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Work is changing—this will help you prepare

These McKinsey Organization Blog posts, focused on the future of work, have proven helpful for readers and their organizations.
Bill Schaninger

Designs and manages large-scale organizational transformations, strengthening business performance through enhanced culture, values, leadership, and talent systems

Planning for the future of work has always been important. However, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the next big organizational shift—turning a hypothetical future into an immediate reality. In this rapid pivot, organizations gathered key learnings with long-term potential to improve operating models, employee experience, productivity, and more.

But as with any drastic change, there is risk involved, and an organization’s ability to properly mitigate the risk will determine their success in the post-pandemic world. The following posts offer valuable insights to support the continued transition to the future of work.

  • Three important questions for the future of remote work
    By Raphael Bick, Klaus Seywald, and Tom Welchman

    Both organizations and employees see opportunities and benefits from hybrid or fully remote working models, including flexibility, increased productivity, and higher employee satisfaction. But not every job can be equally performed in a remote setting, and remote work may not be sustainable for everyone. This post explores three important questions to consider when contemplating a hybrid or remote working model.

  • Organizing for the Future: Why now?
    By Elizabeth Mygatt, Richard Steele, and Mitya Voloshchuk

    Even the most successful companies today still operate by old rules of management that solve for uniformity, bureaucracy, and control. However, tweaking a system based on old rules will no longer be effective in the future of work. Leaders must act now to start building their organization in accordance with new principles, based on the four macro trends of more connection, unprecedented automation, lower transaction costs, and demographic shifts.

  • Organizing for the Future: A focus on three outcomes
    By Elizabeth Mygatt, Richard Steele, and Mitya Voloshchuk

    We are living in the first true information revolution. Companies embarking on a journey to organize for the future will need to address the organization as a dynamic system in which all elements affect and reinforce each other. Leaders must be able to answer these three pressing questions: Who are we? How do we operate? How do we grow?

  • The future of work: Balancing three symbiotic elements
    By Bill Schaninger and Kartik Sharma

    As organizations explore the future of work, it helps to view it as a combination of three symbiotic elements: work, the workforce, and the workplace. To adequately prepare, organizations need to fully understand the nature of work they do, who is needed to perform that work, and where that work is done. Getting this right will determine the winners in the post-pandemic world.

  • The future of the workplace: Embracing change and fostering connectivity
    By Marino Mugayar-Baldocchi, Bill Schaninger, and Kartik Sharma

    The relationship between employees and the workplace has changed, requiring organizations to invest in helping people navigate their vision for the hybrid workplace and any changes to the physical workspace. Organizations must take three key actions to reimagine the workplace and its purpose in the future of work.

  • The future of work: Managing three risks of the hybrid workplace
    By Marino Mugayar-Baldocchi, Bill Schaninger, and Kartik Sharma

    Many organizations are evaluating post-pandemic working models and contemplating the physical return to work. But three risk areas deserve careful attention. As organizations look to embrace a long-term hybrid model, they must focus on preserving their culture, supporting their people and talent processes, and continually revising their approach to this “next normal.”

  • The future of work: Seizing the opportunities of the new normal
    By Marino Mugayar-Baldocchi, Bill Schaninger, and Kartik Sharma

    The pandemic disrupted business as usual, creating an opportunity for organizations to redefine what they want to be and where they want to go. Conditions are ripe for large-scale change through new or reimagined initiatives that improve employee experience, increase productivity, and reduce attrition.

The above posts stood out as some of our top-performing content from 2020-2021. For additional posts that leaders found helpful during this period of change, we also recommend reading “How to lead during uncertain times.”

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