a person sitting at a table using a laptop computer

When change is the new normal: New research into the future of work

Johanna Winqvist

Johanna Winqvist

Microsoft, Modern Workplace

Read Time, 3 min.

The pace of change in the modern workplace is relentless. Not a week goes by that a new digital innovation or technologically driven approach emerges to disrupt and influence our workplace status quo.

And yet, despite these emerging innovations, our capacity to move with the times and stay abreast of these changes remains very much human. As Dr Michael Parke of the London Business School notes: “The process of adopting new behaviors in a workplace still moves at a human’s pace.”

That’s why Microsoft has worked in partnership with the London Business School and KRC Research to explore the future of work. Looking at the intersection of culture, leadership and technology in workplaces across Western Europe, When change is the new normal reveals news research based on findings from 9,000 employees across 15 markets that will help ambitious and forward-thinking business navigate this new era of digital transformation in the workplace.

Key insights into the future of work

For businesses, having the right organisational structures in place to be able to adapt to change is essential to achieving the competitive advantage needed to succeed in this exciting new era.

And the work culture we promote is the glue that binds these structures together.

The business leaders that contributed to our study identified cultural change as their number one priority. And did you know that companies with highly innovative cultures are more than twice as likely to expect double-digit growth?

But the benefits of an established organisational culture isn’t limited to the bottom line – it’s also about attracting and retaining the best talent. Our study found that 86% of employees in highly innovative cultures want to stay in their jobs. That’s a huge increase on lower-innovation workplaces, where only 57% of employees are happy in their jobs.

So what are these highly innovative companies doing that makes them so attractive and successful?

What innovative companies do better 

Success in the future of work is about more than your product, your USP or your capacity to disrupt. It’s about the approach you take around three key areas.

1. Enhance collaboration by tearing down silos

Our study found that highly innovative companies prioritise collaboration within and between teams, as well as with external partners. And technology plays a huge role in this. 61% of employees in companies that make extensive use of the right collaboration technology say that it’s easy to work together – compared to just 29% of those with no such tool or platform.

2. Empower teams to say and act how they feel

We all need to feel that our voice can be heard, and the workplace is no different. Innovative organisation cultures empower their people to feel that they can speak up with confidence, saying what they see and think – and not being afraid to make a mistake. And it’s not just finding a voice that appeals, it’s also about flexibility. 73% of employees in innovative cultures say their teams can choose the way they work.

3. Creating a meaningful workplace

We all like to feel that the work we’re doing is meaningful. So it’s incredible that many employees feel that 52% of their time is wasted on emails, meetings and other distractions. There is so much untapped potential for businesses to promote the correct flow in the workplace – and employees rate themselves as up to three times happier when they are in a flow state.

Report: Work Reworked

Discover what the future of work looks in this guide to help you navigate the digital era.

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • a woman looking at a computer

    How Griftland College is putting technology at the heart of remote learning

    “When COVID-19 was on the verge of breaking out, we had to make a choice about how to go further,” says Kees Versteeg, the principle of Griftland College. The secondary school, located in the Dutch town of Soest, was one of the first in the Netherlands to close and start teaching 100% remotely. He describes […]

  • Cloud

    A guide to GDPR for universities

    With the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect on May 25, understand how universities like yours can take the right steps towards compliance with this free eBook – and other useful resources. Your university on a journey on a journey Your university is on a journey with lots of ‘data subjects’. They’re […]

Government

Healthcare

Manufacturing

  • a woman smiling for the camera

    Etex Group: Future-proofing employees to work anywhere across the world

    When COVID-19 spread across Europe in early 2020, businesses entered a new digitally-dependent age. Social distancing measures had asked offices of all shapes and sizes to close their doors, sparking organizations to quickly find other virtual ways for colleagues to meet and collaborate remotely. But for Belgium building material specialist Etex, this was a step they were ready for – having already implemented a cloud-based infrastructure and collaboration tools […]

  • Etex

    Etex uses modern tools to unite its business and better focus on customers

    When it comes to construction, all components must come together in a timely manner in order to produce the optimum product. While Etex, a Belgian building solution manufacturing company, helps make this a reality on a day-to-day basis, it wanted to find a way to enhance productivity and collaboration internally. With locations across more than […]

Retail

  • HeadBrands is ready for the future with Microsoft 365 Business

    HeadBrands is ready for the future with Microsoft 365 Business

    Since its creation in 2010, HeadBrands has continued to grow, rapidly becoming the leading retailer of hairdressing products in Scandinavia. HeadBrands needed a modern IT solution to increase its business productivity and improve collaboration, both within the company and externally. Its response to this challenge was to replace most of its previous services with Microsoft […]

  • GDPR and Retail: Four GDPR requirements and how Microsoft can help

    GDPR and Retail: Four GDPR requirements and how Microsoft can help

    Learn how we can help you meet GDPR requirements with solutions available today: Assessing your current risk profile “How do I understand where I am already compliant and where I need to focus next?” This is one of the most common questions from retailers in regard to the GDPR. It’s also one of the hardest to […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • Helping Swedish leaders succeed with modern workplace solutions

    Helping Swedish leaders succeed with modern workplace solutions

    A lack of consistency will always make business more difficult. Ledarna, a trade union serving executives across Sweden, discovered this as its employee numbers swelled to over 170. Shifting from legacy tools and systems helped the company to streamline its processes and enhance collaboration, not to mention boosting security and opening up new opportunities for […]

Digital Transformation

Security & Privacy

Tips