The Forces That Are Changing The Way We Work

The traditional boundaries of work that have confined many of us — cubicles, set schedules, and geographic limitations, to name a few — have essentially been shattered by the pandemic, by forces of globalisation, and by the rising gig economy, all while work is being augmented by Web3 and generative AI (GenAI) technologies. These seismic shifts are fuelling a new work model — a 24/7, boundaryless ecosystem of collaboration that spans continents, time zones, and cultures.

Whether it’s a software developer in Sao Paulo working with a designer in Singapore, or a data analyst in London working with an illustrator in Nairobi, they can now all come together in real-time to create and innovate. This shift toward decentralised, project-based roles is poised to turbocharge the gig economy and democratize economic opportunities globally. Blockchain-based technologies can offer a backbone to support these new models, offering tamper-proof work histories, which will serve as the new resumes showcasing a worker’s skills, achievements, and work history, enhancing trust and employability. What’s more, novel payment methods like digital tokens will push us toward an even more decentralised workforce.

This work era’s momentous transformation rests on four pillars: 1. the acceleration of productivity through artificial intelligence; 2. the introduction of Web3 business models; 3. an upcoming generation of workers who blur the lines between real and digital worlds; and 4. a societal shift in how we all perceive work.

GenAI: The Domain of Cognitive Work

The impact of GenAI on the future of work, the future of the labour market, and the future of office professionals is going to be immense. While AI will certainly replace some repetitive tasks and jobs for humans, the real promise lies in how AI and humans will work together. A recent study conducted by the International Labour Organisation, a part of the United Nations, has indicated that AI is more likely to enhance job roles than eliminate them. IBM CEO, Arvind Krishna, said during an interview with CNBC that AI is “absolutely not displacing – it’s augmenting” white-collar jobs.

Yet, there are those who think otherwise. Edo Segal, the founder of Touchcast, a startup that reimagines the future of the Generative Web, told us: “We have never had a scenario where AI replaces the domain of a cognitive practice at this scale. Automation was originally intended to replace manual labour, but now it’s possible to scale the automation of cognitive roles. We had narrow AI for narrow use cases, but not broad solutions like the ones emerging now that can replace entire professions like programmers, certain types of lawyers, and management consultants.”

Recent research by Goldman Sachs supports Segal’s claims and reveals that AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs in the next 15 years, impacting office jobs that were once considered untouchable. As with any technological evolution, there are winners and losers. AI also has the ability to create 69 million new jobs in the next five years. Over the longer-term, AI could eventually raise global GDP by 7%, if Goldman Sachs Research’s AI growth projections are fully realised. With AI investment forecasted to approach $200 billion globally by 2025, the technology could support humans in ways never before imagined.

For now, most experts believe that AI will have a positive impact on the future of work, making companies more profitable and productive. But this shift is also coming at a time when the traditional business model will be spun on its head by Web3 applications.

New Business Models

The emerging decentralised work model hinges on the distribution of authority and tasks, which promises to make work more responsive to individual needs and collective goals. These technologies, often referred to as Web3, aren’t just marginal upgrades; they’re the very bedrock of a groundbreaking shift in our relationship with work. Our forthcoming book, titled Employment Is Dead (Harvard Business Review Press), illustrates that the old work models are rapidly unravelling, while the advent of Web3 technologies offers us a toolkit to redefine what a workplace can be, where workers — not employees — will move beyond the centralized frameworks that are now the limitation of modern corporations.

Web3 is introducing a range of novel business models, thanks to technologies such as blockchain, decentralised protocols (digital systems that operate without a central authority), and user ownership of data. The gig economy is evolving into a global talent marketplace, where individual, independent workers — not employees — will have more power and control over their earnings and livelihoods. And, with proper adoption, Web3 technologies will have the ability to solve a range of businesses problems and worker frustrations, such as the removal of intermediaries/managers, thus allowing people to work more directly with the client/customer; allowing for fairer compensation (smart contracts on blockchain can automate and ensure fair compensation for work and can reduce disputes, ensuring timely payments); and allowing for ownership of one’s work (workers could have true ownership of their digital creations, such as art, music, and content, through blockchain and NFTs, providing more control and fair compensation).

Web3 companies, for example, are forming into decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), where decision-making is distributed among contributors, or token holders. DAOs enable community-driven projects, allowing stakeholders to vote on proposals, investments, and governance matters. DAOs are like a digital democracy where you’re not just a customer, but a co-creator in the project.

Along with the rise of DAOs comes the transition of employees from mere cogs in the corporate machine to empowered contributors who have a tangible stake in their work. Through the use of governance tokens, members of a DAO can have a direct say in decision-making processes, from resource allocation to strategic direction. This not only democratizes the workplace but also allows employees to retain much more of the value they generate. In this system, every task completed, every idea contributed, and every project led can be directly attributed to an individual, who can then be fairly compensated and recognised. Unlike traditional setups where the fruits of your labour are largely harvested by the organisation, DAOs ensure that value flows back to the people who create it. In essence, DAOs foster a culture centred around verifiable, transparent, and equitable ownership, fundamentally reshaping what it means to truly engage with one’s work.  It is plausible, however, that even within a DAO framework, concerns related to individual recognition and fair compensation may emerge, such as laying claim to credit and compensation for work. Like any emerging technology or novel organisational structure, the practical implementation of DAO principles may encounter intricacies that require thoughtful navigation to ensure their full realisation.

With nearly 2 billion people around the world who are not part of the traditional banking system, DeFi (decentralised finance) offers a financial revolution without intermediaries — no banks, no brokers – just smart contracts facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers. You can lend your cryptocurrency to earn interest, trade assets 24/7, and operate in one global currency. This will democratize access to financial products and enable anyone with a smartphone to participate in global finance, bypassing traditional gatekeepers.

And who is best poised to evangelize and utilize these Web3 applications? Gen-Z — a new generation of workers who are already indoctrinated into digital technologies, decentralised systems, and a mindset of innovation and social consciousness.

Youthquake: A New Generation of Workers

The term “youthquake,” originally coined by Vogue magazine in the 1960s to describe the era’s fashion and cultural shifts, has made a comeback to embody Gen-Z’s impact in the workplace for two key reasons: 1) their size and 2) their innate digital fluency. Given that approximately 52% of the global population is under age 30, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, this digitally native generation has had a digital device in their hands since they were toddlers, which has profoundly shaped their values, interests, and worldview. Gen-Z often blends reality with the digital realm, sometimes even preferring to live, create, and work in the latter.

Consider Roblox, the gaming platform that allows users to play dozens of user-created games, which has amassed a staggering 66.1 million daily users who actively engage in buying, selling, designing, and innovating within its virtual universe. Many of these users, who have been actively playing open-source games for almost two decades now, already believe they have a viable job because of the value they produce to earn the virtual currency awarded in these games, which they can even exchange for “real” money on the Roblox Developer Exchange Program (DevEx). In that vein, if you were to offer the youth today the option of flipping burgers, or becoming a social influencer, the majority would take the latter option.

According to a recent Earth Web poll, 75% of kids ages 6 to 17 now aspire to be YouTubers, rather than traditional professionals, such as doctors or firefighters. This trend highlights the rising impact of the $250 billion influencer economy, where creative freedom often outweighs the appeal of traditional corporate jobs. As we look ahead, it’s crucial to consider what work will look like for a generation that has come of age with artificial intelligence, blockchain, and decentralization. The youthquake brings a fresh, unapologetically critical perspective to how work should be organized, compensated, and valued.

A Societal Shift in the Way We View Work

The Covid-19 pandemic has forever altered our relationship with work. We proved that work is doable beyond the traditional office setting, with home productivity up by 47% in 2020 according to a study by Prodoscore. Another report by Prithwiraj Choudhury, an associate professor in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School, and fellow researchers suggested that remote workers were, on average, 4.4% more productive than their in-office counterparts due to quieter work environments, fewer interruptions from colleagues, and the ability to structure the workday to suit individuals when they are most productive.

