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On Tuesday, 22 March IABC Victoria members came together over lunch to hear from a distinguished panel comprised of Simon Terry, Kate Gore, Danielle Bond, Kylie Bishop, and Jeremy Scrivens, about a topic that’s running hot in in the Twitterverse: The Future of Work. Ampersand’s Tim James, wraps up the event with an industry view of what went down.


To some of the shapers and influencers in this space, the Future of Work is firmly about driving engagement via digital collaboration to enable employees to shape, build and formulate the corporate narrative, rather than the traditional top down approach.

Adapt or fail

Future of Work panel

Our expert panel

More and more digital channels, predominantly social platforms such as Yammer and LinkedIn, are driving collaboration in a way that has never been seen before, capitalising on size, scale and immediacy. Rather than the mindset that, “we must do more with less,” due to mounting cost pressures or a recalibration of business strategy, organisations are now starting to build online communities to allow their ‘experts’ (employees), together with external influencers (customers), to define a company’s purpose. This will see a fundamental shift of the needle and mindset, to do ‘more with more’. Digital is, and will continue to, enable and revolutionise the workforce, and those who are slow to adapt or don’t adapt at all, may find themselves with a disengaged workforce in years to come.

Flexibility is key

That said, digital is certainly not the only way of the future. For many years now leading organisations have manufactured flexible work weeks, encouraging activity based working environments, where employees don’t have an allocated desk, and quite often their week will be coupled with the opportunity to work from home. Technology and connectivity allows this. Organisations too are continuing to drive engagement via foundations, corporate social responsibility, and in a number of cases, an opportunity for employees to participate in innovation days or ‘hubs’ to brainstorm and let the most wild and creative ideas be framed and shared with the business.

It’s not just about work

The future will also see organisations continuing to diversify their offering to employees. This may be in the form of programs or activities centred on wellbeing, health, nutrition, community or charity. It will almost certainly also mean we will see particular talent hired into non-typical roles, comparative to how we view them today.

Above all, what will remain as important in the future as it is today, to maximise employee engagement and a sustainable future workplace, is the belief in an organisation’s purpose, and genuine and authentic participation of management and executives in their communication, whether it be via digital or traditional channels.

So, what will the future of work look like? An approach that will be bottom up, rather than top down, and inside out, rather than outside in.


Tim James is Ampersand’s General Manager – Melbourne and APAC Practice Manager – Corporate Affairs. Connect with Tim via LinkedIn.