What does the future of work look like?
While we don’t exactly have a crystal ball, many of the trends are pretty clear. Our professional lives have gone through massive shifts and set us on a whole new course for how we work. This is a welcome and long-awaited change.
This is because traditional ways of working are no longer necessary and, in many ways, no longer viable. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted gaps in healthcare and work-life balance while also proving that remote work and flexibility are entirely doable.
We foresee that the trends many organizations have adopted in recent years will continue to grow and solidify, leading to a new way of work that is more conducive to well-being.
Plus, we’ve seen a blossoming movement of conscious leadership. In fact, we’re at the forefront of that movement right here at DotConnect. Our founder Dom Farnan has radically altered the way she shows up at work, and it is a beautiful thing to see. Additionally, there are many other conscious leaders stepping up to this new way of being, and we couldn’t be more thrilled.
Let’s take a look at the trends we expect to see in the years ahead:
Companies are beginning to wake up to how important well-being is for their staff, and one of the key ways they can support their team is through benefits. In fact, many people would sacrifice some of their salary for better benefits, such as unlimited PTO or great healthcare.
This makes total sense. Without adequate insurance, the cost of medical expenses can easily make a higher salary less impactful. When getting into an accident can bankrupt you, you want the best possible coverage, even if it comes with a lower salary.
Benefits can take many forms, from healthcare to flexible scheduling to time off. Let’s take a look at some of the top trends we’re noticing here at Dot.
Mental Health Support
More and more, employers are investing time into mental health benefits and support, which were woefully undervalued in the past.
Great mental health benefits will make it possible for staff to afford counselors and therapists, join groups, or get medications they need to stay well. Meanwhile, support can take the form of having company-wide mental health days or even offering schedule flexibility, which can reduce burnout and excess stress (more on that later).
Companies are also now more apt to create a culture that supports mental health by providing resources and information about it. Unfortunately, mental health issues have traditionally been very stigmatized in our culture, but the world is changing in the midst of a mental health crisis.
We’re excited for the day when people understand that taking care of your mental health is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Looking at mental health in a positive way couldn’t be more important. Not only is it important for living a happy life, but good mental health also has a positive impact on work life and even physical health. If it’s not treated properly, poor mental health can cost companies by leading to sick days and poor performance.
But more importantly, staff members aren’t just cogs in a wheel. They’re people who deserve adequate support to thrive in all areas of their lives. Offering mental health benefits is one of the best ways to care for your team, and it shows maturity, leadership, and an awareness of just how important this is.
Wellness in the Workplace
Mental health benefits are one way to encourage self-care among staff, but alternative medicine and personal growth trends are blooming right alongside traditional mental health care. How amazing!
There are so many ways to support well-being at work that go beyond providing access to mental health benefits. We’re happy to see many employers recognizing the importance of holistic or integrative medicine. They’re more apt to provide coverage for treatments like acupuncture, alternative healthcare providers such as naturopaths and functional medicine doctors, and bodywork such as massage.
Here at DotConnect, we’re also excited to see some of our favorite personal growth and holistic self-care practices being embraced by employers. We love doing things like breathwork, meditation, and sound healing together, and we’ve found it to be a gamechanger for transforming our team. We can proudly say that engaging in wellness practices either at work or on your own time will be beneficial in ways you probably can’t even imagine right now.
So we foresee a wonderful shift towards honoring wellness in its many forms at work. While many leading tech companies have embraced things like yoga and massage in the office, we’re seeing more companies incorporating similar practices. We strongly advocate for practices like “Wellness Wednesdays” in place of (or in addition to) happy hours, which can be virtual instead of in-person to include everyone.
In recent years, it’s become very clear that employees are looking for positions that it into their lifestyles, not ones that will overtake their lives.
Whereas in the past, people expected to make big sacrifices when it came to their personal lives, the fact that the next day of our lives is never guaranteed to us and that these days pass so quickly has people rethinking their priorities.
That’s why flexible scheduling and expanded PTO have gained so much traction. People aren’t as willing to make sacrifices in their personal lives to accommodate work.
Plus, it just makes practical sense to have flexibility. When people are juggling an insane amount of responsibility, like caring for kids or aging parents, dealing with health challenges, or unexpected life events, they must have flexibility.
Flexible scheduling is likely to look different for every company.
