The way we approach the workplace is changing. The invention of the typewriter made a huge impact, and the computer even more so. However, as we take these things for granted in 2020, how has the workplace evolved to be the place we know it to be today? In the past twenty years, things have accelerated massively, and there is now an urge to work in more pleasant environments, rather than the undesirable cubicle style offices of the last century.
The introduction of flexible working
It’s only recently that flexible working has been taking the workplace by storm. We can stay connected to our colleagues now through video calls, WhatsApp, email, Slack, having the ability to connect with them in seconds. The use of technological tools also means that we can store shared data in one place, and the extension of those capabilities to our devices means we can access it anywhere. To access all this and interact with colleagues, the only thing you need is a smartphone or laptop, and the internet. With this being the case, why not take that work home and sit in the comfort of your house? The demand to work remotely or flexibly is now a reality, and we don’t need to all be in the same place to successfully meet our workplace duties anymore and stay connected to our network.
The benefits of flexible working
When flexible working was first encouraged, people were suspicious. What if people aren’t actually working? How can we keep an eye on them if they aren’t in the office? All these questions were pondered. However, we are now seeing the benefits of flexible working come to fruition. Workers feel less stressed, and more encouraged and trusted by their managers. They don’t have to worry about racing back from the office to pick their children up. They also don’t have to worry about their daily commute. Instead they save time and money by working from home and having more opportunities to choose the hours they do work. Research undertaken has revealed that a better work-life balance is the most apparent advantage to flexible working.
People who have the option to work remotely need to be trustworthy and dedicated. Establishing trust and staying connected are critical steps to ensure flexible working is a success.
Of course, there are some industries in which flexible working isn’t an option. The tech and creative industries are leading the way when it comes to flexibility. Yet other sectors, such as healthcare and manufacturing, are much less flexible. This inevitably comes down to logistics (a surgeon operating cannot work from home after all). However, office workers in these sectors could probably benefit from the added flexibility!
A relaxed office environment
Nowadays, our offices are a far cry from the offices of the 80s, 90s, even the 00s. When you think of an office, you envision people stuck to their desk, wearing suits and watching the clock tick by. Fast forward to 2020, and in many offices around the world, this is no longer the case. Especially in the creative and tech sectors, offices are far more relaxed. We have clocked onto the fact that workers want to enjoy work and the happier they are, the better their results. It isn’t uncommon to walk into an office and see ping pong tables, an Xbox, a beer fridge, jeans and t-shirts.
Having access to these things doesn’t mean that employees are going to throw their work away and sit on the Xbox all day. We’ve found that people value their work more when they have access to collaborative activities. Who doesn’t want to forget their work stresses, even if just for a few minutes?
The baby boomers are now retiring, which leaves a generation of millennials and Gen-Zs heading up the workplace. However, they bringing a change of attitudes and workplace trends. It’s difficult when you are set in your ways to change. Even more so when it comes to something as important as work. People are culturally conditioned when it comes to how they should be managing the workplace. Those that were controlled by others in the 80s and 90s, often still have the same approach now. As millennials start to take the lead, they are bringing with them the ideals that they want to see in the workplace. This includes equality, fun, friendships, approachability and collaboration.
Everything now seems just that little more laid back, less hierarchical and more inclined to be a place where people can succeed and thrive. It avoids creating a place you can’t wait to leave at the end of the day.
Think you could benefit from working with approachable, like-minded people in a relaxed agency environment? Check out the opportunities we offer at Inc & Co!