What’s more, the gig economy — freelancing, temporary contracts, and project-based work — is becoming more prevalent, offering individuals greater flexibility in choosing their engagements, and in choosing when, where, and how they want to make a sustainable living.

And perhaps most importantly, we’ve also seen a major mindset shift in terms of what we’re willing to tolerate in our work lives going forward, as we place more emphasis on our well-being and purpose, in addition to environmental and social considerations for the world we inhabit.

The next iteration of workplaces will have an increased emphasis on employee well-being, mental health, and sense of purpose. Given that the summer of 2023 recorded the hottest temperatures on record, we can’t divorce workplaces from the responsibilities of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Businesses now understand that having motivated and content employees significantly boosts productivity and sparks innovation. Today, there are established work practices that were once unconventional but are widely accepted. For instance, the use of Zoom meetings for remote collaboration, the flexibility to work from home during one’s most productive hours, and even relaxed dress codes — all of which were met with resistance before the Covid-19 pandemic and growing climate concerns, but which are now acceptable, normal practices.

By embracing the technologies and innovations of today and tomorrow, we feel confident that we will have a better future of work — from virtual reality meetings that dissolve distance, to better work/life balance, to artificial intelligence algorithms that amplify human ingenuity. However, it’s essential to use these tools intelligently and responsibly, as their misuse could potentially worsen the work experience for everyone.

Buckle up, because the world of work is on the verge of a seismic transformation. The 20th century norms that still govern our professional lives are about to be shaken to their core. Those who harness these forces will unlock new realms of productivity and creativity, while those who resist will risk becoming relics of a bygone era.


Take the first step towards transforming your remote work culture by requesting a free demo assessment from Great People Inside.        

Our team of experts will guide you through the assessment process, showcasing the effectiveness and value of our tailored solutions for your organization.        

During the demo, you will have the opportunity to explore the comprehensive features and functionalities of our psychometric assessments, experiencing firsthand how they can empower your HR strategies and drive positive outcomes. From personality assessments to cognitive abilities and team dynamics evaluations, our assessments provide valuable insights to enhance talent management and foster inclusive remote work environments.        

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to test the power of unbiased HR solutions. Request your free demo assessment from Great People Inside today and embark on a journey of fair and effective talent management in the remote work era.        

Together, we can unlock the true potential of your remote teams and achieve remarkable success. Request a Free Demo Assessment.        

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How Come Stress Still Exists in Your Organisation?

 Organisations around the world are experiencing unprecedented levels of burnout, which is creating a significant — and under-recognised — cost to organisations in the form of quiet quitting, reduced innovation, and even spiralling healthcare costs. Many people are quick to point to an increase in overall workload as the culprit. But our research shows that the work itself has not increased so much as the collaborative demands of the work.

By that, we mean the volume and frequency of the collaborations that people have to engage in to complete the work — what we call the collaborative footprint — have risen over the past decade and a half, bringing exponential opportunities for stress. This comes through the increased potential for misunderstanding, misalignment, and imbalances of workload and capacity, among other things. All of this combines to create a battering of everyday stresses.

One form of this stress is the one we call “microstress” — small moments of stress from interactions with colleagues that feel routine but whose cumulative toll is enormous. Our research into high performers has made clear the destructive impact of unchecked microstress, both on individuals and on teams. At the team level, this form of stress propagates through networks and relationships.

It may seem challenging to find ways to reduce stress on teams that are overloaded with deliverables, but leaders have more tools at their disposal than they may realise. Instead of relying only on coaching on individual coping strategies, leaders can look for systemic improvement in the collective working environment. We have identified four overlooked collective strategies that leaders can implement for reducing microstress. Here are the four key questions you need to ask.

Can we reduce structural complexity?

For decades organisations have been building organisational complexity — not only in expanding spans and layers in traditional hierarchical structures (expanding the number of direct reports to reduce layers between the front line and the C-suite), but also in moving to matrixed, networked, or other more agile ways of working. While new these structures can be effective at increasing flexibility, they have also unintentionally introduced complexity by multiplying the required number of interactions per employee. We routinely see organisations adopting advice to move to structures with consistent spans of control (the number of people one is responsible for managing) of eight people. But such efforts to improve efficiency don’t consider the collaborations required to do the work. The collaborative footprint of work — which has risen 50% or more in the past 15 years, according to Rob Cross’s research — is creating exponential opportunities for small stresses to run rampant in any organisation. Unchecked, such complexity, can easily accumulate, triggering a proliferation of microstresses.

 De-layering might seem to be a solution, but in embracing it many organisations have moved to spans of control that really are not feasible given the collaborative intensity of the work. (We’ve even seen some organisations scaling up to spans of control of 12 or more.) Such flat hierarchy can create stress for employees balancing competing objectives of multiple leaders to whom an employee might report, formally or informally.

Removing layers, while appealing on cost analyses and decision-making flows, also often introduces other less visible inefficiencies around work. Many teams are underperforming today due to priority overload where too many uncoordinated asks are coming into the teams from disconnected stakeholders and failures of coordination and prioritization at high levels in the organisation.

One way to fix that is to have explicit processes to remove excessive complexity. It may not be possible to rewind all of these efforts at de-layering organisations, but there are a few simple practices you can employ to root out the potential for unnecessary stress from structural complexity. Most companies have many ways of introducing new complexity, but no systematic continuous effort to remove it. Netflix is one of a handful of firms known for prioritizing identifying and removing unnecessary complexity. As their company policy states, “We work hard to … keep our business as simple as possible … you don’t need policies for everything.” If you must introduce new teams or procedures, consider making them temporary. Create them with an explicit sunset clause, such that it is dissolved when no longer useful, avoiding the gradual ratcheting of complexity over time.

Companies can also control complexity by continually simplifying the product portfolio, which is often a key driver of complexity. Trader Joe’s has a such a policy for controlling the number of SKUs to maintain the number at less than 10% of the industry average. Similarly, LEGO controls the number of colours and brick types in its products, to control manufacturing and logistical complexity.

 Above all, don’t just think about on paper efficiency, think about the collaborative asks being placed on human beings who execute these tasks day in, day out. When we have asked top teams in offsites who in the room wants another email, meeting, or phone call in their lives, we have yet to see a single hand shoot up. The more complex, the more matrixed, the more required communication and connection between employees, the more ad hoc the more microstresses are going to be impeding the effectiveness of work.

Does our workflow make sense?

Organisations have had an unrelenting push into agile, network-centric structures executing through teams that are formed and disbanded at increasingly rapid pace. These efforts are providing speed, but taken to an extreme, they are starting to sacrifice the benefits of scale and efficiency that came from the process revolution. Forming and reforming project teams requires increasing coordination, often relying on the heroics of individual employees to get work done. But that is not a sustainable strategy — and triggers endless opportunities for burnout. “It’s better to rely on a process than just people,” Don Allan, CEO of Stanley Black & Decker observed of one of the key HR lessons of the pandemic, “so you do not create unnecessary stress and even burnout for your organisation.”

The proliferation of technologies in the workplace promises to streamline work and communication, but instead can often became a source of additional complexity, required work and stress. Often, we find organisations using between six and nine means of collaborating to get work done — meetings (virtual and face-to-face), email, instant messaging (such as Slack), team collaborative spaces, phone calls, texting, etc. Inefficiencies invariably creep in as people use these modalities differently — for example, who doesn’t have a colleague who loves to write elaborate emails, hiding what they want in the 10th paragraph! Or at the other extreme, some people use one modality (e.g., IM) to solve problems quickly, but lack of transparency into the interaction creates misalignment with other teammates who have no idea a decision was made over IM.

One way to limit this stress is to agree on collaborative norms. For example, a team might agree to only use bullets on email. And if a longer explanation is required or a disagreement seems to be brewing, the team agrees to meet face to face. We find a simple exercise of asking teams to agree to three positive norms across all modes of collaboration that they want to sustain and three negatives they want to stop (e.g., emailing at night, hitting reply to all on mundane responses, etc.) can generate 8–12% time savings across teams, allowing them more time to focus on the actual work. Technology itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but the culture that springs up around using that technology is where microstress creeps in.

