As the world moves towards a more technological and online based society, we can see everything around us change in some way. From the way that we communicate with friends and family, to seeing wind farms as we drive, electronic and digital advancement has touched virtually everything.
We shouldn’t be surprised that our offices and jobs are changing as well, to incorporate new technology and also a new generation of workers. Many of these changes have taken place gradually, but even so, some employers have a hard time adapting to the new era.
Below, we’ll talk about some of the changes that are being made in modern day workplaces and how they positively, or negatively, impact both employees and employers.
Flexible Office Hours for Employees
It’s a fact that having set work times can become an issue for employees and employers alike. For people who have children, or who have to commute via public transportation, sometimes being late is something that employees can’t do much about.
Many workplaces are now allowing employees to choose their own hours. They are able to arrive at a time of their choosing, and leave 8-8.5 hours later. If the employee takes a long lunch, or has an appointment in the middle of the day, they just need to stay a little later in the evening.
Flexible hours remove a lot of stress from the employee as “being late” becomes a thing of the past. They can take their time getting ready in the morning, drop the kids off at school, drive safely in bad weather, and sleep in if they need to, without having to worry about being reprimanded for coming in after their start time.
Arguably, this change could reduce traffic accidents during rush-hours because fewer people would be in a hurry to meet their 8:00 am deadlines and would, instead, be allowed to take their time and drive safely.
Home Office Allowance
As jobs and professions move towards online-based avenues, more and more people are finding that just about everything they need to do at their jobs is available on their home computer, and almost everyone has a home office or computer room of some kind in their residence.
Since so many people now have the ability, and the technology, to complete work, hold video meetings, send and receive files and information, and even upload content, all from their phones, tablets, and computers, working from home has become much more popular for employers and employees alike.
Employees get to be in the comfort of their homes if they choose, which allows them to work even if they’re sick. It reduces commute times, giving them more time with family, and keeps them from having to drive in inclement weather.
Employers get to save money on office space, utilities, and even office supplies by having an office that isn’t occupied full-time.
No Office Dress Codes
We’re getting close to passing over the time when everyone had to wear business casual attire to work every day. Of course, many professionals still have to dress for their trade, but for many day-to-day office workers, such as writers, programmers, web designers, marketers, and graphic designers, sitting at a desk all day in professional attire is no longer a requirement.
For employees who aren’t meeting with customers on a daily basis and who complete their work using a computer, being comfortable in what they’re wearing is a small request. It also frees up some cash as they aren’t dishing out money on office attire that they only wear at the office.
As long as there is a loose dress code, such as “work appropriate clothing”, the employers need not worry about whether or not their workers will take advantage of the rule change. Letting them choose their clothing, and their style will allow employees to feel more confident and more comfortable in the workplace, which will in turn help them to work harder and be more productive.
Inspiring and Creative Office Spaces
Many employers have realized that the dull browns and tans of most offices are not conducive to creativity or productivity. Neither are cramped or uncomfortable break rooms. That’s why many new offices are painted with bright colors, have open concepts, and offer employees break spaces that are both comfortable and relaxing.
Inspiring employees to create can be as simple as surrounding them with inspiring colors, smells, and spaces. Artwork, plants, and creative designs help workers feel awake and motivated.
Some offices have even gone so far as to create break rooms that offer sofas, video game consoles, Ping-Pong tables, and more. This gives employees the opportunity to actually take a break from being at work, and lets them have a bit of fun while there.
And then there’s the open concept office, where walls are few and everyone is equal. This inspires teamwork, cooperation, and easy conversation. When everyone is equal, no one feels like they are less entitled to an opinion or idea, therefore giving the employer the opportunity to hear new concepts and perhaps even ground-breaking proposals, which can lead to increased profit and innovative products.
While it’s common knowledge that employees tend to prefer workplaces that offer incentives, many employers offer the same perks as all of the others—benefits, raises, and discounts. It’s becoming common practice to provide incentives outside of the norm, such as stocked employee fridges, weekly catered lunches, and scheduled lunch meetings where all employees are encouraged to attend.
These added bonuses allow employees to interact with each other over a meal, and it gives employees something to look forward to. Showing kindness and generosity to employees helps employers to encourage dedication, employee retention, and shows workers that they are valued.
Even something as simple as coffee or tea and donuts provided once a week can go a long way in telling employees that their employers care about them and appreciate their hard work.
Creative Freedom Outside of the Office
Since so many people now have home offices and online based skill-sets, there is an increasing number of consultants, contractors, and freelancers popping up all over the internet.
Although many employers want to keep their workers focused on their own projects, giving them the opportunity to expand their personal knowledge and skills will give them a sense of control over their lives, and it will keep them from feeling trapped in a stagnant position.
Employers who not only allow, but encourage employees to pursue their own projects may find that employees are more dedicated and appreciative of their jobs than those who are limited to working for only their employer by tight contracts.
If an employee becomes an influencer or well-known name outside of the workplace in a certain field, it is a benefit to the employer rather than a disadvantage. Having a worker who is renowned in an industry gives the employer credit for having helped to train and hone that person. It also keeps the employee happy by giving them the chance to spend time working on their own personal goals.
The End of an Old Office System
Even corporate employers are starting to change the way that they hire, retain, and treat employees. The days of dull office spaces and limited creativity are coming to a close, and there are obvious benefits to all involved.
Employers will see changes in employee behavior, dedication, retention, creativity, and productivity, which will all help in solidifying the success of their businesses.
Employees will be happier, more confident, and less stressed, allowing them to perform their given tasks with real determination for the company’s success.
Are you part of a modern office? How did it change the way you work?