If you were starting a new business designed for the future of work, what would it look like?
The future of work we have all been waiting for came faster than we expected, completely reshaping how to start and run businesses. Enterprises and established businesses are currently struggling to rethink their offices and company culture as the human cloud and hybrid work models come into greater demand. Unfortunately, traditional organizational structures and 9-5 work cultures are difficult to break free from when they’ve been how the company operates for years.
New businesses aren’t burdened by any existing, outdated processes and policies that can limit growth and productivity in the future of work. Today’s entrepreneurs and startup founders have the ability to organize their business from the ground up to take full advantage of the benefits of the future of work.
So, if you were starting a new business designed for the future of work, what would it look like?
Incorporate distributed teams into your organizational chart
Traditional companies have an established, top-down org structure, and any freelance, contract or gig workers are considered “other” or outside the organization. This structure isn’t viable in an era where the workforce is becoming increasingly freelance, contract, remote, fluid and distributed.
Apart from 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 workers and team members. The future of work demands a more flexible and inclusive organizational structure, bringing on board 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 fulfills their psychological needs of belonging and recognition.
Adopt a non-linear chain of work
When developing the org chart, you should also allow for more decentralized decision-making instead of a traditional hierarchy. As the work model gradually adopts the new concept of employment, startups and budding entrepreneurs must 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 as you embrace outsourcing and allow for the expertise of people outside the organization to be added to the conversation.
As companies look to innovate at scale, outsourcing software development and leveraging staff augmentation have become increasingly common. In fact, having a large in-house team isn’t really necessary at all in the future of work.
Outsourcing development to distributed teams allows your company to stay lean while rapidly responding to the latest tech opportunities. By comparison, traditional companies that expanded their tech staff in the past several years are now being forced to downsize their teams as the overall market and tech landscape changes. In addition to avoiding the costs 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 remote and asynchronous work
The future of work increases the chances that you will end up hiring across international borders, as data from the Remote Workforce Report 2023 shows 44% of firms are increasing cross-border hiring. To fully enjoy benefits like greater productivity and higher retention rates, you’ll need to create corresponding distributed processes for your teams in different time zones and geographical locations that must work together to deliver results despite not sharing common office spaces.
A change in the work environment demands a corresponding operational change to maximize efficiency and productivity; you may want to implement asynchronous processes instead of traditional ones. With remote teams, work will not be happening in the same place at the same time; you must establish async communication and coordination processes for remote workers because the future of work means work can happen in different places at different times. Going async from the start means workers don’t have to be online simultaneously, as they can work autonomously and still deliver expected outcomes.
Create workflows for distributed teams
A recent study found that 72% of the polled workers wouldn’t consider accepting offers from companies that didn’t offer flexible work options, as they preferred a better work-life balance. As the future of work provides prospects for workers to operate from the most exotic places, you should future-proof your new startup by creating a workflow for your remote teams that makes work-related communication easy to increase productivity.
Make plans for implementing clear and visible workflows showing how team members and managers collaborate to reap the benefits of remote working. A tailor-made workflow is a tool that will make it possible for your managers to track all tasks and focus on high-value tasks. More visibility, such as seeing teammates’ conversations on dealing with work-related obstacles, will help others learn lessons and avoid repeating the same conversations all over, thereby enhancing efficiency and creating better teamwork.
Large organizations worldwide are already implementing new ways to stay ahead of the competition. Luckily, entrepreneurs have an advantage because they can design a business perfectly organized to take advantage of the future of work. As businesses rely on outsourcing, asynchronous work and distributed teams, the organizations that are best able to support these new structures will see the most success.