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What does the future of work really look like?

Lucy Clayton

Lucy Clayton, Head of Business Thought Leadershipon a new O2 Insights series exploring the tougher questions about the future of work. 

It hasn’t just been 2020. Theres been plenty of debate about the future of work for the last few years.  

In that time, I’ve talked with colleagues, customers and people from other industries about how the future workplace is changing for them. From these conversations, it’s clear that there are lots of drivers for change.

The rise in demand for digital workplaces, better mobile connectivity and new generations entering the workforce; these are all factors that have made companies reconsider how they work.

An O2 survey conducted at the very beginning of 2020 already showed how employee attitudes were changing. 45% of people agreed they want flexible working for a better work-life balance and 38% wanted more flexibility so they have the freedom to work at a time that suits them. These new lifestyle choices should have a huge influence on the hybrid working approach employers take.

 Yet there’s a bigger, more fundamental shift underway (possibly the biggest in our working lives since the introduction of email and the internet). It can’t be labelled simply as a move to ‘remote working’. 

And it’s this bigger picture that we’ve started to explore in our new Insights series: The future of work. 

We’ve gathered some thoughts about the future of work from some of our senior leaders and created four bite–size pieces for you to digest over a cup of tea (or big cup of coffee, if you’re anything like me):


1. There’s something wrong with ‘remote working’ 

What does that term ‘remote working’ even mean when many of us now have the tools to collaborate from anywhere? What is a better way to look at the change in working away from the workplace.  

2. Management must change its mindset or move aside 

I’m lucky enough to have good bosses who are open to change with the future workplace. Not everyone is though. Is it the workforce that needs to respond to the demands of management or the other way around? 

3. Want to improve productivity? Stop monitoring peoples time. 

All those conversations I’ve had showed me that people have lots of things going on outside work. Working to set hours can be a huge challenge. So what are the alternatives? Flexible working hours?

4. Why innovation is fast becoming the new corporate capital 

Profit and loss. Assets and liabilities. Debt and equity. These are traditional measures of business performance. But are they too narrow for the modern organisation to increase productivity and growth? Shouldn’t we value innovation and adaptability just as highly?


Each topic is pertinent right now. But they also reflect an overall transformation that started a few years ago. 

The big question for me is, where will we end up? 

If you’re asking yourself the same kind of questions then take a closer look at Insights. 

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