Why Managers Hold the Key to The Office of The Future

We were delighted to be mentioned in a recent Forbes article entitled Why Managers Hold the Key to The Office Of The Future, which looked at the reality of the shift in working norms we have seen over the past two years and drew on some of the key insights from our HSM Advisory 2022 Outlook.

At the start of the pandemic, working remotely was meant to be a temporary solution to extraordinary circumstances. Two years on, it has become many people’s permanent reality – even if only in part – and seems set to become an integral part of all our futures.

There are numerous reasons for this: many of the employers who were first to shed offices from their property portfolios were keen to reduce costs. Others have transformed their workspaces to focus on the high-value business of meeting and collaborating. Those who have lagged behind are finding that the autonomy many employees have enjoyed since 2020 has caused a shift in the power balance, making them more likely to be vocal about what they want and expect. Coupled with the parallel trend many are calling ‘The Great Resignation’ means that employees are suddenly willing – and able – to make greater demands than ever before when it comes to defining how, when and where they will work.

This new power dynamic has a fundamental impact on the role of those in the middle: managers. Previously their role – and all of the leadership development rolled out to support them – was about workflow: managing how, when and where work got done so that teams could perform in a consistent manner. But what is their role now that employees are skilled at managing the how, when and where of work themselves? Ultimately, it is a question of ensuring that teams perform in a consistent manner, regardless of when or where the work is done. Managers have a steep learning curve ahead of them as they learn how to give remote teams a shared sense of purpose and develop the ability to identify and eradicate any bad habits that may have formed while guiding teams towards the most effective hybrid practices.

What this means is that, as HSM Managing Director Harriet Molyneaux points out, “the importance of, and investment in, the future of work has never been higher than at this point in time.” For managers to embrace their new roles, it is vital that CEOs invest in supporting them to do so.

If you’re keen to gain additional insights into the office of the future and other emerging trends, download our 2022 Outlook.