Teams can also limit the set of tools they’re using and bake them into the work in a way which reduces human transaction costs. Focus on maximizing technology that helps eliminate or reduce the costs of mundane tasks, e.g. setting up workflows on Slack or recurring meetings to ensure appropriate check ins don’t slip through the cracks because they’re relying on a team member to set up and coordinate. Encourage the team to invest time in learning the tools and share their productivity tips and tricks. And avoid new tools or multiple tools that inadvertently becoming new sources of work or complexity e.g. through cumbersome sign on procedures or lack of mutual compatibility. Too often teams aren’t consulted about which tools will actually help their productivity.

Has the profusion of teams spiked employees’ microstress?

One of the unintended consequences of organisations relying on teams that are assembled for projects is that teams have less time to build the kind of trust that is essential for efficient collaboration. And that happens repeatedly because many organisations require employees to contribute to five or six team efforts (in addition to their primary team) and have often let these groups grow too large, with the average team size hovering around 15.

To avoid team growth from causing trouble, don’t let “flexible” turn into inefficient. Some organisations trying to attract and retain top talent during the great resignation (and quiet quitting) have implemented talent marketplaces which allow employees to locate projects they would like to work on or roles they want to fill as they chart their own career progression. Though well-intended as a talent retention tool, these shifts create inefficiencies in the network that most organisations do not account for. These programs are well-received by the employees but induce microstresses on both the team the employee is leaving and the one they are ported into, as they suddenly have to redirect and shape key working relationships with new people. One life sciences organisation we worked with modelled the relational cost (the “switching costs” on work relationships and productivity of continually rotating teams) and determined that it didn’t make sense for anyone to switch roles or teams in less than fifteen months because both the team and the rotating employee would fail to optimize the opportunity.

Companies must also ensure that their return-to-office plan doesn’t create hidden stress. About 80% of companies are opting to require employees to be in the office three days a week, according to research from i4cp (the Institute for Corporate Productivity). To soften the blow and ensure flexibility, about half of those companies are allowing employees to pick the days they want to return.

Unfortunately, this well-intentioned effort has also created a new set of microstresses when the people who an organisation needs to work together pick different days. Leaving this up to chance will not only hurt employee morale, but innovation and productivity. To prevent this, some organisations are using a technique called organisational network analysis (a methodology that maps employees’ working relationships) to specify specific groups of employees that need to be in the office at a given interval. Such an analysis can help leaders answer three critical questions in a return-to-office strategy:

  • Who should be brought back together and in what cadence of in-person and virtual interactions?
  • What work should be prioritised in the now scarcer in-person time?
  • How do leaders manage the transition to a hybrid model with the least resistance?
  • This method also helps motivate employees to resume some in-person interactions by showing them how hybrid work can improve their own effectiveness.
  • Have we built a sense of purpose in our employees’ everyday interactions?

Organisations have become adept at working efficiently with the help of technologies — what can’t be swiftly taken care of on a Zoom call these days? But when work revolves around technology use, it can become transactional, missing the opportunity to make sure that employees understand how their work contributes to that purpose.

To avoid that problem, smart companies create opportunities to discuss purpose and how each group contributes to it. It is your role as a leader to shape and communicate the goal that you’re all working towards. Don’t let that get lost in the sea of microstress. With a clear understanding of how they are contributing to purpose, employees can more easily prioritise their work. Discuss what work is essential (and what is not) in contributing to purpose and use this to help your team prioritise and redesign work accordingly.

While many organisations focus on rallying employees around a collective corporate purpose, our research also suggests that purpose can be found in positive everyday interactions with colleagues, too. For example, employees can find meaningful purpose in “co-creating” (involving the aha moments that emerge as people build on each other’s ideas) which helps builds a sense of We are in this together. Small moments of working on something together create an authentic connection, a kind of antidote to the flood of microstresses that otherwise fill employees’ days.

