Today's Wundamail Voices comes from GM and VP of Marketing for CloudApp, Joe Martin. We caught up with him to get his take on the future of work, especially where tech is concerned.
The modern workplace is upon us. If you look back on content from all the major tech giants prior to 2020 you will see a lot of focus on digital transformation, future of work, and remote distributed teams. 7 years of digital transformation conversations crammed into 7 weeks of execution.
That is where we sit with the Future of Work. Twitter, Shopify, and Facebook have all come out with their policies on working from home and supporting remote workers. Businesses all over the world are creating remote work guides and learning that work can be accomplished without a calendar full of meetings.
With history in the making right now it's important to understand what the future of work is and how to manage or lead in it.
What is the Future of Work?
In late 2019, CloudApp released some data that showed the majority of Millennials and GenZ generations were already working remotely. The shift has been driven by cost of living in major metro areas, focus on quality of life, and I am sure the 2 hours of commuting to work each day played a part.
The Future is Remote
The playbooks that have been created over the first part of 2020 have forced businesses to acknowledge remote work as a possible piece of its future. This isn’t to say that the value of a large HQ for established companies like Facebook, Adobe, Microsoft, or Salesforce won’t still exist.
There is still very much a connection between humans that can’t be replaced. We like to be around people even if we aren’t always talking. The future is a hybrid of the two. A more flexible approach to hiring people outside of a small footprint, but finding ways to get them with their peers every month or quarter for those serendipitous moments.
The Future is Video Driven
Video has proven to be a keystone to the modern workplace over the past several months. It will fuel digital learning, connect remote teams, and keep businesses operating for the foreseeable future.
Tools like Zoom for synchronous/real time connection and CloudApp for asynchronous connection are the leading providers of visual connection in the modern workplace. When combining a weekly 1:1 touchbase over Zoom with CloudApp video explanations to replace email the modern workplace will become more productive and collaborative.
The Future is Blended
Combining work and home life in 2020 has helped both office workers and businesses to develop playbooks on how to achieve goals under these circumstances.
The future of work may look similar. We will see many people choose to shed the big city and big commute for a work life that has more time centered around home. It will create new opportunities and new struggles as office workers and managers learn to adapt.
The blended future will be full of opportunities for those who recognize the modern workplace and find ways to hire talented individuals who may not fit the typical box of working in a metro area.
How to Manage in the Modern Workplace
The last few months have helped businesses and managers develop playbooks for success to keep up with goals and ensure employee and customer satisfaction.
Recently I interviewed Vahagn Sarksyan, Head of Marketing at Krisp for the CloudApp podcast The DNA of An Experience. I loved what he had to say about “Flexibility and connectivity” being keys to the modern workplace and leadership.
The rigidity of the 9-5 has been forced and flexed into a different mold. Home and work lives are blending more and require a different setup. There is still very much a value to working next to each other and having human connection. However, managers who are flexible and willing to support their teams needs with outputs/outcomes being the same will find it much easier to recruit and retain talent.
Find ways to have some structure with weekly 1:1s or team meetings to remain a goal oriented team, but also recognize that things may be different and more remote for quite some time.
Weekly 1:1s and team meetings are crucial for staying connected. Those meetings don’t need to be long or super structured, but provide a way to connect on tactics and progress to ensure goals are accomplished.
Connect visually. If you aren’t able to be together, then find ways to connect visually. Products like Zoom for real time connection and CloudApp for asynchronous messaging have exploded this year as people look to stay connected in the remote world. These products can help provide opportunities for greater connection and improved collaboration outside an office setting.
What is the Future of Work?
The answer to the future of work is still murky. We may find that the remote shitt caused by covid-19 ends up being as impactful to the world as the Creative Renaissance or the Industrial Revolution. Individuals and businesses will find ways to innovate and create connections outside of an office setting.
We will still continue to see offices pop up and companies provide benefits for those who come to HQ to work. We will also see senior leadership hired outside of the office footprint, new hires interviewed and onboarded completely over Zoom, more meetings eliminated in favor of a CloudApp video, and a larger focus on supporting flexible work schedules.
The Future of Work is always developing, but the last few months have definitely accelerated the focus on making the discussions of the last 5 years a reality.
Joe Martin is GM and VP of Marketing at CloudApp, powering the modern (and remote) workforce. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry and tech that makes it run, he provides strategic guidance on how to build and use the right stack for businesses. Formerly Head of Social Analytics at Adobe, Joe believes marketers need smart training and leadership to scale company growth. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @joeDmarti.