Liberty Global policy series March 2021

By stripping away bureaucracy, flattening hierarchies and streamlining processes, the response to COVID-19 has given us a glimpse of how work could and should change for the better. In fact, the pandemic is accelerating ongoing changes in the nature of work, who does it and where. 61% of executives asked in a recent Deloitte survey indicated to focus on re-imagining work in the next three years (from 29% prior to the pandemic) 1 . The profound shifts we are seeing are proving to be productive for many and painful for others, potentially exacerbating existing inequalities. That is one of the high-level conclusions from this discussion paper which draws on interviews with 26 business leaders, policy-makers and researchers, based on Deloitte's expertise on the Future of Work.

To enable organizations to prosper in a fast-moving and unpredictable environment, some of the interviewees called for a new kind of leadership based on mutual trust and a shared sense of purpose across employers and employees. Rather than simply dictating changes to employees, leaders need to become more

transparent and consultative, to sustain the flatter hierarchies and faster decision-making that have been hallmarks of organizations' immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis. Such a shift would need to be underpinned by a change in the way organizations define and measure ‘good performance', placing greater emphasis on outcomes, rather than inputs, and employee well-being. Organizations should identify the optimal workforce for a specific task (be it workers on payroll or flexible talent) and then design a bold, engaging and inclusive employee experience.

Businesses now compete on how quickly they can exchange information and make meaningful decisions. If they attempt to return to the old work regimes, they will risk losing good young people and market share to more forward-looking competitors. If they don't adapt to the future of work, businesses will lose the talent war and ultimately die.

Key Takeaways

About This Report

Call for greater trust and faster decision-making

Individuals will need to invest in their futures

Setting a direction of travel

A new purpose for offices and office workers

Governments need to step in and step up

About the Publisher

Frans Dagelet Partner in the Dutch Human Capital practice Frans brings more than 20 years of international consulting experience with a focus on the strategy and innovation of Human Capital. He leads Total Workforce Management offerings, with a particular focus in future of work models and contingent workforce and leads the Technology, Media and Telecoms from the HR perspective.

Publish Date

September 2021