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  • Kat Hounsell

Future of work: organisations as community hubs

Future of work is something I've been pondering a lot recently. However I find my streams of consciousness often take me down paths that my google searches do not.

Perhaps it's just the online world choosing the content that it thinks I want to see; but I'm finding it near impossible to avoid articles about what the world of work is going to be like when we lose our jobs to robots, when technology takes an even more prominent role in our every day working lives and when our 2 year Brexit journey comes to an end. This seems reactive.

I can't help but feel we're missing the point. As an intelligent species surely the future of work can be an aspiration within our control, something we can mould to suit our societal and human needs. A way of working that allows us all to not only survive but also thrive.

The future of work for me is not about what we'll be doing, or who will be doing it. But how we will design organisations and workspaces to support our collective growth. I believe we need our organisations, however large or small, to be community hubs. Community hubs with responsive leaders who see their role beyond just being an employer. And the key is in the word community, it's about opening the doors and supporting people beyond those on our payroll.

Fewer of us are fulfilling our community needs via religion, local events, and even the number of pubs are declining (disaster). It's time for business leaders to step in.

Why? Because community is something we crave, it's a theme that has come up time and time again with the coaching clients I've worked with this past year. It's also what I often hear employees say is the best part about where they work. Community also provides a platform to help us fight the epidemic of stress and loneliness that we're experiencing.

Within a community we can fulfil our deep-rooted needs. Martin Seligman, God-daddy of positive psychology, has brought us the PERMA model as a guiding light. He preaches that, in order to flourish, we require:

1. Positive emotion

2. Engagement

3. Relationships

4. Meaning

5. Accomplishments

Since 1943 we've been fascinated by this stuff. Abraham Maslow built us a pyramid when studying human motivation. And more recently design company Herman Miller conducted their own research into fundamental human needs, which paints a similar picture.

I believe organisations acting as community hubs will create healthier, happier and a more engaged community, and they'll experience business performance and success. What's not to love. So instead of spending our time being fixated on what's going to happen to us in the future of work. Let's first take a step back and ask:

"What role do we want our organisations to play in our ever evolving world?"

I have some ideas on what this could look like. I'm sure you do too.

Let's turn those extraordinary visions into happy realities.

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