September 23, 2020 It’s Bigger Than Work From Home, It’s Work From Anywhere With Everyone

Welcome back to our Future of Work series—big picture discussions around remote workforces, virtual and distributed talent, and the organizations tapping the talent economy to drive enterprise productivity and innovation. To quickly recap:

  • Part 1 focused on the new Future of Work and how it’s on demand and rooted in trust.
  • Part 2 explored the booming world of remote work, and what’s next when virtual teams become the norm.
  • Part 3 maps the evolution of employee upskilling and a new vision for workforce transformation.
  • Part 4 examines creating an marketplace model that’s equally beneficial to both sides.

That brings us to Part 5 – It’s bigger than Work from Home, it’s Work from Anywhere with Everyone.

Work from home –> work from anywhere

Work From Home was so May 2020, and it’s already evolved for the enterprise in meaningful ways. It’s true that Enterprises are looking at the cost savings associated with WFH and they’re positioning their organizations to adopt much more of it for a post-COVID world, but it’s way, way more than just cost savings. There is a much more important C-word driving this—culture.

Seen through the lens of a Chief People Officer or CHRO, WFH is better for people:

  • More flexibility for FTEs is better
  • More trust in FTEs is better
  • Focusing on outcomes, not hours spent in an office is markedly better

It’s important to avoid hyperbole. You hear (way too much in the current environment) that the modern enterprise office is gone forever! No… it’s not. It will change, in fact it already has, and to say “it’s gone forever” is useless. With that, the shift to much more flexible workforce strategies is still very significant.

Everybody is doing it

Recently, a company founded in 1847, with more than 380,000 employees globally, announced a MAJOR shift in their workforce policy. Industrial manufacturing giant Siemens unveiled this new policy in a statement by their CEO, Roland Busch. In a nutshell, the new policy allows employees to work from anywhere for an average of 2 to 3 days per week. This is how Mr. Busch summarized what this meant to the 150+ year old manufacturing giant:

The basis for this forward-looking working model is further development [of] our corporate culture. These changes will also be associated with a different leadership style, one that focuses on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office. We trust our employees and empower them to shape their work themselves so that they can achieve the best possible results. With the new way of working, we’re motivating our employees while improving the company’s performance capabilities and sharpening Siemens’ profile as a flexible and attractive employer.

This article—This Company’s New 2-Sentence Remote Work Policy Is the Best I’ve Ever Hearddoes a fantastic job explaining just how big this shift in thinking is, and what it truly represents. The article goes on to highlight that Roland’s words mean:

  • Focus on outcomes, not hours spent in an office
  • Trust and empower your employees

THE NEXT PIVOT – Work from anywhere with everyone

Work from Home has become Work From Anywhere, because culturally, we trust people to be productive and do the right things. But there is still one scene missing. It’s not only that we trust you, remote, globetrotting, FTE … we also empower you to be the most productive you can be.   

You’re empowered through collaboration technologies – Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other co-creation suites. That piece is foundational, and it’s also not enough. If you’re an entrepreneur within your global organization, a burgeoning rock star that is here to create top-line revenue generating digital experiences, what do you really want?

You want opportunity to create. You want budget to experiment. AND, you want talent. If you’re truly empowered, then you have access to technology talent that can help you today. The shifts from office to home to anywhere are great, but they’re all incremental. The LEAP is Work from Anywhere, with Anyone. Teammates, contractors, freelancers, gig workers… ANYONE.

The power of a global workforce

We recently sat down with Paul Hlivko on the Uprisor podcast. Paul is the CXO and CTO of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and when asked why he’s committed to what he dubs an All-In Talent Strategy for his organization, this was his answer:

“If I’ve got an engineer lead developer, what better way to make sure that they are using their thought leadership than to give them the power of a global workforce?”

The future of work is not Work from Home, and it doesn’t stop with Work From Anywhere. The REAL future of work, this NEW WORK, is Work From Anywhere with Anyone. If you’re a CHRO, or CXO, CTO, CIO, Transformation Officer, Chief Digital Officer or even the CEO … your job, is to figure out how to do that in the most effective way for your enterprise.

Alexa Baray


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