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With a potential recession on the horizon, we know you want resources to help your business master the moment. We've put together our Agility & Excellence Resource Center to bring you strategies and solutions with a finger on the pulse of what's ahead.
In today's fast-paced world, there's no denying that the "new normal" has captured everyone's attention. However, it's essential to recognize that the modern workplace is not static; instead, we find ourselves amid a "shifting normal." This ever-evolving workplace is marked by constant change and lingering uncertainty, necessitating that companies adapt and navigate these fluctuations to enhance efficiency and bolster their bottom line.
As organizations grapple with the shifting normal, they must confront many challenges, including the abundance of unused workspace, the persistent talent shortage and the prevailing concern of productivity paranoia. By acknowledging and proactively addressing these issues, businesses can master the ever-changing business backdrop.
Making Use of Unused Space
Gone should be the days when unused office space resembled an apocalyptic wasteland, with forlorn cubicles standing lonely and abandoned. The modern workplace offers a plethora of innovative solutions to transform these dormant areas into vibrant, resourceful and potentially profitable environments.
Whether your organization owns or leases its space, the time has come to reimagine and repurpose these previously neglected zones. By harnessing innovation and creativity, companies can transform vacant areas into vibrant productivity, collaboration and revenue-generating hubs. In doing so, they can maximize their resources and breathe new life into what was once an unproductive void.
Some creative ideas include:
- Collaboration Hubs: Set up a collaborative space where employees from different departments can work together on cross-functional projects, fostering innovation and teamwork.
- Training Centers: Develop an onsite training center to upskill employees, offer workshops or host industry events and conferences.
- Co-Working Spaces: Convert unused spaces into co-working areas that can be rented out to freelancers, startups or other companies seeking temporary or flexible workspaces.
- Business Incubators: Create a business incubator or accelerator program to support startups and entrepreneurs by providing them with office space, mentorship and resources.
- Onsite Childcare: Feature an onsite daycare to benefit back-to-office and hybrid workers by alleviating stress and reducing commute time. It can also be a competitive advantage when recruiting new employees.
- Event Venues: Offer the space for rent as a venue for corporate events, networking sessions, product launches or seminars.
By repurposing unused office space, companies can maximize their resources, contribute to the local economy and foster a sense of community.
Embracing Human (and Digital) Outsourcing
In today's competitive landscape, companies are increasingly wrestling with talent scarcity. In numerous surveys, talent acquisition and retention remain one of the top concerns – if not the singular top-most concern – among business leaders. As traditional methods of bridging talent gaps fail to deliver results, it's time for organizations to explore unconventional solutions. One such approach, outsourcing, empowers businesses to tap into the expertise of third-party vendors, freelancers or contractors with specialized skillsets, thus meeting organizational demands. Furthermore, organizations should embrace technological outsourcing, such as automation, to streamline operations and optimize efficiency.
Some of the most commonly outsourced skills in the business sector include:
- Customer service
- Bookkeeping and payroll
- Marketing and advertising
- Human Resources
- Supply chain and logistics
- Legal services.
Some of the most commonly automated business processes include:
- Customer support and chatbots
- Payroll and invoicing
- Data entry
- Email marketing
- Inventory management.
Fighting Productivity Paranoia
In the contemporary world, the tug-of-war between remote and office workers shows no signs of abating. Employees increasingly resist returning to the office full-time, seeking to maintain the flexibility to which they have grown accustomed. To address this problem, companies must strike a delicate balance by embracing both work lifestyles and fostering employee engagement and collaboration while sustaining productivity levels across the board.
However, productivity paranoia continues to grip managers, with trust issues clouding their perception of remote employees. A 2022 Microsoft survey highlights the stark disconnect between leaders and workers: 85% of managers claim that the shift to hybrid work has made it difficult to trust employees' productivity, while 87% of workers assert they are performing just fine.
To bridge this gap and foster a more inclusive and trusting work environment, leadership should consider recalibrating their approach to productivity assessment and adapt their management style to the new reality of hybrid work.
By harnessing these innovative approaches and embracing more forward-thinking strategies, companies can confidently navigate the shifting normal, transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and success.
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