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In the near future, some organisations will adopt a hybrid-work model, with certain days in the office and others remote, and might align employees’ in-office and remote schedules to create equity. Other companies will use video communications to be completely remote. Both models will enjoy increased productivity and deeper collaboration, and the ability to attract a more diverse workforce.

Long-term remote work has completely reshaped the 9-to-5 and blurred the lines between home and office
Long-term remote work has completely reshaped the 9-to-5 and blurred the lines between home and office

Erica Brescia: Chief Operating Officer, GitHub
How will workers interact with each other?

The future of work will be distributed. We’re going to see a big shift from office by default to remote by default. GitHub has been a predominantly distributed company with people working across the globe, which has helped us learn and evolve quickly. With people in every part of the company working remotely for years, we’ve seen how virtual interactions drive innovation.

With Covid-19, we’re rethinking how we design and use our office spaces – making them more about bringing the community in and placing an emphasis on virtual events. Remote by default will also force people to reframe the way they communicate and connect with people at work. Those whose superpower is connecting with people live and bringing energy to conversations will need to become good written communicators. And companies who do not have a strict need for physical interaction are going to have to operate more like open source communities – distributed, asynchronously and online. We will quickly see a material shift in who succeeds in this new mode of working.
Coronavirus: How the world of work may change forever

Covid-19 upended our jobs. We've tried to adapt, but what about the long term? BBC Worklife asks dozens of experts to flag the biggest questions we should be asking in 2020 and beyond.

More than seven months have passed since the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. Hundreds of millions of people have lived through lockdowns. Many have made the abrupt shift to working from home; millions have lost jobs. The future looks uncertain. We don't know when, or if, our societies might return to normal – or what kind of scars the pandemic will leave.

Amid the upheaval, BBC Worklife spoke to dozens of experts, leaders and professionals across the globe to ask: what are the greatest unknowns we face? How will we work, live and thrive in the post-pandemic future? How is Covid-19 reshaping our world – potentially, forever?

We’ll roll out these important views from some of the top minds in business, public health and many other fields in several articles over the next few weeks. We'll hear from people including Melinda Gates on gender equality, Zoom founder Eric Yuan on the future of video calls, Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler on what’s next in travel and Unesco chief Audrey Azoulay on the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Today, we’re starting by looking at the issue of work: how the pandemic has normalised remote work, and what that might mean. Will we go to the office again – and, if so, how often? What impact will a ‘hybrid’ way of working have on how we communicate, connect and create? Will work-from-home be the great leveller in terms of gender equality and diversity? And what will work mean if our offices are virtual and we lose those day-to-day social interactions?

We’re also examining what happens to people who can’t work from home as well as those whose jobs depend on a steady flow of traffic into urban hubs. Can we learn from Covid-19 and build better safety nets for the most vulnerable workers? And if the future is digital, how do we make sure swathes of the global population aren’t left behind?

“We all know that work will never be the same, even if we don’t yet know all the ways in which it will be different,” says Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield. But we’ve started asking the questions – and here’s what our experts had to say.
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