“The employers that will gain the most success from the workplace of the future are ones that understand that innovation is at the core of what we do”
– Morris Miselowski, Business Futurist
APPROACHING THE EVOLVING WORKSPACE
Workspaces are undertaking a major transformation as we move to the future. Studies by a number of researchers in the domain of ‘business futures’ show that the 9-5 work day is on its way out. The line between work and play is becoming increasingly blurred. And workplace culture is dramatically changing as the new generation of millennials take over the workforce.
So how will this affect you and your business? This paper gives an insight into the rapidly changing workplace culture and explores strategies you can implement to make your business thrive rather than fall behind in the new digital age.
“Technology has shifted the nature of work, due to the fact we can work from anywhere at any time and Australians are embracing this change, yet employers need to keep up.”
The Workplace of the Future:
As we cross into this new digital age with higher connectivity than ever before, studies by organisations such as Microsoft, show a change in workplace culture with increasingly blurred lines between work and play. Take a look at these statistics from Microsoft‘s study on 18-35 year olds in the workplace:
- 33% Spend more than 28 hours a week online
- 39% Don’t mind being contactable by work 24/7 (amongst those working full or part-time)
- 76% Use productivity apps to help manage their time
- 30% Drink energy drinks to keep them going
- 1 in 5 Does some form of meditation to help them unplug
- 1 in 5 Takes a self-imposed ‘no-phone’, ‘no contact’ time out
“53% of Australians are completing personal tasks at work while 44% do work activities outside the traditional working hours.”
We can see from these statistics that this next generation’s affinity with technology plays a significant part in their lives and that doesn’t stop when they come to work. Miselowski believes that “the peak-hour commute [will] begin to fade away as employers realise face-time does not necessarily equal productivity as the standard nine-to-five hour’s blur. The employers that will gain the most success from the workplace of the future are ones that “understand that innovation is at the core of what we do”.”
The Importance of Cultural Change and Keeping Up:
With the nature of work changing, businesses need to adapt and change with it or they will fall behind. One of the biggest issues is that employee engagement is at an all-time low. Gallup’s (an organisational analytic and statistics company) study on this topic revealed that 70% of workers are just “punching the clock”. Employee disengagement leads to decreased productivity levels and according to Paul Keegan, a writer for Inc., employee disengagement is “costing the nation $450-550 billion per year in lost productivity”. According to researchers like Paul Keegan and Matt Stratz, most (if not all) of this disengagement stems from less-than-effective work environments. So how do we fix this?
Engaging the Millennials:
According to a study by PwC, millennials will make up over half the workforce by 2020. The study shows that this generation, known for their affinity with the digital world, require “a different management style and corporate culture to anything that has gone before”
“41% of millennials say that they prefer to communicate electronically at work than face to face or even over the telephone”
– ‘Millennials at Work’, PwC
Ways to keep millennials happy and engaged:
- Be flexible – there is an increasing desire for flexibility in work schedules for better work-life balance
- Have fun – think about how popular companies like Google are, this is largely because employees seems to be having more fun
- Transparency is important – if workers know how the company operates they will feel more connected to it
- Form personal connections – one way of doing this is by offering mentorship opportunities
- Paul Keegan believes you shouldn’t “throw too many perks at them” or people will become too fixated on the reward
- Avoid “mandatory fun” as that can cause more harm than good. Playing games in the workplace can be a fantastic way to promote team building but only if the workers want to participate.
- Don’t borrow someone else’s workplace environment – survey your workers
When surveying your workers, it’s important to get it right. Here are a couple of tips to maximise effectiveness:
- Explain why you’re surveying them – employees are more likely to help if they see that it will benefit them.
- Keep it short – this will ensure higher response rates
- Ask the right questions – keep it relevant, address your core needs and skip the subtleties.
- Follow it up – there’s no point surveying if you’re not going to use the data to make improvements. Lack of follow-up can lead to employees becoming more cynical and less inspired.
The best way to encourage employee engagement is to establish relationships, listen to them, give them the chance to get better at what they do and give them a clear connection to your company’s core purpose so that they believe in what they’re doing and feel connected to their work.
To find out how TMS Consulting can help your organisation build for the future and develop a motivated and effective workplace contact us today on 07 3003 1473 or email email@example.com.