u2019s 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\u2019s custom-built \u2018Talk to Us\u2019 chat in an average of just a couple of minutes.\nWhat to do next\n\nTo find out more about building the future way of working, reach out to the Slack team for a discussion.\nRead Slack\u2019s new eBook, Reinventing work: New imperatives for the future of working.\nTalk to other executives at your company about how you could make the change to a \u2018digital HQ\u2019 concept like Slack, which enables staff to work anywhere, anytime.