Our daily lives are changing faster and faster. The way we commute, the way we shop, how we socialise – all disrupted by new digital experiences. We now have the same expectations for how we work.
Remember hearing stories about offices with slides, table tennis tables and sleep pods? Thanks to the way we now think about our work, it all seems a bit irrelevant. But what does this mean for the workplace, and how can organisations and their customers benefit?
Redressing the balance
For many, the idea that there’s a work/life balance is just that: an idea. How many times do we check emails on weekends? Half of UK employees now read emails out of hours - a 400% increase since 2002.
Flexible working means more than using a laptop from home every Friday. The modern workplace should empower people to do their best work. If that means a member of your team prefers to work at midnight on certain projects, then the workplace should cater to that.
What’s driving change?
Technology breaks down barriers to help us understand what our colleagues do, how they do it, and how they like to collaborate best.
Furthermore, our personal use of technology is driving aspirations for how we want to work. This freer, real-time and always-on mentality borne out of smartphones and social media has entered into our working lives. It’s a new level of flexibility that feels intuitive, particularly to younger generations.
The third factor is that people are more aware of the impact they and their places of work have on society. Brand values are now more important than ever to consumers, who are taking this mentality to their workplace to ask questions around ethics and the environment.
So how are organisations accommodating this new sentiment around work? Innovative businesses are rethinking the typical focus on efficiency, and the inevitable iterative changes that come with trying to increase it.
Instead, these businesses are focusing on effectiveness by first looking at the desired outcome and bringing in tools that will achieve it. More and more organisations are realising that choosing effectiveness over efficiency gets better results, often at a better price.
Bringing in those tools doesn’t need to be as disruptive as you’d think. People are resilient, and will embrace change if they see the value in it.
A holistic approach to how people can deliver their best work is now required. People want to be engaged with in unique ways, and buy into the purpose of what they do.
Technology can support this, but people have to be at the heart of every decision before bringing it in. Give the people what they want, and your workplace will be a hub of innovation, inspiration and growth. All without a slide, table tennis table or sleep pod in sight.
To hear more about the workplace experience, and what the future holds for it, listen to Avanade’s podcast series here or click the button below: