The Changing Workplace

Over the last few weeks I have been hearing a lot about different working environments.  What do I mean? Life is very different than it was say 10 years ago, technology has moved on at such at rapid rate so why have many companies failed to move forward also?

There are many working models that are being replicated, look at the offices of Innocent, Facebook and Pixar to name a few.  They breed creativity, they are spaces to work, think, discuss, challenge and play.   So what does this mean? Employees are trusted, this is such a key word let me say it again – Trusted.  Employees know what is required to achieve their role and how to go about it.   Is their employees productivity any less?  Are these companies failing?

Would an employee have more respect for their organization if they felt trusted?

Last week I was listening how one organization has allowed employees to (the word used was) work in an agile way. The organization ensures that they are able to access emails and information remotely.  With this trust and access they add agility, there is an office space but if they can complete some work in another location – fine.  Employees feel empowered, take responsibility for their workload but the agility allows them to work smarter.

How many times have you needed to do a report or a major document and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing, or people keep popping in to chat?  What if you were able to have taken ownership of the situation and chosen to have worked in an alternative location?  Just because you are not in the office does not mean you are not getting the work done, but could mean you could work more effectively.

I often look at companies who lack trust like a possessive parent, who does not trust their child or shelters their upbringing – the children end up rebelling.  I am not saying that employees are going to rebel from a restrictive organization but they start to work a little less smart, become less motivated and morale may decline.  Trust in employer/employee relationships is paramount.  You trust a member of staff to do their role – you hired them, so don’t restrict that trust.  If a member of staff is not fulfilling their role this is a performance issue and will happen whether or not they are office based or work remotely.

Employees are now looking for more flexible working, that doesn’t just relate to hours, but also agility.  Employees want to find employment that allows them to work smarter, to be more productive and creative.  The economy is having a strain on working families, and allowing people to work in this way would increase loyalty, retention and most importantly ‘happiness’.  If you need to be in work for one meeting why cant we Skype in? The technology is there – are you using it?

There will be critics and I am not suggesting this model can work for every business or organization but things are changing so don’t get left behind.

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