Workplaces and office cultures are in a constant state of change. Variables such as technology, generational mindset shift, and changing lifestyle affect the workplace, resulting in its transformation and the emergence of a more suitable working environment.
Some of the trends shaping the workplace are mentioned below:
- Flexibility and hybrid model – The global pandemic forced even the most traditional work setups to shift to a hybrid model and introduce the work from home (WFH) concept. It also proved that dedicated employees could be productive in any environment, provided they have the technical infrastructure required to support and help them continue their work unhindered. Due to this shift in the mindset, flexibility is no longer just a benefit but a necessity. New-age employees cannot be expected to work from a brick-and-mortar office for 5–6 days a week. In response, most organizations have introduced hybrid models that allow staff to WFH and come to office as per their convenience. The interaction in office is essential for employees to connect, collaborate, and develop talent, and therefore, cannot be eliminated altogether.
- Focus on wellness – The turmoil of the recent pandemic, stress of urban living, and expectation of a higher quality of life have contributed to the deterioration of individuals’ physical and mental health. Organizations are now responsible for ensuring the mental health of their employees. This can be accomplished through various initiatives such as providing in-house counseling, allowing employees to disconnect during vacations and holidays, and offering sabbaticals, if necessary.
- Talent development – The Great Resignation era of last year illuminated the significance of retaining and developing existing talent in an organization. With the advancement of technology, implementation of modern processes, and emergence of new opportunities, it is becoming increasingly important to cross-train and upskill employees. Together with career growth plans and equitable compensation, talent development investment would have a positive impact on employee retention.
- Gig economy and dual working – The current workforce primarily consists of millennials and members of Generation Z. In addition to their professional objectives, they actively pursue other interests and hobbies. Hence, gig economy, freelance working, and part-time jobs are gaining popularity, as these working models give employees ample time to devote themselves to their personal interests. The new-age employees are digital natives who have been raised to believe they can accomplish anything. Therefore, organizations would have to support these goals and ensure staff get sufficient personal time.
- Employee experience – Employees are the most important asset of any organization. While their main objective is to receive compensation, their working experience also influences their decision to stay with a company. As job markets open and more opportunities become available, employees tend to gravitate toward brands that treat them with respect and offer exceptional benefits and comforts. They want to strike the right balance between work and life priorities and have a steady career path. Hence, they look for organizations that can fulfill these needs.
Organizations should acknowledge these changes and work toward creating a favorable and productive environment for employees. An organization that can be aligned with evolving trends and transform itself is more likely to retain talented employees and acquire new ones.
The article has been written by Pratixha Narkar, Vice President – HR, Aranca