In the wake of the coronavirus, work in the 2020s will be very different to anything we could have imagined even a few months ago. With remote working so widespread, the role of the office and the nature of work are going to change a great deal.
For the future of your business, it is important in these challenging times to keep one eye on the years ahead and think about how you can best create the productive and engaging environments that will allow the next generation of workers, “Generation Z”, to do their best work.
People entering the workforce after 2020 will have a very different frame of reference
If you have been in the workforce since before the 2010s, it is likely that the separation between home and office life has been ingrained in you for a long time. This separation began to change more quickly over the last decade due to technology.
Because it became easier and easier to reach colleagues outside of office time, it became more normal for people to always be “on” and for work to expand into home life. 2020 has been the year the separation has disappeared entirely and the result has been surprising.
Adapt for working from home
While many people have struggled to reconcile home working with childcare and other
responsibilities, a majority of Britons have found working from home has improved their quality of life. However, around a fifth have said it has made life less enjoyable, often due to increased isolation.
The youngest generation in the current workforce, 23-34-year-olds, exaggerate this trend: 31% want to work from home full-time or four days a week, another third (35%) are keen to work remotely 2-3 days a week, and 25% want to work from home one day a week.
We can expect those entering the workforce in the next decade to continue this trend. The best and brightest of Generation Z are likely to seek out work that offers this balance, and might even be willing to take a pay cut to have this freedom and flexibility.
If you want to attract the best talent, you need to start developing a long-term plan that can deal with a large proportion of your workforce not being in the office at a given time, while ensuring that scheduling and online communication keeps everyone connected with their colleagues to some extent.
Invest early in the technology and services you will need
To keep your workforce connected it can be well worth investigating cheap broadband boosters for key employees who work in areas with poor connectivity. Alternatively, offer an incentive program for talent that offers to support prospective employees’ Internet upgrade costs as a recognition of the realities of working from home. This can make your company stand out to the generation most aware of the internet as a vital utility rather than a luxury.
Another service that has become a utility, rather than a luxury, is a secure and efficient system to keep your colleagues and clients reliably connected.
Investing in Unified Communications technologies such as Gamma’s hosted phone system allows employees to use their business number rather than their private number in work time, whether they are working from home or the office. This makes the business seem more professional and can help employees to separate work and home time further, improving mental health outcomes.
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