future of work

Did you know that up to 20% of the global population is neurodivergent? That means they perceive and interact with the world differently than the neurotypical majority, and have one or more neurological differences that may include ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and others. 

While many of these individuals face challenges when it comes to things like social interaction and organization, these obstacles are outweighed by the incredible strengths they bring to the table. When given the space and psychological safety to thrive, neurodivergent people can significantly enrich an organization’s capacity for innovation and problem solving and can help challenge the status quo. 

Based on feedback from a recent global survey of nearly 1,000 neurodivergent individuals, let’s explore the top five strengths of neurodivergent employees and how these strengths can help your business go further, faster: 

1. Creative, flexible, and outside-the-box thinking   

Neurodivergent employees are masters of creative and unconventional thinking. They excel at approaching problems from new perspectives and coming up with innovative solutions. As more conventional work becomes automated with the use of AI, the ability to innovate, think outside the box, and approach problems with entirely different frameworks will become significantly more valuable. 

2. Strong observational skills and attention to detail   

Leveraging their photographic memories, neurodivergent employees possess a remarkable ability to pay attention to the smallest of details. Their self-proclaimed perfectionism drives them to spot the smallest details that others might miss. This ability makes them particularly valuable in roles where accuracy is critical.  

3. Ability to stay focused for long periods of time   

Neurodivergent employees have an impressive capacity to maintain focus for long periods. Their hyperfocus and determination also means that they rarely give up on difficult tasks.  

4. Excellent ability to recognize patterns   

Neurodivergent employees have excellent pattern recognition skills. Their ability for spotting patterns and trends enhances operational processes and improves efficiency across various tasks. This strength proves particularly beneficial in roles that involve customer service and analytics.  

5. Excellent math skills   

Neurodivergent individuals often exhibit extraordinary math and logical reasoning skills.  According to Harvard Business Review’s Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage, neurodivergent individuals possess a unique ability to understand complex mathematics, identify obscure patterns in data, and memorize intricate details that others might miss. 

It’s time for the global workforce to recognize that neurodiversity is diversity. Neurodivergent employees can help organizations break through plateaus that have been plaguing their teams for months, years, or decades because they kept approaching the challenges with the same types of minds. Fresh ways of thinking are especially important during challenging economic times. 

In an ever-accelerating race for competitive advantage, employers who embrace the strengths of neurodivergent employees fully are likely to find themselves moving to the front. Embracing neurodiversity means embracing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to work. The future is about true freedom and flexibility in the workplace. Let people show you their full potential by working where, when, and how they do their best work. 

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the possibility of four-day work weeks recently. You may have been dreaming about a four-day work week since the start of your career. There’s a lot of appeal to the idea of capturing a three-day weekend every single weekend.  

Here’s the thing: I agree that we need to find a solution to workplace stress and maintaining balance in our lives. 

But I am not convinced the mandated four-day work week is the best way to make this happen. 

Maybe you’re thinking, “Of course, a software company HR exec isn’t all for giving everyone Fridays off.” Here’s the plot twist: it’s not for the reason you think. 

It’s not because I think productivity will drop. 

It’s not because I think employees will disengage. 

It’s not because I can’t make it make financial sense. 

It’s not because I am a tyrant who loves to see people glued to their office chairs. 

It’s because, for knowledge workers craving workplace freedom, I don’t believe a four-day work week offers enough freedom. 

Focus on outputs, not inputs

The mandated four-day work week is still an employer-prescribed, top-down methodology that is too focused on inputs (i.e., hours spent in the chair) versus outputs. 

It could just be code for “do your job when we tell you to, but now just do it faster.” 

And as far as I’m concerned, that’s a lose/lose. 

Let’s be clear: a four-day work week might be perfect for some people. But it shouldn’t be dictated by the company. 

True freedom at work

So, what IS the solution? It’s exactly what we’re working on building here at Alludo: True freedom at work. And that means—when the situation allows it—working wherever, however, and whenever you want. The best employers and managers focus on outcomes, not inputs like hours spent or people in seats. They want to know if you’re getting your job done and doing it well. They couldn’t care less whether you prefer to wake up at the crack of dawn and hit the ground running, or spend the day with your family and focus on work at night. That’s exactly what we want to see here at Alludo, and ideally in as many places as possible where knowledge work happens. 

True freedom at work isn’t the ability to leave work early to watch your kid’s soccer game. It means that watching a soccer game in the middle of the day isn’t “leaving early” at all. 

Sure, there are times when the team will need to be aligned for a meeting or a deadline. But that noon meeting might be the beginning of the day for some and the end for others. It might be a quick moment of work focus on an otherwise non-work day. And if you have a global workforce like we do here, flawless alignment on work timing isn’t realistic anyway. 

This isn’t just about making a more welcoming workplace for employees, though that’s a big part of it. It’s also smart business. Seriously. 

We’ve found that freedom and flexibility are not only great for people, but also for our company. During the pandemic, knowledge workers everywhere proved that productivity didn’t require an office. And it goes without saying that work/life balance can be dramatically improved by taking away the artificial constraints of “industrial-era” 9-5 office work. When the focus is on results instead of counting people sitting in cubicles, employees discovered they could make more space not only for their lives and families, but also for their careers. 

Why wouldn’t we want to lean into that? 

Again, I acknowledge that this philosophy only applies to knowledge workers. I’m humbled by and grateful for the essential workers who keep the world healthy, safe, and fed by showing up (literally) every day.  

