Ian Gourley, Up Your Level, Academy Manager

I recently hosted a one-day Enhancing Teams event where I was impressed by the level of communication and commitment from a team: made up of 17 nationalities and all working hybridly.

It got me thinking…

What skills are really needed for the future of work?

The Pandemic has proved to be a huge change catalyst for the way we work:

We now have emerging models trying to combine remote working with the traditional face-to-face in the office.

Employees expect more flexible working modes and employers expect more productivity and performance.

Working with a broad range of clients representing different industries and sectors, what is clear is that employees need to work on and develop their flexible skills in order to be productive phygital employees. From communicating clearly to building trust, the future of work is built on the individual’s aptitude for self-development.

So, what are the key flexible skills in the future of work?

Future-proofing your Flexible Skills

The first element is Self Awareness – You need to know yourself well to work well. We need to understand ourselves in order to organise ourselves and our time to be productive – ask yourself the following questions:

  • What environment do you need to be productive?
  • What time of day are you most creative? 
  • How can you put yourself in the state of flow to be creative?
  • Explore what makes you anxious or distracted throughout the day, so you can learn how to control it.

The next key factor is Emotional Intelligence, which we need to master for success and to create bonding on an online environment. Our emotional intelligence is based on our ability to be self-aware, our empathy, our level of self-regulation and getting the right mix of social skills. In any interpersonal situation, check in on your emotional intelligence by reflecting on the following:

  • What specific emotion am I feeling?
  • Can I sense the emotion the other person is feeling?
  • What can I do to control my emotions and reactions?
  • How can I show genuine interest in the person?
  • Am I interpreting this situation as easy or difficult and why?

Having dug deep in our self-awareness and emotional intelligence we also need to consider enhancing our Carefrontational Conversations to be meaningful and transparent. To be flexibly productive we need to ensure that all the team is speaking a consistent and common language, in a way, the rules of engagement we adhere to. Having carefrontational conversations helps clarify issues, identify problems and find solutions that benefit all involved.

Finally, focus has to be given to Assertiveness, in our ability to clarify our roles and responsibilities, position and boundaries in the flexible working environment. Without this it is easy to fall into the 24/7 level of availability – setting boundaries is crucial in the work/life balance.

What’s next?

Mastery of our flexible skills allows us to stand out in the workplace, indicating our productivity, adaptability and getting things done. What’s more, flexible skills are transferable, giving you the ability to learn quickly and apply these skills when you’re in a new role no matter what the sector is.

As each of us prepares for the future of work, identify where you are and ask yourself:

  • Which of these skills do you need to develop first?
  • What skills have helped you adapt to the new World of Work?

Interested in learning more…

Check out our series of thought-provoking short courses focusing on a range of flexible skills at UP academy

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