The modern office looks a little different from the workplace of decades past.
The tired imagery of cubicle aisles, rigid desk chairs and desktop computers, reminiscent of cult classic “Office Space”, are fast becoming relics of a bygone era.
The structure of many office environments of the present day illustrates a sharp departure from previous models, with workplace culture being the primary consideration for businesses looking to acquire and retain great talent.
Companies are imagining new ways of working to get the most from their staff, instituting more lax office policies that favour productivity and comfort, above formality.
So, how are these practices impacting upon how offices look and feel, and do these innovations signify broader changes for the output and morale of the modern workforce?
- The office might be looking a little light on the ground come Monday. The advent of remote working is upon us! While there remains a debate as to the efficiency of telecommuting and flexible working arrangements, a Virgin Media Business survey has predicted that up to “60% of office-based employees will regularly work from home by 2022”; so the phenomenon is definitely on the rise.
- Taking this trend to the next level, a number of wildly successful tech startups have staff scattered across the globe! Buffer, the social media tool that allows users to schedule posts across their various profiles, are backed by a multi-national and multi-talented team from all over the world. Check out an article they’ve written about the tools they use to stay in sync with one another.
- So what are the benefits of letting your staff work from home, or a local cafe, or a beach in bali (like blogger Blake Moore)?
- Increased Productivity – The foremost benefit of remote working is that it gives your employees the freedom to work where they’re most comfortable and produce great work at their own pace. That autonomy comes with the same responsibilities as any office-based role, but offers staff the balance to shape their work obligations around their home and family life.
- Global Talent Pool – If you remove daily office attendance from the job spec, companies can hire employees from literally anywhere in the world! Individuals with specialist skills, who may have otherwise been eliminated from the hiring process because of their location, become eligible for consideration, ultimately improving an employer’s’ chance of finding the right person for the job.
- Cost Reduction
- Crowded offices with limited desk space? With a fraction of your workforce working remotely, business leaders can reduce pressure on their resources.
- Remote Working also offers businesses the opportunity to significantly reduce their carbon footprint! Fewer employees commuting into work translates to a reduced carbon footprint.
- Allowing some employees to work remotely means businesses can capitalise on their available resources with greater efficiency.
- Naturally, remote working has some disadvantages. Most notably, the lack of routine and absence of workplace social life can impact upon company culture, often to the detriment of employee morale. Groove, an online customer support startup, made the decision to go fully remote and allow their staff to work wherever, whenever – they detail the pros and cons of the arrangement in this article.
In many organizations, employees’ working hours are starting to push the boundaries of the 9 to 5 paradigm. Flexitime arrangements allow employees more leniency as to when their work day begins and ends – affording a greater work-life balance and the freedom for many to work when they want to. For working parents, the opportunity to set later starts or earlier home times to fit around their kids means a great deal in terms of supporting a home life. For those that simply prefer to burn the midnight oil, starting at 10 AM and finishing at 6PM makes all the difference to their circadian rhythm.
Blippar, the popular augmented reality developers that create innovative experiences that blend digital and physical worlds, readily allow flexi-time arrangements for all employees! They’re good friends of ours at TalentRocket, and on the lookout for fresh hires.
It used to be that employees were quite literally hard-wired to their desks, computer hard drive units rendering them immobile and fixed in place.
As companies have expanded and put pressure on office space, there has been a demand for more economical workplace arrangements. The mainstream adoption of more portable devices has untethered once anchored staff, and freed us from the confines of our desks. Hotdesking allows businesses to save on space and thus operate at reduced cost.
Many startups base themselves in co-working spaces such as WeWork and TechHub in London for that exact efficiency, and larger enterprises often favour a more flexible seating arrangement to establish a sense of community in the office.
The ‘Bring Your Own Device’ trend has gained popularity among a number of companies who realise the difficulty of staying abreast with the constant flux of innovation in consumer technology.
Models update on an annual basis, often with cutting-edge processors and improved productivity. It stands to reason that letting employees work with their choice of advanced device and operating system could only improve productivity.
However, many enterprises have expressed concerns as to the security risks BYOD can present for office servers, so the jury’s out on this one!
Shorter Working Days
The concept of shorter working days is fast approaching the mainstream, with many companies introducing new hours to maximise output, and improve the morale of their staff. In Sweden, numerous enterprises are trailing 6 hour working days, “in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier.” In January 2016, The Huffington Post published an article on Agent Marketing in Liverpool, who had adopted the new schedule, citing that employees felt “more “refreshed” and “energised” since the work day was reduced”. With more time to spend with their families or dedicate to hobbies, employees were shown to be more focused at work and have the stamina to perform at higher levels with greater consistency.
Taking those benefits with a grain of salt, one would have to acknowledge the limitations of such an arrangement, given that the company would be limiting its accessibility for clients if the office closes at 3:30PM!
These are but a few topline trends in employment change that could be shaking up your office! In each, there’s a clear departure from the typical ways of working that used to characterise office life, and a move towards new standards of employee autonomy and workplace culture.
That’s what we’re all about at TalentRocket; we only list jobs for companies that put employee happiness first! If any of these sound particularly appealing, sign up and browse jobs with startups and SMEs that offer a whole plethora of amazing perks!
- Gomez, Jane. “Remote Working: Three Sticking Points Managers Need to Get over.” Virgin. Virgin Disruptors, 06 May 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
- Ridley, Louise. “You’ll Be Jealous Of The Way This UK Company Has Revolutionised Its Working Day.” The Huffington Post UK. N.p., 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
- Seiter, Courtney. “What Remote Working Means & The Tools We Use.”Buffer. N.p., 10 June 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016
- Turnbull, Alex. “The Pros & Cons of Being a Remote Team (& How We Do It).” Groove Blog. N.p., 1 May 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.