By Tom Oakley
Is your business ready for the modern workforce?
The workplace is changing—in the way we work, the technology we use and even the workforce using it. By 2020, for the first time, “millennials” will make up 50 percent of the global workforce, as predicted by PwC’s “Millennials at work: Reshaping the workplace” report. This is the generation that reached adulthood around the turn of the century, for whom being in an electronics-filled and increasingly-online world is the norm.
This generation also differs in its expectations of the workplace. The expectation of a typical 9-to-5 job has largely been replaced with a desire for flexible working. There’s often a misguided perception that millennials are a social-media-obsessed generation that prefers to work remotely from coffee shops, while on Instagram or Facebook, rather than in the office. The truth is that this generation of the workforce is simply bringing new life experiences and work styles into the workplace, just as the generations before them.
The Implication for Employers
The key for employers is to create an environment that not only attracts the best and brightest young professionals to avoid being left behind by the talent pool, but also caters for the expectations and habits of the other 50% of the workforce, for a harmonious and thriving staff base.
When it comes to millennials, the research by PwC found that work/life balance is more important than financial reward, but many feel that their employers have failed to deliver on their expectations, which should be a genuine concern. Unsurprisingly, a measurable link has been found between a mobile-first workplace and an increase in employee engagement.
How to ensure your workplace is ready for 2018
- Technology and mobile connectivity: Your company’s IT offering needs to be up to scratch for employees to take advantage of flexible working options. Are laptops and work phones available and able to be taken off-site? Is the infrastructure in place to get these devices connected on-the-go, and are IT confident that there’s no compromise on security?
- Culture and engagement: The principle of dynamic working is to focus on the output and key deliverables of workers rather than the number of hours they spend in the office. This message needs to be approached from the top-down to ensure equal opportunity company-wide and to manage any fear of change across the generations.
- Policies and flexibility: Review your current staff policy to ensure it reflects the cultural shift towards flexible working. For example, the chance to work from home one day a week could empower staff—even if they don’t take it, availability is king.