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Evolving Workplace Expectations: Are You keeping Up?

Director of Design, Maddy Mackin Freeman (6)

“How likely are you to recommend working here to your friends or family?”

Businesses love an NPS (Net Promoter Score), but when the results suddenly show you that most staff were disengaged – that’s a big cause for concern.

According to a Peakon employee survey, 59% of employees say they’re disengaged at work. That means there’s never been a better time to look at the emerging expectations of your workforce and make positive changes to meet them.

Here are tips on how businesses can better keep staff engaged as employee expectations change.  

 

Implement ‘Workplace as a Service

Workplace as a Service (WaaS) combines the cloud services, cybersecurity, software, and hardware your workforce needs to function. Instead of purchasing or renting each part from a different supplier, everything your business needs is leased from one place.

As technology develops, businesses need to be able to keep up with the pace of change. WaaS can help by improving data security, reliability, and budget transparency. Critically, it helps tackle talent shortages by enabling greater flexibility – so companies can better develop a culture that attracts top talent, caters to different working styles, and adapts to changing staff needs and expectations.

 

Create hybrid-friendly systems

Once considered a perk, hybrid models that combine office and home-based working are now essential for any business looking to be taken seriously in the talent market. According to a Gallup survey of remote-capable workers in the US – 9 in 10 prefer some degree of remote work flexibility, and 6 in 10 specifically prefer hybrid work.


It’s clear that business leaders now need to provide various tools and resources that cater to remote and in-office employees. Organizations must ensure that technology, culture, security, and company programs are inclusive and accessible to keep both on and off-site teams engaged, motivated, and productive.

 

Welcome the internet of buildings

Smart buildings that blend the physical workspace with advanced tech are gaining ground, especially for modern offices. As more Gen Z workers enter the talent market, businesses must provide inclusive, engaging spaces that can appeal to these demographics while ensuring no one else is left behind.

Real-time analytics can support the efficient use of resources, for example, the ability to sync schedules and manage booking systems. These tools can create cohesion within distributed workforces, while environmental touches like lighting and temperature control allow individuals to choose how they work best.

 

Make space for everyone 

Diversity programs are well underway across corporate America, but not every group gets the same attention. Disability and neurodiversity are not as well understood as other minority groups, mainly because it includes a broad range of conditions and experiences – not all visible or widely understood.

Besides the obvious moral concerns, missing out on this section of the talent market is a mistake. Neurodiverse and disabled workers can bring fresh perspectives and recognize opportunities through a new lens. Catering to this diverse group requires the workspace to be accessible, considerate of sensory needs, and supportive of different thinking styles and preferences.

Designing workplaces to nurture different abilities allows everyone to feel included and engaged. These choices can range from simple and intuitive wayfinding, sensory stimulation, the thoughtful use of color and light, limiting noise-induced distractions through considered acoustics, and much more. 

 

Set up systems for collaboration 

A recent McKinsey Global Survey suggests that a new generation of tools can improve and innovate staff collaboration. This contributes to surges in productivity, and who doesn’t want more of that?

Central communication with social channels like Slack (an instant messaging and communication app) can help bring remote and hybrid teams together. Physical spaces that feature a variety of options to suit the person and event encourage meeting in person and offer reasons to be in the office. Tools that securely share data prevent silos and speed up collaborative thinking.

In an increasingly connected world, there’s no better way to get ahead than tapping into the hive mind – which starts with your own workforce.

 

Plan for the future now

The pandemic may have accelerated change, but with the rate of technological advancement, work was always headed this way. 

So what’s the difference between a business that will succeed in this brave new world and one that will struggle? Key success indicators include a willingness to embrace change, adaptability to new workplace demands, and the agility to respond to whatever the world will throw at us next. In any case, when you design your space around your people, you’re planning for success. And you don’t need to go it alone.

With a strong team of workplace strategy experts, we can help your workplace fit the demands of a more empowered workforce. Together, we can design, build, and implement a workplace strategy to fit the ever-changing needs of your business.

We’ve helped hundreds of local companies elevate their businesses through design, innovation, and strategy. 

For a free, informal chat – give us a call.