We love organizing events at Cloudflight and bringing different people together who share the same passion for the digital future as we do. Since we are convinced that a small group of like-minded and result-oriented people can make a huge difference, we have started a cooperation with beteal in hosting and conducting a Future of Work Meetup series recently. We want to stay true to the agile principles, thus this event-series is highly interactive and self-organized.
Society is changing faster than ever – it had started even before COVID-19. We need to learn to adapt quickly – especially in the age of COVID-19. In this article, we want to give you an overview of how we approached our topics during both our onsite and online events.
New work & future of work
Before we start talking about our events, let’s take a look at the terms new work and future of work. It’s obvious that technology changes work; according to experts, the concept of new work can help us understand what the future of work will look like. In a nutshell, Frithjof Bergmann, a philosopher from the US, developed the concept of new work. According to him, in the system of old work, people work solely for payment, even if they don’t really like their job. Contrary to the system of old work, the idea of new work is determined by freedom, flexibility, shared purpose, responsibility and collaboration and should lead to a fulfilled work life. The future of work is shaped by two powerful forces: on the one hand, by artificial intelligence and digitalization in the workplace, and on the other hand, by changing demand of the workforce. These current trends of automation and digitalization have made the human factor more important than ever and inevitably confront us with the ideals of new work.
Onsite vs. online meetups
We organize Future of Work meetups in collaboration with beteal, an organization that works with leaders of today’s society who inspire and support each other to shape the way we work. At our meetups, the focus is on new work, virtual teams, AI and technology and self-organization – just to name a few topics.
Restart. Redefine. Rethink. Reinvent.
At our first joint meetup, which was conducted both online and onsite in our new home in the Austria Campus Vienna, we talked about how to reinvent ourselves with agile learning. The key message of the lightning talk was that we need to constantly restart ourselves, and for that, we need to learn. The invited speaker, Judit Radnai-Toth, the Founder of Talentbrand, drew our attention to the fact that in the past, our profession was a strong part of our identity but today, competencies are more important than learned skills. In this regard, we need to redefine ourselves and rethink workplaces to be able to find our place in the new ecosystem. Because of artificial intelligence and digitalization, our jobs are more complex, so we all need to develop hybrid knowledge. Our conclusion was that the most effective learning happens from day to day – with learning by doing.
The future is happening now
When we declared that we all should restart and redefine ourselves more frequently in January, we didn’t think that the far future would already start in March. Because of COVID-19, most companies and employees have been forced to immediately restart themselves, rethink their everyday lives and redefine the importance of things, routines, traditions, habits. We as meetup-organizers also restarted the program and postponed our topic we had planned for the next event: we chose “Leading virtual teams” for the 2nd global edition.
We were aware that we could not provide an onsite event this time, so in May we prepared a fully online meetup, focusing not only on the Vienna area. We wanted to get to know leaders who have experiences working partly or fully remotely and also to invite others who are struggling to work without the possibility of doing so in a well-structured way from home. We were curious about what the behavior of the leadership in virtual communication is.
The panel of the meetup
It was exciting to learn how many aspects there are when it comes to working remotely and tackling challenges in times like this: behind the scenes stories in corporate-life, being connected with distributed teams, time tracking everyday-home office routines etc. We started with a panel discussion with our guests:
Cornelia Grasser, Team Lead Business Integration Services
Kim Gjerstad, Founder of Mailpoet
Noemi Bagameri, Release Manager at an insurance company
Harald Vogl, Lead of Colocation and Distribution Discipline, Cloudflight
Moderator: Eniko Balint, Founder of beteal
After the panel, in the interactive part of the so-called speed consulting, we covered lots of relevant questions and concerns of the participants like: “I need help with managing my team of freelancers remotely. I’m not allowed to work more than 8 hours a week due to Covid-19 and I’m struggling to keep in touch with my team.” or “I wanted to discuss starting a remote company, i.e. working remotely in a startup. Various challenges: unclear responsibilities, no IT infrastructure established yet, no (financial) resources for specific tools.”
Our attendees could receive valuable insights from other inspiring leaders – the exchange of knowledge was marvelous. We tapped into our collective genius so that we can help each other turn the crisis into a chance.
Technology has changed the way we live – how we consume, communicate, search for relationships, do business – just within a few years. Corona has sped up this change rapidly and has shown us that agile companies can handle these unseen situations quite well.
Online meetups are the new standard: group discussions can take place in breakout rooms and live streaming, recording, interactive icebreaking are also possible via Zoom for instance. Being physically far away from each other does not mean being socially disconnected – luckily.
We spend more time dealing with exceptions, unseen problems than we did previously. In the future, there will only be exceptions. So fundamental transformations in organizations are needed in the future.
In order to survive the constant developments, we all need to create a learning culture that enables teams and leaders to adapt fast and stay prepared for new changes. We all can be outstanding and benefit from current challenges if we stay up-to-date and constantly acquire new skills.
… and outlook
At Cloudflight we are constantly restarting ourselves to live up to the ideal of new work. Our main goal is to give our colleagues the autonomy, skills and tools to shape their careers every day in order to live out their jobs with passion.
At the end of our first meetup in January, we asked the attendees what they would like to talk about at the upcoming meetups. The topic women in tech and diversity and inclusion, in general, were among the top requests. Since this is one of our core values, we wanted to dedicate a meetup for this topic.
We are convinced that diversity and inclusion should be a comprehensive strategy that shapes the talent life cycle, enhances employee engagement, improves brand and drives performance.
Would you like to explore the advantages of working in a diverse community from an employee’s point of view? Follow us on eventbrite and meetup.com to be informed about the guests-topic-form of the next Future Of Work meetup. Do you prefer online or onsite or a mixed format? Anything goes — join us and let’s make a difference together!