Report Insights - From Cube to Cloud: The Next Era of Work
In 2021, human capital research firm the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) – in partnership with Top Employers Institute – launched a study to investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic drove radical changes in the ways in which we work. 1,452 respondents located in 55 countries and representing 37 different industries took part in the study. i4cp examined strategies applied by high-performance organisations to enable collaboration, innovation, performance, and employee experience for workforces that suddenly transitioned From Cube to Cloud™.
This brief highlights a few key findings based on a comparison of data from respondents representing EU-based organisations, and those from organisations based outside the EU (designated as ‘Rest of World)’. The data and findings in the brief do not reflect country-specific or region-specific (e.g., northern EU vs. southern EU) demographic or cultural nuances.
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Below is a summary of the findings:
Demanding a Return to the Office is a Mistake
Though CEOs may be eager to bring their workers back to the office, they are better served to ignore their personal viewpoints and instead rely on the sentiment of their employee base.
Flex work works
Globally, organizations report higher levels of productivity, engagement, culture health, and a stronger sense of connection to organizational purpose since the pandemic.
Innovation and performance are not contingent on working onsite
Justifications for returning employees to the office are not supported by the data and overlook the greater threat from not offering flex work: attrition of top talent.
The pandemic has redefined leadership
New ways of working require new leadership skills. Development should focus on those who are comfortable handling change and leading in a hybrid environment.
Offices will be reconfigured (not abandoned), and employee benefits will be expanded
High-performance organizations are more than 50% more likely to use a hoteling philosophy in the future, and/or use the office primarily as an innovation lab. Further, companies will make greater investments in holistic workforce well-being—this may include assistance with childcare and/or eldercare, paid family leave, and upskilling or reskilling.