Some might adopt shorter work weeks. Others might relieve their staff of working during traditional office hours unless there’s a need to do so. That could look like allowing their team to work in the evenings so they can take care of kids or go to physical therapy sessions in the afternoons.
When it comes to vacation time, we’re seeing companies adopting a more flexible PTO policy which includes many more days off or even unlimited PTO — this has been a long time coming. Many other developed countries give their staff close to a month off, and when it comes to living a balanced and purposeful life, two weeks vacation just doesn’t always cut it.
To be clear, unlimited PTO, isn’t exactly how it sounds. Staff still need to request time off, and they can’t exactly abandon responsibilities. Still, an expanded or unlimited PTO option means they will have much more opportunity to take that Europe trip during the slow season, visit mom for Christmas, or take time to deal with an emergency.
Remote and Hybrid Work
Now that we’ve seen how unnecessary that commute or that office wardrobe is, it’s tough to go back to the way things were. And we aren’t.
Remote and hybrid work is so much more attainable than we thought. It turns out you can still be productive and accountable while working from home — you might even be more productive.
Everyone’s clearly seeing the benefits of remote or hybrid work. A recent study shows that 40% of workers said that they never wanted to go back to an office. Meanwhile, another survey showed that 83% of employers found the transition to remote work to be successful. We’ve shown that remote work can be done, and that many workers are even more productive when working from home. The fact is, remote work will become a permanent fixture.
Working remotely has some incredible benefits for employers and their teams. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Organizations drastically lower their costs by not maintaining a physical location
- Without a commute, staff has more time for work or personal time, leading to better time management
- Organizations can fill open roles more quickly, with talent from across the country or world
- Workers can move and live anywhere they want without losing their job
- Workers have more time and flexibility to take care of their well-being
- Team members can save money by not commuting or needing an extensive office wardrobe
When it comes to remote work, especially when combined with a flexible schedule, employers must collaborate with prospective employees to make arrangements that are flexible but still ensure productivity, responsibility, and efficiency. So leaders will need to be proactive and explicit when it comes to making outcomes and objectives clear and easily accessible at all times.
One way employers are doing this is through online project management tools like Asana or Trello, which allow for visibility into projects from all angles. They will also need to be extra clear in all communications to ensure everyone is aware of responsibilities and timelines.
Being that we’re all about conscious leadership here at Dot, we’re incredibly excited about this one.
The shift towards a more enlightened, self-aware way of leading a team is truly gaining traction, and while we can’t say for sure whether it will be long-lasting, we certainly hope it will.
So what is conscious leadership? To sum it up, it’s about taking responsibility and holding yourself accountable for the way you engage with your team. It’s about being mindful of your tendencies to project emotions onto others, micromanage your team, get angry or lose your cool, or fail to take the needs of the team into account.
We’ve all lived through toxic workplaces and know how tough they can be. You spend so much of your life working, and engaging with colleagues is inescapable — so a toxic environment can really take a toll on you, affect the success of the company, and just make life awful.
There are a number of strategies you can use when it comes to being a conscious leader. Some great examples include meditating or engaging in contemplative practices to develop self-awareness. Additionally, you can actively try to catch yourself in your habitual thoughts, reactions, and behaviors at work.
Collaboration and servant leadership are also important, which means you’re leading from a place of service instead of ego. Then there’s admitting to your mistakes and learning from them, which is inevitably going to happen on the path to conscious leadership.
Conscious leadership masterminds, groups, coaching, and training are all the rage, which means that conscious leadership is going to stick around for a while. Future job candidates may consider the culture — which starts with leadership — to be an incredibly important factor in their job search.
While no one can know ahead of time how the reality of a company aligns with its stated vision, there are plenty of review sites like Glassdoor where candidates can look up employee reviews. No one likes a toxic environment, so we predict that the conscious leadership trend will continue to grow.
Attract Amazing Talent With DotConnect
The professional landscape is evolving rapidly, bringing much-needed changes to the way we work. Candidates are seeking much more than just a salary — they’re seeking a better way of living, which means having great benefits, a commitment to wellness, flexible work schedules, remote work opportunities, and conscious cultures.
We love being on the forefront of change, and our goal is to help your company both reach and retain top talent, no matter what industry you’re in and what you’re looking for. Let us help you find your dream team.
Are you a job seeker? We’ve got you! We have a unique style of recruitment that goes far beyond viewing you as a number. Let’s talk about your wants, needs, talents, and experience, so we can place you in a position you love.