In the latest episode of our Technology & video series, we explore trends surrounding the future of work here at Ericsson. Comparing pre-pandemic trends with recent survey results, we examine the changes that have already occurred as well as those expected post pandemic. Watch the full episode here.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck just over one year ago, companies around the world have had to dramatically shift the way business is conducted, including how their employees continue to work. With 85,000 of our 100,000 professionals globally working from home, we at Ericsson have dramatically shifted our own procedures, setting in motion a trend projected to define the future of work at the company.
In this latest installment of Technology &, Magnus Aschan sits down with Peter Laurin, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Managed Services, to understand our workplace trends before the pandemic and explore projections for the future.
“We see now that the workplace of the future will be very different from a pre-COVID and post-COVID perspective,” Peter begins. “We will work a lot more flexibly. We will still work in the office, but we will also work from home or while traveling or from some other location.”
He mentions that although the company has seen largely maintained or even increased employee productivity while working from home, the absence of a shared physical environment to collaborate and interact with fellow coworkers has an impact on feelings of engagement at work.
“We need to find a balance between working from home and working in the office. … Too much of one or the other is not a good solution,” he continues. “I believe that the office plays a vital role in shaping that identity [and] in creating that social presence.”
In an extensive survey asking 60,000 of our 100,000 employees questions related to their workplace routines and feelings of efficiency both before and during the pandemic, we found that while the average employee worked from home just one day per week before the pandemic, most will prefer to work from home three days per week once the situation returns to normal.
“I don't think we'll ever go back to before and the way we used to work,” Peter commented when asked how new technologies like 5G and AI will impact our future of work. “In the last year, our way of working has become much more digitalized than in the last 10 years. … Traditionally, I think managers are used to seeing their team[s] … [but] I think we will see a shift here towards more [Microsoft] Teams meetings and more output-based work.”
Trust will become a major component in this new team environment, he notes, highlighting the need for “really good tools to make this happen,” which will likely include virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology.
“My vision for this company is to become a highly data-driven company, where we use the best that man has to offer, the best that our data has to offer, and we have the best tools, allowing us to make the best decisions. It's really exciting. I believe that 5G, AI, data-driven [decision-making], and this new way of working will create an incredibly exciting workplace.”
Watch more episodes of Technology & here.