Summary: The way we work is forever changing. New technologies and trends that came into force in 2019 have had a significant impact on the workplace. 5G is already speeding up day to day tasks, employee wellbeing has become a key focus for businesses, workers are demanding more flexibility and a whole new generation has joined the workforce.
Original writer and publication date: Damien Sheehan – December 16, 2019
Futurizonte editor’s Note: New technologies open new opportunities for employees… if they can “survive” the new technologies.
From the article:
For businesses looking to gain a competitive edge or win the battle for top talent, recognising and exploiting these movements may be what sets them apart in the year ahead.
Employee wellbeing is no longer a nice-to-have
Employee wellbeing has been an area of increased focus for businesses in 2019. There has been an increased awareness of burnout at work and the detrimental effect this can have on physical and mental health. A recent Levell study found that as many as 60% of workers in the US and UK are experiencing stress and exhaustion in the workplace, with the same amount (60%) stating that their performance drops as a result of chronic stress and burnout in the workplace. In Australia, a new study released by Superfriend found that half of all Australian workers have experienced a mental illness – and 43% of those say their workplace caused it.
So how do businesses tackle burnout and re-engage employees? One method that has gained attention is practising mindfulness at work, with firms like McKinsey, Nike, Google and Apple all implementing programmes ranging from meditation to courses of cognitive behavioural training. These techniques can refocus and relax employees, with neurological studies showing that meditation can increase the areas of the brain that can regulate emotion, improve attention span, increase job performance and productivity as well as improving job satisfaction at work.
Workers worldwide demand flexibility
Today, the option for flexible working is not just wanted by workers, but demanded, with 62% of businesses worldwide now offering a flexible working policy. Flexible working has emerged as a super trend and it is here to not only stay but grow.
Rapid technological advancements and the growing globalisation of the workplace have enabled this movement to expand. Flexible working embraces employees’ differences and allows them the freedom to work in a way that suits them, from starting earlier or later, to working from outside of the office. When firms allow their people more autonomy over their working day it increases employee satisfaction, workforce retention, loyalty and wellbeing.
Flexible working policies benefit employers as well, with the IWG global workspace survey finding that most business leaders believe these policies improve workplace efficiency, with over two-thirds claiming they increase productivity by 20% or more. Not only this, but employees that take advantage of flexible working policies are shown to be absent less often, as they are able to adjust their work schedule in line with their life outside of work.