The whole concept of work, how it’s carried out and by whom is undergoing profound change in 2019. As more Millennials and Gen Z enter into and begin to take over the workforce, many traditional work structures and processes are being questioned. Some are even being completely thrown out the window in favour of innovation and change. With greater emphasis placed on work-life balance for employees, diversity and equality, and the constant uptake of the latest in tech, workplaces are feeling the pressure to keep up to speed with everyone else.
Here’s four of the latest trends for the future of workplaces so you can drive your business in the right direction.
1. Open plan, collaborative offices
The power of natural collaboration, in place of it solely occurring within scheduled meeting times, has led to offices now being designed with conversation in mind. Still allowing for areas to focus and meet in private in, open plan workplaces have been shown to increase interaction and collaboration amongst workers, which in turn has shown to increase motivation. By facilitating more frequent, natural contact, communication improves and job satisfaction levels amongst workers increases.
2. Working remotely and flexibly
The opportunity to work remotely and have flexible hours is an attractive option and good way to bring in and retain top talent. Being able to balance your work and personal life, reduce commute times, improve productivity and build closer family relationships are all factors which lead to greater job satisfaction. Hiring a remote workforce does present its challenges, such as less interaction with colleagues and natural collaboration, though it can be managed with the many screen-sharing and collaborative business tools available in the cloud, such as the Microsoft O365 suite. Because of this, providing digital learning options for employees to increase their tech skills is also sky-rocketing. For the business, having remote workers reduces operating costs and makes it easier to stay profitable. Unlimited annual leave is also becoming a popular trend, with levels of morale, productivity and creativity for employees going through the roof.
3. Focus on team culture
Social and physical health are important to all of us, and finding a workplace that places an emphasis on these is incredibly important. Free gym memberships, bike parking and the ability to take mental health days are all some of the perks that more and more workplaces are bringing into effect. Providing free healthy snacks in the kitchen (along with beer on tap for a treat when needed!), as well as conducting walking meetings outside of the office have all proven effective for employee wellbeing. Dedicated people and culture manager roles have popped up, where a full-time role is created to ensure a team is striving, and has plenty to look forward to with regards to social events for team building. Some work places are even bringing in game rooms with ping pong tables for workers to unwind with.
4. Enhanced technology and software
More and more workplaces are leveraging productivity tools such as voice control to capture meeting notes, and team collaboration tools such as SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. Millennials have shown a preference for communicating via a workplace instant messenger app such as Microsoft Teams, rather than by email or over the phone. Some studies suggest that virtual reality mediums could also soon become commonplace for things such as running client meetings. The speed and ease at which work can be done is enhanced significantly by technology, where work is becoming increasingly dynamic and the businesses that are innovating in these areas shine above the rest. Businesses need to keep up and provide training to any employees that are falling behind in their digital and technological literacy. If you think you your team needs to get up to speed with their tech skills, you can check out our training courses here.
Creating an attractive workplace to draw in the most talented job seekers of the next generation is key for employers to remain competitive. Creating a workplace of the future, which accepts and embraces flexibility and change is one of the most important things an organisation can do for their future.