To be clear, a four-day work week might be ideal for some knowledge workers. And if you’re one of them, I believe you should have the right to ask your employer for it. But it shouldn’t be dictated to you, nor should any other rigid schedule.  

If you’re an employer who is considering implementing a four-day work week at your company (or have already done so), please think twice before making it mandatory and dictating the specific day people need to take off. 

Freedom at work, counterintuitively, can be an adjustment for both knowledge workers and employers. And yet, when you embrace freedom at work and lean into tracking outputs instead of inputs, I believe everyone wins. 

A version of Scott Day’s blog originally appeared on HR.com. 

The new year has a way of making people introspective, evaluating who they are and what they stand for. It affords the chance to release things that don’t serve you anymore, and welcome in new ideas and new paths forward. Our company is no different. When Alludo recently underwent an ambitious, sweeping rebrand, we weren’t only reimagining how we show up in the world. (Though that’s a big part of it.) We also seized the opportunity to reimagine the entire future of work.

Like we said, ambitious.

We’re dismantling generations of notions about what work ‘should’ look and feel like. We knew that, during our rebrand, we wanted to establish values that could both represent us and be an authentic reflection of how we envision the future of work for the world. (The word ‘authentic’ is some serious foreshadowing here.)

As we settle into this new year, we want to share them with you.

A feel for our values

This is not your ‘corporate values’ of the past, when every company had the same posters with cats clinging to branches and the word PERSISTENCE across the bottom. Flashbacks, anyone?

These had to be very true to us, our purpose, and our mission. We’ve been fortunate to have a major uptick in job applications to Alludo since our rebrand, and we want applicants to really feel these values from their first moment they lay eyes on a job description all the way through the hiring and onboarding process, and of course while they’re here.

There was a lot of internal discussion. We had to both honor our 35+ year legacy and capture where we’re going next. They had to be specific enough to be unique to us, but applicable to knowledge workers everywhere.

We even discussed the word ‘values’ and whether that’s really what we were talking about. Were they values or promises? Were they requirements? A code of conduct? Were they aspirational or a mirror of who we are?

The alignment of values and beliefs

Ultimately, we landed on work better/live better beliefs. You might see beliefs and values used interchangeably in our content, and that’s okay. We think what you believe in and what you value should be in alignment.

Working better and living better is exactly what we’re focused on as we build the future of work. So, these beliefs are both authentic to who we are and a set of guideposts to aim us forward, because we know there is still work to do.

Okay, we’ve built things up enough. Without further ado, here are Alludo’s work better/live better beliefs:

  • Unapologetic Authenticity is the root of performance. We bring our whole selves to work, embracing our identity, our struggles, our unique abilities, our bad days, and our bad*ss days. We care about what we do and we care about each other and our ideas. We champion diverse perspectives and backgrounds because we know it drives better decision making – and better results. We insist on inclusion because we know it makes our teams more productive. We foster true belonging that’s rooted in respect, not simply acceptance. We act with humility, honesty, integrity, and candor. ​
  • Grit is more valuable than perfection. We are courageous. We build guardrails and take risks within those guardrails. We occasionally fall flat on our faces, and then we brush ourselves off and learn. We find the testable hypothesis. We would rather fail than stagnate. We do not settle for the status quo. We know we cannot grow by standing still. We persevere through challenges, celebrate strengths, and are open about vulnerabilities.  ​
  • Simplicity is essential. We operate in a complex industry with complex challenges, but we don’t overcomplicate. We focus. We strive for fast, effective action. We practice restraint and fight for clarity. We empower people to do their jobs and then we get the heck out of their way. We understand that the simplest path is often the best one, and we don’t conflate complexity with competence. ​
  • Curiosity unleashes innovation. We are shameless geeks and voracious learners who are always striving to ask better questions. We’re the kids who wouldn’t keep their hands down in class. We know that curiosity leads to innovation. When we test the boundaries, we can truly see how far we can go. We think performance exists at the intersection of creativity and data. We seek the right data to unleash more questions and refine the path forward. Curiosity also fosters stronger relationships based on reciprocal interest and vulnerability, and we’re all for it. ​
  • Accountability lets us go further, faster. We are each accountable for our own work and our own path. Sometimes the opportunity is seized instead of granted. None of us are above any work that needs to be done. We roll up our sleeves and pitch in. We value stepping into the arena, not commenting from the cheap seats. We work hard but with our head up, so we can navigate deftly around the obstacles. We believe that working harder means working smarter, and also knowing when to take a nap. We advocate for the better path. We share successes and own areas of opportunity. We seek solutions instead of excuses.  ​
  • True Freedom means working better and living better. We embrace physical freedom, working in the space and style that suits us best. We relish the opportunity to enhance our own lives and the lives of our customers, inviting them to take up space and create freely and more productively in all they do. We embrace psychological freedom, feeling safe to share opinions, take risks, speak up, and challenge others. Flexibility is a buzzword that people often ask for. We believe that what they’re truly seeking is freedom. Freedom unleashes true potential, true possibility, and true passion for what you spend your life doing. We spend a huge percentage of our time at work. Let’s make it work better.​

Whether you’re a potential candidate, an employee, a customer, or a partner, or someone simply stopping by, we hope these resonate with you.

Read more about our valueshere.

Interested in applying, or know someone who’d be a great fit? Visit our Careers & Culturepage.