As with all advances, however, leaders will need to strike a balance between the huge opportunities offered by an “always-on” virtual world and the need to manage employee wellbeing and preserve a healthy organisational culture. The pandemic has also laid bare the need for stronger and more authentic human leadership.
"In a period of crisis, people are constantly looking for direction and reassurance.” – Shayne Elliott
According to ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott, the past year reinforced to him the importance of clarity in communication.
“In a period of crisis, people are constantly looking for direction and reassurance,” he explains. “I needed to ensure what was most important to our business and our people remained top of mind for all employees around the world.”
Capgemini CEO Aiman Ezzat says across industries change is taking place in weeks that would have normally taken months or even years.
"I’ve been deeply impressed by the speed at which our societies have evolved and adapted. For example, new investments and innovations for health like vaccines, telehealth and contact tracing. And in retail a massive acceleration in the adoption of contactless payments and ecommerce."
"All businesses, including Capgemini and ANZ, have been disrupted in the short term as they have focused on their immediate crisis response. One major long-term impact of the pandemic is seen in the evolution of our operating model towards a borderless hybrid working model," he explains.
While the precise definition of ‘hybrid working’ will vary by company, the consensus is there will be no going back to a 100 per cent in-office model in the foreseeable future – perhaps ever.
Capgemini’s future of work research found three-quarters of organisations expect 30 per cent or more of their employees to be working remotely now and over a quarter expect over 70 per cent of staff to work remotely going forward.