Flexible working life

Even before Covid-19 broke out, the development of working life has advanced rapidly. Digital tools make it easier to work remotely, which makes a life as a digital nomad possible, that companies move from the big cities to the countryside and that you as an individual can lead a more flexible lifestyle and thus make everyday life together a little easier.

Teleworking is permanent

The time has long since passed when we spent our entire lives in one and the same workplace. The development of working life has advanced rapidly in recent decades and the Corona pandemic is accelerating the pace even further. More and more people are starting to refer to flexible working life as the fourth industrial revolution where AI and autonomous machines are integrated in more and more sectors and perform more and more tasks that previously required human intervention.

A hybrid of on-site and remote

With the Corona pandemic, many companies are re-evaluating how they will do business in what will be “the new normal”. Many people want to keep the ability to work remotely in some way and there is now talk of a so-called hybrid virtual model where teams consist of both teleworkers and office workers. Many people take advantage of this and believe, among other things, that you can further optimize your teams, increase the productivity of the company and save on renting properties. That said, these business models are likely to become more common in the future.

However, companies that have previously tried different telecommuting models believe that there are some drawbacks to consider when switching to different forms of telecommuting. The biggest risk is that a strong corporate culture, community and trust of colleagues will be weakened or absent altogether if you opt for a hybrid virtual model from the start.

McKinsey has developed six different models to optimize the hybrid virtual team.

6 hybrid virtual models

First at a distance

Even before Covid-19, Alok Alström, founder of the Swedish company Appjobs, predicted a future that places ever higher demands on flexibility and mobility. That is why he has taken this into account in the development of his company since the start of Appjob in 2017. He believes that a strong digital infrastructure that develops the company’s work processes coupled with the ability to work remotely means that you no longer have to plan your life around work. On the contrary, you can instead tailor the job to the family and other interests without affecting the career.

Appjobs calls itself a “remote first” company, which means that all members have the option to work remotely if they wish. Appjobs believes this approach enables a more flexible daily life for its employees and something that in turn makes them more attractive as a workplace. They also positively see the opportunity to recruit skills and experience from all over the world.

Three screens with participants and presentation during weekly meetings of Appjobs

Alok leads the weekly meeting where the majority of employees participate in weekly updates from all teams.

The social aspect of teleworking

Working from home, living as a digital nomad or running your own business shows how lonely it can be not having an office to go to and colleagues to chat with in the coffee room. The social aspect of everyday work is very important to our well-being and easily gets in the way of working remotely.

💡 30% in a survey answered that they feel that their relationship with colleagues is being negatively affected

With many working from home during the current Corona pandemic, many companies have tried to promote social contact through existing digital channels, e.g. digital after-work or breakfast meetings through video conferencing. This is of course a good and fast solution that had to be developed in recent months. On the other hand, it is important to think about creating community in the workplace in a future where more and more people are employed remotely from the start and never come into physical contact with their colleagues or their boss. At this point, there is still a lot to be desired in how companies can mimic the social interaction needed to make employees feel good – not just temporarily, but in the long run.

👉 Read about Trello and their Mr. Rogers to help more people meet in a digital work environment.

one sits high with the computer on his lap and looks out over a city at sunset

Digital nomads

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The number of people living as digital nomads today has skyrocketed over the past five years. To be a digital nomad, you must use the digital tools available to create geographic freedom and a flexible working life. A digital nomad is often, but of course not always, on the road and works with his computer as the main resource.

👉 Learn more about what it means to live as a digital nomad.

Innovation Hubs

An increase in the number of digital nomads has meant that we are also seeing an increase in the number of innovation hubs that have emerged around the world. Not least in Sweden, the number of companies trying to attract digital nomads and teleworkers is growing by redefining the classic workplace in various ways. An innovation hub is more than just a workplace – it is a meeting place for networking, working and regional development.

Digitization is an important issue for the EU

In order to allow Europe to become / remain internationally competitive, the European Commission initiated the project Digital innovation hubs that will foster digital transformation in both large cities and rural areas and eventually become a large European network of meeting places for digital innovation.

The innovation hubs will be meeting places for the creative and entrepreneurial industries and will provide on-site technical expertise and laboratory activities to “test” digital business ideas. The hubs must also have innovation services such as financial advice and skills development necessary for a successful digital transformation.

Boden Business Park is a Swedish player who has assumed the role of innovation hub in Boden and Norrland. The aim of the company is to help companies set up, develop or expand their business in Boden. Today it is a meeting place for innovation and entrepreneurship – or as they would describe it themselves, “Norrland’s largest living room”.

A room with large windows, armchairs and table.

Boden Business Park

💡 In a study of McKinsey Global Institute has investigated which knowledge and characteristics will be in high demand on the labor market in 2030. The results show that in the category of “social and emotional characteristics”, the demand for strong entrepreneurship is the difference that will increase most in Europe and the US.

Gigekonomi

Gigekonomi is when you work when you need to instead of having a more regular form of work. Originally, the term performance comes from the music industry, as musicians rarely have regular gigs, but instead earn their living by playing one or more gigs in different places and at different times. Translated to working life, this means that companies hire freelancers / gigs for shorter assignments without giving them a traditional job.

Companies such as Über and Foodora are examples of platforms that offer DIY jobs.

man on moped driving pizza

The number of gigs and freelancers is expected to increase

Studies show that 75% of “generation Z” is interested in several different assignments within one and the same employmentTherefore, an increase in freelancers and gig workers in companies is predicted, who in turn will have to offer shorter project positions to attract workforce. A study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that 61% of companies are expected to hire more people if needed in the future.

👉 Listen to our podcast section on gig economy and a greater number of freelancers together with Pernilla Ramslöv, CEO of Nox Consulting.

Giggers need security

Whether the gig economy is something positive or negative is a recurring discussion these days. Among other things, they ask questions. The financial security in studies, among others, has shown that gig workers are among the hardest hit by the Corona pandemic. It also discusses how benefits normally associated with other types of work are lacking in massive employment. This mainly concerns health insurance and paid sick leave. Despite this, more and more DIY companies seem to appear on the labor market and at the same time more companies are becoming “gigified”.

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