Updated: Jul 30, 2021
Over the past year, we have witnessed a rapid acceleration of remote working trends with several organizations permanently shifting towards digital or hybrid workforces. This speed and scale of transition has called for business and government leaders to rapidly retool and reskill their workplaces.
We brings to you the "Future of Work" Master playbook that has been complied based on the insights and inputs shared by the panel of a multidimensional conclave with cross-industry leaders sharing knowledge on implications of the new normal of work post-pandemic. This conclave was divided into four roundtable discussions that focus on the key aspects of Future of Work:
C-Suite Perspectives on the Future of Work
The Role of the Office and Impact on Real Estate and Retail Sector
The Legal and Financial Implications
Our sponsors for the conclave were-
Royal Bank of Canada
Key take-aways from our sponsors and chairpersons-
"For 16 months now, we have been living very strange and uncomfortable times. To illustrate the current situation with my teams, I like to use an analogy taken from Formula 1. When there’s an accident, the safety car gets out of the pit, which slows down the entire race. And when its job is done, the safety car drives back to the pit and the race resumes.
We have been in such a safety car mode for 15 months: numerous measures are being implemented, slowing the business down. And when a new project of organization will be finalized, then the business can resume “in full speed”. It will probably take a few more months for companies to function “normally”, as vaccination’s still in progress and as companies start to communicate on the work organization they intend to implement for the future. So, it’s a very exciting moment since we have to decide on new ways of working for our companies, while making sure that employees stay engaged and loyal, even when working remotely. The role of management teams will never be more important than in the time to come."
Senior Vice President General Manager
Estee Lauder Companies Canada
"Hybrid is the way to go!
We need to think globally, Canada certainly presents a unique dynamic and we need to understand and respect that. Equally we need to listen to our employees and find the balance within the global and local frameworks.
Within this framework, we went to the managers and asked them to let us know what would be the preferred way of working for their staff. To our surprise - a large aggregate of employees wanted to come back for up to 2-3 days.
We want to use this period-till September as a trial to really assess what work model is going to work for our staff after which we will go into more details about the policy we adopt, inculcating a certain level of flexibility between work from home and coming to office."
- Francis Repka
CEO – Group Chief Country Officer
Canada, Societe Generale
"We are now getting back to some kind of normality, where we are hoping to see again some of the old world that we are missing, and we are also feeling a bit of anxiety about what’s coming in the future.
The changes in the real estate and how we use our homes and offices in the future will affect everybody’s lives. And it’s not only about working, but also about shopping and interacting in a more general way.
The changes will be so huge that public and private institutions will have to work together to manage the numerous and complex interconnections in terms of office buildings, residential, retail, transport…
The consequences will be probably enormous for the next generations since all of these changes will not happen in a day, they will take time to develop and adapt. One thing that seems to be certain though: our way of living in urban areas will change deeply. "
Chief Executive Officer,
Saint-Gobain & CertainTeed Canada
"When RBC had to send thousands of people home overnight in March of 2020, our first challenges were logistical and technological. However, our main priority was always keeping employees and clients safe and healthy. And as the disruption of our work and lives continued, we became even more focused on the overall mental and physical well-being of employees.
With a global workforce, including on-site employees along with colleagues working from home, we knew our teams faced a range of concerns, from worrying about exposure to the virus, to feelings of isolation and the challenge of managing work and life under the same roof.
RBC’s strategy throughout the pandemic was to listen to employees, understand their needs and offer support and resources. At the same time, we encouraged people to talk openly about their struggles: the message from our leadership team was that “it’s ok not to be ok”.
As employees have started to come back to offices, they have a new set of questions and concerns about the future and working in a hybrid world. Even with consistent guiding principles, there are few simple, one-size-fits-all answers. So it’s even more important to listen and be empathetic, keeping everyone’s well-being top of mind as we adapt.
Sharing our experiences of the past months is so important today as we look to the future and ask: how do we maintain our culture of inclusion and strengthen our sense of belonging when working in a hybrid world?"
Royal Bank of Canada
"After 15 months of pandemic, we’re going through an interesting phase now, where companies will have to deal with a different way of working and with new expectations from their employees. Even if many employers seem to be comfortable with a hybrid system, it’s actually a very anxious period, where employers have to proceed without knowing for sure what they are legally entitled to do or not. Many key questions will have to be answered in the coming months: for example, can companies decide to bring everybody back, without consulting their employees about it? Can companies introduce measures that are detrimental to the employee because of their refusal to go back to work? Can companies demand that their employees are vaccinated?
Immigration is a major concern as well, as borders have been closed since March 2020. Have companies been able to continue to hire people from outside Canada during the pandemic, and if so, did they succeed in making them come to Canada? And what does it say about talent attraction and retention?
The financial impact of the pandemic is a very interesting question as well. At first sight, companies seem to make huge savings by implementing remote work. But is it that simple? What is actually the cost of equipping employees’ homes, creating well-being initiatives etc.? Therefore, so much uncertainty will have to be managed on a legal and on a financial perspective. "
Barrister, Solicitor, and Lawyer
For a detailed overview of the Future of Work, refer to the PDF attached below-
This playbook is compiled and authored by:
Resident HR Consultant, FCCCO
Media and Communications Strategist, FCCCO
Project Intern, FCCCO
Member Services, FCCCO