Finally, as leaders, don’t underestimate the impact of your own microstress, both on you and your team. Look for interactions in which you are unintentionally creating microstress for your team — for example being slightly unpredictable in your expectations, failing to communicate deliverables clearly, or continually micromanaging their work. The microstress we create for others inevitably boomerangs back on us. If you recognize where you are the source of unnecessary microstress and try to course-correct, you will not only help reduce stress on your team, but you’ll be also reducing stress on yourself, as well.


Take the first step towards transforming your remote work culture by requesting a free demo assessment from Great People Inside.        

Our team of experts will guide you through the assessment process, showcasing the effectiveness and value of our tailored solutions for your organization.        

During the demo, you will have the opportunity to explore the comprehensive features and functionalities of our psychometric assessments, experiencing firsthand how they can empower your HR strategies and drive positive outcomes. From personality assessments to cognitive abilities and team dynamics evaluations, our assessments provide valuable insights to enhance talent management and foster inclusive remote work environments.        

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to test the power of unbiased HR solutions. Request your free demo assessment from Great People Inside today and embark on a journey of fair and effective talent management in the remote work era.        

Together, we can unlock the true potential of your remote teams and achieve remarkable success. Request a Free Demo Assessment.        

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Making Your Work More Meaningful

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Curiosity is critical to professional success. A curious mind will spot and solve problems, while being unafraid to try something new. It will seek out the insights of others, and open itself to expanded thinking. A curious person will never succumb to apathy, instead pushing consistently for growth, innovation, and improvement. Anyone seeking to build a successful career must embrace curiosity.

But curiosity isn’t just essential to professional advancement — it’s central to crafting purpose and meaning at work. We all want to feel that our work is meaningful, and we all have an opportunity to make it so. But it takes curiosity — about ourselves, our work, and the people we work with — to unlock deeper purpose each day.

Craft Your Work

One of the best ways to enhance the meaning you get from work is through job crafting — the art of making small changes to your work life to turn the job you have into the job you want. The idea is that by making small changes to your work, you can tailor it to your unique passions, personality, and interests in a way that maximizes its meaning to you and others. My favorite example is Curtis Jenkins, a Dallas bus driver who managed to revolutionize his position to create what reporters called a “yellow bus utopia” while changing hundreds of lives. 

Curiosity is a necessary pre-condition for job crafting. It starts with a self-evaluation. Ask yourself questions such as what am I good at (really)? What do I love to do? What makes me happy on the job? A thoughtful self-understanding explored deeply and with an open-mind can provide the foundation upon which job-crafting is built. 

Then, apply this self-awareness to the job: 

  • What elements of my job could I tweak to be more meaningful for me and more impactful for others? 
  • Can what I currently do be done differently? 
  • Is my job, as structured, solving the most important problems — for the organization and those we serve — in the best ways? 

To get started on this practice, make a list of the core people you serve in your work, then list the outcomes of your job that help to serve them well. Then reflect on your current tasks and see if there are ways in which you could serve those people as well or better by doing your work differently. You may find ways in which to craft your work that are both better for them and more meaningful for you.

Make Work a Craft

The second way to make work more meaningful is to make it a craft. For much of history, people would often practice professions inter-generationally. Trades like farming, carpentry, and cobblery might pass generation to generation in a family. And often a person would painstakingly perfect the craft over a lifetime. This quest for perfection and constant improvement created the most memorable achievements in history — from the murals of the Sistine Chapel to breakthroughs in genetics and the elegant simplicity of the original Mac. 

This commitment to craftsmanship offers a sense of purpose in and of itself. As I explain in my book, we all gain meaning from work well done. There’s intrinsic motivation and purpose in knowing that we’ve put our best efforts into something, that we’ve honed a craft in a way that challenges us.

But how can we find opportunities for craft in our modern jobs? After all, building financial models or leading a team in a factory can feel a bit distant from Michelangelo’s historic masterworks or the genius of Steve Jobs. But craft is not about historical impact. It’s about self-improvement and a quest to push the limits of our own performance — to take on new challenges and achieve something hard and unique. When I was an analyst at McKinsey, this looked like building beautiful Excel models with elegant formulas that could last clients years. I did this whether the partners noticed or not because I took pride in challenging and improving myself. In your job, it’s something else. Curiosity can unlock it. 

