work from home: How to reimagine the work, workforce, and workplace of the future

How do we rethink the workplace of the future? In the past two years we have permanently switched to a virtual workplace. The daily office routine from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday to Friday became superfluous. Today’s and tomorrow’s workplace includes the ability and mentality to work from anywhere, anytime and on any platform. i.e. digital nomadism.

But the question is, where did the need to rethink the workplace come from? The events that led to this were a combination of – the pandemic, the great resignation and the digitization process. From a worker’s perspective, the last two years of the pandemic have reinforced the realization that “health is wealth”. In addition, two years of uninterrupted WFH (work from home) led to employee burnout. ie ‘Great Resignation’ and now this trend has evolved into ‘Quit Quit’.

This has forced employees to ask questions such as: Does our work have meaning or purpose? How much control do we have over our time? How can we educate ourselves? Finally, do I work to live or do I live to work?

As a result, the employee-employer relationship has changed significantly. For once, the employee has the leverage. Therefore, a key feature of the workplace of the future will be a new definition of EVP (Employee Value Proposition). The EVP for Future Workplaces is formulated using 4 parameters:


Employees have a degree of freedom/control over how they work. The aim is to have the freedom to design one’s own working environment that enables a work-life balance and the ability to set boundaries

private and professional life.


Jobs are no longer just jobs. For some, they give meaning to their lives, purpose. In addition, the quality of relationships with colleagues and supervisors, mentoring and coaching, and transparency are the new currency of the workplace. Also, strong leadership will be critical to attracting and retaining top talent for future jobs.

Growth/Path: Employees want clarity when it comes to career development. They want to see a clear path in relation to their role and have some say in shaping their career in the organization. They also want the opportunity to improve their skills.

listening culture: Employees want organizational-level decisions to be made based on their feedback. They should be considered as equal interest groups when designing workplaces. The goal is full transparency and accountability at all levels, with the well-being of employees at the forefront.

Failure to convey these pain points when formulating an EVP will result in a trend such as “quiet quietly”. From an organization’s perspective, its entire modus operandi has been disrupted. In response, fluid hierarchical and organizational structures must be installed to deal with a digitally distributed workforce. There needs to be a reconceptualization of productivity. The idea that productivity equals hours is outdated. Now it is simply defined as the quality of the output. For future workplaces, resilience takes precedence over efficiency and productivity. From 2019 to 2021, the workplace has evolved by 5 to 10 years and is still evolving.

Therefore, going forward, the jobs of the future will be those that can adapt to the challenges of a disrupted world. The workspace will be an integration of human, physical and digital elements. When designing such a workspace, one would need to have clarity and a deep understanding of the intersections and dependencies between these three elements. Technology will be critical to the jobs of the future. Through Big Data, AI – data-driven, transparent and flexible work processes and systems are implemented in the workplace. It will play a key role in integrating the physical and digital workplace. The workplaces of the future would leverage technology to constantly improve employee and user experiences, enhance digital skills, and increase business agility.

The workplaces of the future will be able to react positively to digitization. You would have an adaptable workforce capable of continuous learning, acquiring cross-skills and fulfilling diverse roles. Again, technology will play a crucial role in making this possible. It will help figure out the existing skill gaps through constant data-driven assessments. The two themes that will embody the workplaces of the future will be ‘adaptation’ and ‘adaptation’, ie the ability to adapt experiences and environments that are harmonious for both the worker and the employer; and adapting to an ever-evolving economy and a fractured world.

However, the backbone of any workplace of the future will be honest and genuine communication between employer and employee. The goal must be to create flexible/custom communication protocols to ensure privacy, freedom and trust for employees when speaking out. To go further, a leader needs to be able to assess when communication should take place in a private space and what platform is appropriate in the context of communication.

(The author is CEO, Mercer|Mettl)

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