In the past, the traditional workplace was characterized by the typical nine to five jobs where employees were expected to be in the office every Monday through Friday. Office life was separated from home life, and working from home was unheard of if not unfathomed. Needless to say, work environments were very restrictive and inflexible.
As a result of advancements in technology and changes in workplace demographics, the traditional workplace is undergoing a huge transformation. At the heart of this transformation is the influx of millennials who are desperately trying to reshape the workplace into a flexible, creative work environment. Millennials believe that creativity and productivity is hindered by workspace restrictions, and they are actively pursuing businesses that are open-minded to workplace changes.
So, why should you care? By 2020, millennials will comprise 50% of the global workforce according to Wainhouse Research. For some, working a traditional nine to five job is desirable, but the majority of millennials do not fall into this category. In order for businesses to attract and retain talent, the workplace as they know it has to change.
With all of the resources we have available to us, including smartphones, collaboration technology, wireless Internet, etc., creating a flexible work environment is no longer a fantasy. These tools have changed where, how and when we work, allowing us to virtually work from anywhere, anytime.
The reality is that modern workplace is changing and you need to adapt in order to be competitive. However, many business owners have concerns about moving to an “uncontrolled” environment. Here are some ways you can ensure success while managing a flexible work environment:
1. Base incentives on performance instead of out-of-date metrics like being on time, number of sick days taken, seniority, etc. Focus on metrics that correlate with job competency.
2. Create individualized performance plans that focus on the strengths of the employee. Reassign work where the employee shows weakness based on performance, and have the job suit the individual instead of having the individual change to suit the job.
3. Invest in tools and technology to ensure your employees have the resources they need to be successful. A collaboration technology solution is key to keeping everyone connected whenever and wherever they are.
4. Help your employees design a friendly work environment at home or in the office. Be supportive of remote work environments by providing tips for making them successful.
These tips will help you transition into a flexible work environment as well as successfully maintain it.
To attract and keep quality talent, businesses have to face the reality that they need to be open to changes. The modern workplace is changing, and it’s important to keep up with the changes to remain competitive. To learn more about the workplace transformation, read our article, “Workplace Transformation: Are You Ready?” For more best practices for remote workers, view our infographic, “Tips and Best Practices for Remote Workers”, now.