Apple CEO Tim Cook has added his voice to the chorus of business leaders who now hope the future job will be a hybrid environment in which local and remote employees work together.
Welcome to Office as a Service
You’re right, of course. IDC predicts that 60% of the U.S. workforce will be removed by 2024. According to Slack’s Future Forum, only 12% of knowledge workers want to return to office, while 72% want a hybrid office model at distance in the future.
However, Cook does not agree with remote work. Speaking to People magazine, Cook said that while he believes Apple will accept more remote work, he also believes that bringing people together physically is important, at least for some of the things his company does. (That includes, I think, the secret development of the product.)
«My gut is that it’s still very important for us to be in physical contact, because collaboration isn’t always a planned activity,» Cook said.
Remote innovation takes time
This reflects part of the experience we read about, as the teams try to innovate together. Remote work requires a lot of planning to be successful, and as Cook points out, it’s not always possible to plan the next big idea. Sometimes they appear when people simply jump smaller ideas off the wall.
«Innovation is not always a planned activity,» he said. «They hit each other during the day and advance an idea they just had. And they really have to be together to do that. «
The Apple CEO is not the only one who believes this; Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, among others, also believes that personal presence is important in promoting the company’s culture and developing relevant skill sets.
Both men can be bodyguards. «Hybrid remote work patterns may persist after the pandemic, primarily for a well-educated and well-paid minority of the workforce,» says the McKinsey Global Institute.
Most business leaders now accept that employees can perform their tasks very well while working remotely. In fact, some human resources departments are beginning to explore the benefits of getting talent from a global fund of potential jobs, rather than being limited to one area or geography.
Good people need good software
Therefore, we are witnessing the adoption of asynchronous work practices in many companies, with a growing internationalization of teams and a greater implementation of mobile technology.
These moves also lead to the adoption of new software solutions to support remote work, from robotic tools to automate robotic processes (to make interaction more efficient) to chatbots like Apple Business Chat and powerful business management tools. Projects like the Merlin Project.
These software solutions are becoming as important as using Webex or Zoom for companies trying to get things done. This is why so many video collaboration tool developers are now integrating with Trello, Slack, Dropbox, Otter or Zendesk. The workforce of the future will be supported by a combination of complementary technologies, remote IT support and zero-touch configuration.
Regardless, Cook said that while Apple is still figuring out how to bring people back to the office, it now accepts that remote work is good for many tasks and is full of praise for what its teams have accomplished in the past year. . «I really give credit to the team because they really got up on the occasion.»
Go whenever you want
Hybrid work should become more voluntary.
As Dean Hager, CEO of Jamf, said, participating in the office will no longer be a requirement of the position, but can become a benefit. I suspect that most workers will go to the office in search of missing resources at home or, as Cook’s model suggests, simply to work closely with others to solve and solve the most difficult problems.
Of course, this will change the office space requirements. A recent New York Partnership study found that the city’s largest employers expect only 45% of employees to return to office work in September. This, of course, heralds major changes in the future, both in office locations and in the service industry, which exist in business districts around the world.