Changes to the world of work, which have been gaining momentum in recent years, are forecast to reach a tipping point in 2015. Enterprises need to prepare for, and take account of, these shifts away from the 9-5, Monday to Friday work model and away from the central city based office.
Telecommuting, working from home or even from cafes, job hopping based on how technology friendly organisations are and generation clashes in the work place, are all set to be increasing features of the work world. But how prepared is your enterprise to capitalise on these growing trends?
These tectonic shifts point to the need for organisations to at least have policies in place to account for workplace changes, even if they don’t enthusiastically adopt them. The popularity of new workplace approaches come on top of recent Australian political discussion about changes to penalty rates, the dominance of part-time and casual work, plus the increasing enterprise hunger for workplace flexibility.
IT leads the way
And, of course, IT enterprises, service providers and technology focused organisations have been at the forefront of work place changes, long pushing for outsourcing, managed services and resource sharing, which all pursue greater agility, flexibility and efficiency.
A recent article in Business Insider Magazine, by IT commentator Michael McQueen, highlights six key areas of work place change that are worth revisiting here.
- Third space working environments – McQueen postulates that 2015 is the year in which flexible working arrangements and telecommuting will become mainstream. Research by IT giant Cisco has found that 89% of their employees across the globe telecommute at least once a week. At the financial benefits are considerable – a saving of some three million commuting hours per year, equating to some US$370 million in extra productive worktime. Cisco calculated that this telecommuting also save about one billion dollars in real estate costs over two-and-a-half years. In Australia, the Federal Government has set a target of 12% of the public service to be working from home on high speed broadband by 2020.And it’s not just working from home. In Germany, a company called Regus is already offering specialised workplaces, co-located with Shell service stations, where mobile workers can access the web, print and scan documents, while occupying workspaces paid for by time used.
- Increasing job hopping – Today’s employees certainly have itchy feet and will switch jobs for better pay, and even for better technology and company access to social media as part of their work. A survey by Fortune Magazine has found that 86% of employees are looking for work outside their current occupations. A US survey by CareerBuilder found that nearly one third of employers even expect their staff to job hop. It’s important for organisations to pander to their employee’s hunger for technology, like social media, and to be engaged in their work and to consider colleagues as friends.
- Generation Ys are running the show – Another study by CareerBuilder discovered that 38% of the workforce is now being run by Generation-Y) individuals (born in in the 1980s or early 2000s), who often have been thrust into managerial positions by necessity, without adequate training. These managers tend to favor fellow workers in their own age group and believe their demographic knows much more about technology than older workers.
- The Generation Z challenge – Born from 1999 – 2012, Generation Zs are moving into the workplace and are far more technology immersed, better educated and confident than even the Generation Ys. The downside is they are also lack resilience, interpersonal skills and can have low attention spans.
- Employer branding is increasingly important – Social media policies have been shown to be a valued factor when employees consider a job. Research has shown that 58% of people are more likely to want to work at a company if they are using social media and more than 20% are more likely to stay at their company if they are using social media. The Gen-Xs measure the technology friendliness of organisations and if they are dissatisfied, are happy to immediately spread their discontent via the web. They want more from their enterprises that just corporate announcements and press releases; something more real like social media commentary.
- The Freelance Economy – A recent study by Elance-oDesk found that 53 million Americans are now freelancers – 34% of the US workforce. In Australia 30% of Australians now undertake some form of flexible, freelance work with this forecast to increase to 50% by 2020. Companies are now looking to hire more temp works and consultants to save costs, such as holiday pay and sickness benefits.
This year 2015 could be remembered for the time when older, traditional companies, reluctant to adapt, are left behind by smaller, more forward thinking organisations which grasp the changed workplace trends and become more competitive.
Logicalis can help you survive in this ever-changing world of workplace trends, to find out more check out our Solutions and Services section or head straight to the Logicalis People page to see how flexible resourcing could possibly save your IT company.