The future of work has evolved from generation to generation, but the transition from the pre-covid era with 40-hour weeks, daily commutes, and physical presence to remote working and or a hybrid of the two.
The covid-19 disrupted the workplace globally and locally in Nigeria; according to the World Economic Outlook (WEO), Nigeria’s GDP hit an all-time low with a decline of -6%. The unemployment rate in 2020 was at 27% (Nigerian Bureau of Statistics). That had a ripple effect on several industries, which led to 20% of Nigerian workers losing their jobs and others being furloughed. (NBS)
These changes forced the world to adapt to a new way of working, with some offices becoming obsolete except for essential services to protect human lives. The Covid-19 pandemic did not just take us out of the collaborative workplace; it also strongly reinforced the need to protect the environment. Many organisations have had to adopt a new strategy to ensure business continuity with an acceleration of recent trends like digitisation and e-commerce to meet the ever-changing needs of customers and employees.
The world has been overwhelmed with various perspectives, statistics, and thought leadership from leading firms on the debate of the future of work. Social media also plays a role in comic relief. It showcases various memes and TicTok videos of behind-the-scene realities.
Also, virtual meetings of people caught in half suits and half pyjamas to people who mistakenly leave their videos and found themselves disengaged have now become a thing.
The debate of the future of work has taken many dimensions some including:
Automation, AI, Big data
A shift in labour demand
Skilled vs. non-skilled
Culture centralized or decentralized
Work from home vs. Play at work
Workplace designs and usefulness
Remote work vs. Communal work: employer vs. employee value proposition on remote work, productivity vs. non-productivity, work-life balance in 9-5 vs. 24/7 remote work, cameras on vs. cameras off.
As businesses begin to adapt and ensure a sustainable strategy, the critical imperative remains which culture leads to better productivity and ultimately organisation profitability as we consider the benefits to both employer and employee.
In July 2021, pcl. conducted a study to understand how Nigerian organisations adapted their strategy to align with the disruption from the global pandemic and the future of work. The study was carried out among a sample size of over 200 business executives in the Nigerian business environment. 98% of these business leaders identified a robust strategic plan as a critical success factor to stay ahead of unexpected changes and ensure business success. Nigerian executives considered culture as one of the top factors to consider in their business strategy, moving from a 17% focus pre-covid to a 44% focus in some cases to align with the future of work. As a result, culture has become a key factor as organisations align their organisational strategy to the future of work.
pcl. would be exploring the future of work and its many faces at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce Webinar. The virtual event will be held from 10 am-12 pm on Thursday, October 28th, 2021.
The webinar will feature seasoned speakers and panellists from different industries who will be sharing valuable insights on the future of work. Speaking at the event are:
Remi Dada – CEO, Spacefinish
Tosin Okojie – Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, Andela