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THE FUTURE OF WORK
ADENIJI LOIS OLUWASEUN

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We should prepare for the biggest work from home experiment. The Coronavirus not only continues to adjust our business climate but comes with several other variants making it seemingly difficult to keep up. In the heat of it in 2020 and early 2021, companies have been forced to cut down staff strength and work remotely due to a drastic reduction in demand for their products or services. In the light of the occurrence, companies like Slack and Zoom has experienced major stock prices rise. There has also been new generation of startups creating long list of products to ensure that remote work becomes seamless and efficient. From basic accounting tools to productivity softwares to team management to conferencing software, there has been a redefinition to how work can be done. 

If history has taught us anything, it is that world events have the potential to cause permanent change and if measures are not put in place to mitigate the effect, the problem can be prolonged than usual.

This pandemic has delivered a new normal that is challenging and at the same time revealing. For now, it looks like at this stage  a new way of work is being introduced to us at once and we are just getting to adopt it. What then is the fate of businesses whose operations are completely traditional? Not just their basic operations but also how they search and get new customers when a Pandemic-prepped world remains seen?. If the rise of new startups that helps remote work go smoothly are any indication, how work will be done may have changed for good. 

However, startup founders must understand that to thrive in this new dispensation, there has to be skill set upgrade and some of their structures need to be adjusted. As against the normal skills Startup owners should possess, there is  one fact that's often missing from these discussions of essential traits and key skills -- the world is changing at a head-spinning rate. This is to say that an extremely equipped startup owner today can be off business in couple of months if his approach and capability do not keep up with the pace of the changing landscape. 

And what is essential for success now might soon be just a nice bonus, while a characteristic that is barely mentioned these days could assume central importance thanks to shifts in tech and business.

Apparently, the known startups turned big companies, starting out, the technical skill of the founders are integral to their successes but that is not going be important as the company evolves. This is not to say that knowledge is not important and essential but in coming years, experimentation will be more important. The ability to be proactive in adopting  new innovations. Going forward, startup owners can have the capacity to buy the knowledge the company needs to stay in business but what is hard to find is the inclination and ability to move with new ways of deploying that knowledge, a process that often involves failure and resilience, as well as constant learning.

Freelancing is the new cool as it gives people more flexibility to create a lifestyle they love. Startup owners have also tapped into that labor market to cut cost of running a full office. We are seeing an unprecedented shift in the way companies function around the world and recruiting at a time like this seem like a herculean task and hiring experts do not guarantee that they will deliver effectively. So another key skill in the future will be the leadership chops to cement a diverse group into a cohesive and culturally distinct unit. This requires a completely different leadership approach 

As much as business owners want to maximize profit, marketing has evolved with the Pandemic and people process information differently. We are now all interested in the impact of what any business is doing on the society so they want businesses who have the ability to talk about how their products or services are making a difference.  

The ability to bring the future to now, the capacity to shrink structures to create a sustainable system, to think of sustainability first and the overall impact to new innovations, to be proactive in adopting new technologies and innovations, to reduce the stages prospective customers have to go through to get goods and services, the thorough understanding of this put together is the point where we are ushered into the future of work. 

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