Ask yourself: 

  • What are the core elements of your job that require excellence? 
  • What skills do you need to perform that job well? 
  • What are one or two areas you can focus on now to make a craft, and how can you improve day-by-day until you do those things better than anyone else and to the best of your ability? 

To begin, pick one area of your work you’d like to try to hone and perfect. Make this something you enjoy that is important to your job. Then assess the 5-10 ways you could make it better and begin working to improve them and challenge yourself. Keep notes each day or save old versions sequentially so you can see your improvement over time.

Connect Work to Service

There’s almost nothing in life that improves our sense of well-being and purpose like service to others. Numerous studies have shown that acts of service have an immediate impact on happiness and fulfillment. And in my own life, I’ve rarely felt as purposeful as when building a Habitat for Humanity home with colleagues, serving in a soup kitchen, or reading to kids at a local school.

Service doesn’t have to be confined to volunteer work in a community, however. As I’ve outlined in a previous article, there are at least six opportunities to serve others in any job: clients or customers, colleagues, capital, community, partners, and people we love. Knowing this and seeking opportunities for service in each of these areas can bring meaning to work. 

But identifying the people we serve and ways to serve them requires deep-seeded curiosity. Consider these questions: 

  • Who are my clients? 
  • What do they need? 
  • What are the key obstacles to their well-being that I’m helping to overcome in my work, and how can I do it better? 
  • Which colleagues need my help the most? 
  • How can I effectively offer that with no expectation of return? 
  • Which two or three people could I best serve today?

These questions, founded in curiosity, are at the heart of service to others. Pick two of the six areas you like above — colleagues and customers for example. Think of 2-3 individuals in each of those two groups you could serve better and spend the next month trying to really understand them, and ways to use your work to serve them well. 

Invest in Positive Relationships

In social science literature, perhaps nothing is as central to happiness as meaningful positive relationships with others. Such relationships are essential to Martin Seligman’s PERMA framework for flourishing and the findings of the Harvard Grant Study that “Happiness is love.” And those findings are echoed in the works of many others.

Relationships aren’t confined to our personal lives. Each workday we spend more than 8 hours with work colleagues, whether remotely or in person. And trying to navigate work in the absence of meaningful relationships is a recipe for disappointment. Positive relationships at work can help us to flourish, can make others happy, and can create extraordinary corporate cultures. 

At work, as at home, relationships rest on empathy and curiosity. We can’t have a relationship of mutual care and respect with someone if we don’t display a genuine curiosity for that person. Ask: 

  • Who are they? 
  • What matters to them? 
  • What are their anxieties and fears, passions, and purpose? 
  • On any given day, how are they feeling? 
  • What are they interested in intellectually? 

Constantly approaching others with curiosity will naturally build your own empathy and show those people you care — creating meaningful relationships in the process. When you are interacting with work colleagues over the next month or two, consciously make a game of trying to know them better. Ask more questions than you answer. And carve out time for conversations and interactions with your colleagues that don’t just accomplish your work tasks but (in a professional way) enhance the relationship you have with them. Improving your work relationships will make you and those around you happier, and it will probably make you more productive as well. Curiosity is undoubtedly essential to professional success, but it’s also at the heart of purpose. Living with greater curiosity at work can help us to craft jobs and professional environments that help us and others flourish.


Take the first step towards transforming your remote work culture by requesting a free demo assessment from Great People Inside.        

Our team of experts will guide you through the assessment process, showcasing the effectiveness and value of our tailored solutions for your organization.        

During the demo, you will have the opportunity to explore the comprehensive features and functionalities of our psychometric assessments, experiencing firsthand how they can empower your HR strategies and drive positive outcomes. From personality assessments to cognitive abilities and team dynamics evaluations, our assessments provide valuable insights to enhance talent management and foster inclusive remote work environments.        

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to test the power of unbiased HR solutions. Request your free demo assessment from Great People Inside today and embark on a journey of fair and effective talent management in the remote work era.        

Together, we can unlock the true potential of your remote teams and achieve remarkable success. Request a Free Demo Assessment.        

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