The way in which we work today, is a lot more dynamic than before. Nowadays we go to the office to meet colleagues, to work together or because we need access to technology that is more advanced than our laptop or mobile phone. Office spaces are adapted to this and are much better attuned to the activities that we want to carry out, which are what we call activity-based workspaces.
A better work-life balance
Collaboration goes further than just the office. You should also be able to collaborate effectively with people who are outside the office, using video conferencing. It will increasingly be the case that people who have to work together are not in the same place. According to the IDC, by 2025 the number of flexible workers in Western Europe will increase to no less than 135 million.
This is also fully in line with the modern zeitgeist regarding work, where a good work-life balance is becoming increasingly important. More and more companies are also making this better balance possible by promoting alternative management strategies that provide more flexibility to the employee. Why would you come to the office if you don't have any important meetings planned or if you can perform the activities you want to do at home? In that case, more and more we choose to work from home.
Steering based on trust and output
Do you as a manager, relinquish certain control? Maybe yes. Because you never know for sure whether or not your employees are on the couch watching Netflix all day. The manager of 2025 doesn't mind if someone in their team takes a little bit more lunch time to watch the last episode of that exciting series. If that helps the employee to get back to work better rested and with more focus, then surely it is a no-brainer.
Of course, that degree of freedom must be based on something. What then? One word: trust. You have to earn that trust by doing your job well. If an employee who works from home and who turns up at scheduled meetings and meets deadlines in a timely matter, then who are we to impose how someone organizes their day?
And so, today, a manager must, and certainly in 2025, steer on the basis of output, not on the basis of working hours. Because if someone is sitting at a desk for eight hours, that doesn't mean that they are productive for eight hours. That is why it is important that you make clear agreements with all your employees about what the output should be: set clear deadlines and KPIs that you can also monitor remotely and adjust where necessary. This is possible thanks to the technology that we already have and which we will use more and more, certainly in five years' time.