I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

This past week was filled with examples of how rapidly the future of work is evolving. Here are the highlights.

The future of work has reached South African shores

Over on Business Tech there was this piece entitled More South Africans are quitting their jobs — experts warn its a ticking time bomb. Besides toxic workplaces and badly managed pandemic remote working resulting in burnout there is also this reason for this phenomenon: Talented people have discovered during the pandemic that in fact they can get their work done from anywhere and commuting to an office everyday is really completely unnecessary.

Leadership teams on the other hand want people back in the office because “remote work doesn’t work,” which then leads to these individuals finding employment elsewhere with organisations that have evolved their workplaces into work-from-anywhere arrangements.

This story will continue to repeat itself everywhere. Any business that takes the time to understand the work-from-anywhere working model, gets their head around it’s best practices, unlearn in-person ways of working and go on to achieve physical office escape velocity are going to make them talent magnets

The most successful companies of the future will be office-less and location independent. The pandemic has given you a golden opportunity to achieve all this and at the same time keep and attract top talent to your business. Will you seize that opportunity or let it pass?

Building culture in a remote team

In an excellent Twitter thread Nathan Barry explains how they have built a strong culture for their team of 68 remote employees.

Here is his first suggestion:

What a great way for a distributed team to get to know their colleagues! Now, with the background of a podcast episode, when you have a 1-1 virtual conversation with a colleague, you have, as he says a “head start” on building a relationship with that individual.

What do you think of this idea? Let me know in the comments!

Why is remote work so efficient?

Research consistently finds that remote working improves employee productivity. But why?

Here is what employees said

It’s clear — requiring people to commute into an office when they can get their job done from anywhere is killing your team productivity! Also, something we have know but sometimes don’t want to admit offices are distraction factories.

More on resignations

From the same research here is how employees said they will respond if asked to come back to the office 5 days a week.

Resign rather than return to the office

Leadership teams need to be aware of this data when considering their post-pandemic workplace policies.

The redistribution of talent will continue as return to physical offices decisions are made.

It also also telling that more women than men would consider resigning if they were forced back into a 5-day in the office situation. It illustrates how the status quo has impacted women negatively. This is totally unacceptable.

Thank goodness that we have now proven beyond any doubt that so many job functions can indeed be performed from anywhere.