Society is facing an extraordinary degree of change, most of it highly challenging. This is being keenly felt in Boardrooms globally.
Earlier in the year Fidelio explored how Boards are thinking through a very profound change of recent times – how we work. Fidelio’s ‘The Role of the Board and the Future of Work’ – was published in March 2022 at a time when most countries were emerging from COVID restrictions. Over the course of our research a couple of Board Members expressed an expectation that by late Spring 2022 there would be greater clarity in work patterns providing the basis for clearer policies.
It’s true that many companies have reached more of a modus operandi on working arrangements but most would still see this as subject to evolution. The original research highlighted that working practices are clearly an executive responsibility with the Board keeping a clear eye on the strategic and cultural implications of new work practices and policies that are being embraced.
Importantly there has been no abatement in the complexity of the issues influencing the future of work. Inflation has raised its ugly head and energy costs are soaring. This will have a knock-on impact on how employers think about premises and office space, and employees think about the office versus remote working. The confluence of the future of work and the impact of climate change is becoming dramatically more pronounced.
Equally economic uncertainty is looming, providing no relief to the rising levels of anxiety and mental health concerns that many employees continued to experience in the wake of COVID.
So six months on the future of work remains a Board topic. It has acquired new dimensions, in particular driven by the macro-economic backdrop and the fall out from rampant inflation.
Fidelio’s earlier research highlighted the ability of organisations with a strong culture to weather difficult times. This continues to be a focal point for Boards – how to ensure a resilience and agility in patterns of work that will enable the company to succeed and employees to flourish.
Reflecting this, significant themes in current Fidelio Board Evaluations include the strength of relationship between the Board and Executive; Board oversight of culture and well-being; ensuring dynamism and innovation; and ESG, Net Zero and weathering inflation. Our Board Searches focus on Directors who can navigate complexity and guide transformation. The Future of Work continues to evolve.
To read Fidelio's full report, ‘The Role of the Board and the Future of Work’, click here.