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The future of work we’ve all been waiting for came faster than we expected and completely changed the way businesses should be started and run. Enterprises and established companies are currently struggling to rethink their offices and corporate culture as the demand for the human cloud and hybrid work models continues to grow. Unfortunately, traditional organizational structures and 9 to 5 work cultures are difficult to break when the company has been operating that way for years.
New businesses are unburdened by existing, outdated processes and policies that can limit future work growth and productivity. Today’s entrepreneurs and startup founders have the opportunity to organize their businesses from the ground up to take full advantage of the benefits of the future of work.
So, if you were to start a new business designed for the future of work, what would it look like?
Related: 4 things for employers to consider about the future of work
Integrate distributed teams into your org chart
Traditional companies have an established, top-down organizational structure, and freelance, contract, or gig employees are considered “other” or outside the organization. This structure is not viable in an era where the workforce is becoming increasingly freelance, contract, remote, flexible and distributed.
In addition to showing each employee’s job and who is accountable to whom, a startup’s organizational structure streamlines the flow of communication and information from the company’s leadership to all employees and team members. The future of work requires a more flexible and inclusive organizational structure, onboarding a fragmented workforce while fully addressing the roles and communication channels available between the organization and its team members working outside the company. Remote and distributed workers can help meet your company’s needs when their employer meets their expectations and satisfies their psychological needs of belonging and recognition.
Opt for a non-linear work chain
When developing the org chart, you should also consider more decentralized decision-making rather than a traditional hierarchy. As the work model gradually adopts the new concept of employment, start-ups and early-stage entrepreneurs need to move away from the traditional top-down management structure and adopt a non-linear or decentralized business model. Top-down, linear management slows down the pace of work and limits the potential for team members to contribute innovative ideas.
Decentralized decision-making will be particularly valuable if you embrace outsourcing and bring the expertise of people outside the organization to the conversation.
Related: 4 reasons why decentralized business management is booming
As companies look to innovate at scale, outsourcing software development and leveraging workforce expansion has become increasingly common. In fact, having a large internal team is not necessary at all in the future of work.
Outsourcing development to distributed teams allows your company to stay lean while responding quickly to the latest technical opportunities. In comparison, traditional companies that have expanded their tech staff in recent years are now being forced to downsize their teams as the overall market and tech landscape change. In addition to avoiding the cost of constantly scaling up and down to meet your current needs, outsourcing provides access to expert software teams that can improve the speed and quality of your development cycles.
Consider working remotely and asynchronously
The future of work increases the likelihood that you will end up hiring across international borders, such as data from the Remote Workforce Report 2023 shows that 44% of companies are increasingly hiring cross-border staff. To take full advantage of benefits such as higher productivity and higher retention rates, you need to create correspondingly distributed processes for your teams across time zones and geographies to work together to deliver results, even though they don’t share common office spaces.
A change in the working environment requires a corresponding operational change to maximize efficiency and productivity; you may want to implement asynchronous processes instead of traditional ones. With remote teams, work doesn’t happen in the same place at the same time; you need to set up asynchronous communication and coordination processes for remote workers, because the future of work means that work can take place in different places and at different times. Going asynchronous from the start eliminates the need for employees to be online at the same time, as they can work autonomously and still deliver expected results.
Related: How to Be a Truly Asynchronous Workplace
Create workflows for distributed teams
a recent research found that 72% of employees surveyed would not consider accepting offers from companies that do not offer flexible working options, as they prefer a better work-life balance. As the future of work offers employees opportunities to work from the most exotic places, future-proof your new start-up by creating a workflow for your remote teams that makes work-related communication easy to increase productivity.
Make plans to implement clear and visible workflows that show how team members and managers work together to reap the benefits of remote working. a custom workflow is a tool that allows your managers to track all tasks and focus on valuable tasks. More visibility, such as seeing teammates’ conversations about how to deal with work-related obstacles, will help others learn lessons and avoid repeating the same conversations everywhere, improving efficiency and creating better teamwork.
Large organizations around the world are already implementing new ways to stay ahead of the competition. Fortunately, entrepreneurs have an advantage because they can design a business perfectly organized to take advantage of the future of work. As companies rely on outsourcing, asynchronous work and distributed teams, the organizations that can best support these new structures will be most successful.