Office culture as we know it has come to a halt, with remote work becoming the new norm. At the same time, our workforce has never been as varied as it is today, with full time, part-time, freelance, gig, and crowd sourced workers working in a variety of at-home and distanced settings. As we recover from the pandemic, the change in work culture will also be a major factor in how the workplace will change in 2020 and beyond.
So how is workforce diversity and the shift to more remote work changing the workplace?
A new type of employee
Today’s workforce craves communication, collaboration, and real-time connectivity in order to feel engaged and motivated. Studies have shown that 43% of workers would be willing to leave their companies because of mediocre or less than par office cultures and 44% don’t feel they have sufficient opportunities for professional growth in their current positions. Businesses must prove their value to employees or risk losing out to competitors. Workers need a safe space to interact with their coworkers, while at the same time being provided opportunities to learn and grow.
Trends that are forcing a shift in the workplace:
We are relying more on tech
With the increasing number of remote employees and off-site freelancers, remote work technology is no longer a “nice-to-have”, but rather a vital necessity of the workplace. Today, as we communicate from our desks, meeting rooms, homes, bedrooms, and even airplanes, this digital empowerment is breaking down barriers and allowing employees and teams to be readily available whenever and wherever. Technology now offers a far greater variety of communication tools, including file sharing, live streaming, digital white boarding, and integrated chat. By providing teams with the latest technology, employees are given the opportunity to proactively work from anywhere, be more engaged in meetings, and create more authentic relationships with remote coworkers and customers.
We are seeing unexpected gains from shorter workweeks
Microsoft's successful implementation of a four-day work week in its Japan office this summer has the business world buzzing. Microsoft says it saw productivity grow by 40% after allowing employees to work for four days a week rather than five. With impressive productivity increases, business leaders suspect more companies will soon be adopting the same structure. For years the workplace has been unchanged, creating a lifeless workforce, but now employees dreaming of a more flexible workweek could soon be in luck.
We are deploying more artificial intelligence to help our teams
The growing popularity of AI for businesses’ shows no signs of slowing down. In a recent report, 58% of large companies surveyed reported adopting AI in at least one function or business unit in 2019, up from 47% in 2018. AI represents a positive change in terms of efficiency and productivity and is helping solve new and existing challenges employees face in their day-to-day. The nature of job roles, and the skills that are most needed, are evolving. As new graduates enter the workforce most have only experienced a tech-forward workplace and are already native to AI and Automation. This will solidify AIs quick integration into the new workplace.
How is your workplace going to change?
The immediacy of digital communications is changing the way people are utilizing the new workspace. As the number of remote employees and off-site freelancers continues to rise, people increasingly want to be able to work whenever and wherever they choose. With the universal availability of wifi and smart devices, employees are able to do their jobs anywhere in the world. This allows companies to connect with people and hire new talent on a national, even global scale. This shift has been recognized by savvy employers who are adapting their workplaces in order to remain competitive and attract top talent. How is your organization responding to these trends?