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Create a workplace that’s well equipped for the future

How is it changing and is your business ready?

Create a workplace that’s well equipped for the future

Over the past 10 years or so, we have seen remarkable changes, advances and progression in the workplace, and while it’s easy to think that we’re hitting the mark, there are still many ways we can improve and evolve.

Technology has played a big part in the development of the workplace and businesses have been able to evolve their practices and reimagine traditional principles as a result. Today, businesses are better equipped to highlight employees’ strengths and manage their energy, which in turn will help eradicate the burnout epidemic. But what’s next for the workforce? Businesses are busy implementing wellness programs, offering lunchtime yoga classes and work-from-home days. But how productive are these strategies to long-term authentic high performance for the workplace and its staff?

Here are my top tips for creating a workplace that’s well equipped for the future

  1. Go virtual

    Gone are the days where international travel was the only way to meet with global partners. Today, technology allows businesses around the world to hold more meetings virtually, eliminating the need to be in the same place as each other. Despite this, many large companies are not yet equipped for virtual meetings and many workers are travelling more than they should. Therefore they are suffering burnout from more travel than is required. Of course, meeting clients and establishing relationships in person is still invaluable for businesses. It’s really all about weighing up what can be done electronically, and what is worth the trip.

  2. Full-time employees or contractors

    Full-time employment is an age-old principle and the idea of contracting employees is expanding. In time, companies and businesses will have fewer full-time employees and more contractors so that people can focus on the work that really energises them and concentrate on projects that use their skillsets best. It’s about capitalising on strengths to improve individual and team productivity. The contractors may work mostly for one company but will work in a project-based capacity. This means they would work project-to-project and when one is finished, they can take time off to recharge and then move to the next project as it suits them. This also takes strain off some businesses that struggle to justify paying for a full-time employee.

  3. Increase flexibility and encourage work/life integration

    Businesses have been positioning themselves as flexible workplaces for years and use work/life balance as a draw card, but it hasn’t successfully translated to the employee. Research has shown that 42% of Australian employees would like more workplace flexibility. However, with busy schedules, back-to-back meetings and increasing desk hours, it’s hard for employees to make the change and feel encouraged to do so. Managers need to lead by example and encourage staff to look after themselves, without feeling guilty. How they feel directly impacts the work that they do. So if you empower your staff, they’ll feel committed to doing the best job they can, in an authentic sustained capacity.

1 Comment

  1. Tuisiong Hie

    Good article Vanessa, especially points one and two. I’ve worked in many large organisations that have struggled to adjust with managing an “agile” workplace and staff.
    In my current organisation, I’ve worked in two campuses. The first made the move to agile, with all the aches and pains. Now the second campus is making the change, with all the same aches and pains.
    One thing I have noticed in both cases is that the staff are quite engaged and open to the change, but, understandably, the 1UP manager is more anxious about losing visual “control” over their staff. Said tongue in cheek, they are more comfortable with staff to surf Facebook at their desk, where they can see them 9-5, rather than at home.
    Personal anecdotal experience, for point two, which I’m sure you can validate or debunk, is as the full-time to contractor ratio changes is that companies make the mistake of treating full-timers as contractors which leads to disgruntled full-timers. “Perks” for want of a better words get scraped back to the bare minimum with the attitude that if the full-timers don’t like it, they can leave and the employer can replace them with a contractor.
    In regards to point three, I’ve never had a problem putting the odd extra hour or two, but have always been protective of my personal time. Now that I have two kids and another on the way, flexible work hours is one of the top priorities I look for in any employer.
    You’ve hit the nail on the head, the team leader/1UP needs to lead by example so that staff don’t feel guilty about starting late one day and making up the time the next.

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