The modern workplace landscape is vastly different than it was 50 or even 20 years ago. Today’s workers are experiencing increased job satisfaction thanks to a variety of shifts occurring in the modern workplace. From Google bringing fun back into work to a greater emphasis on caring for employees, today’s workplaces bear little resemblance to the factory models of times past. Here are 5 factors in particular that are helping transform the landscape of the modern workplace.
5 Factors That Would Enable Modern Workplace Transformation
At one time, employers had a very limited talent pool to choose from. Their options were limited to either workers that lived in their immediate vicinity or workers willing to move to the area. Today, however, employers have a far broader talent pool to choose from, which isn’t even limited to the US. Between global telecommuting options and even short term work visas, the modern workplace is becoming more diverse than ever before.
With changes in the type of labor required for most jobs, even the ages of modern workers are changing. Women in particular are actually entering (or returning to) the work force later in life and staying longer. All of which is having a powerful effect on workplace demographics.
Culture is not exactly anything new in the workplace. Any time humans congregate for long enough, a certain culture tends to naturally develop that guides the behavior of the group. What has changed, however, is an understanding of the importance of actually cultivating a conscientious culture.
Today’s workplaces are no longer being guided by the most dominant force or personality in the business, but actually seeking to create a certain system of core values and beliefs that guide the company instead. Even the understanding that the values of a company are important is a major shift in the corporate landscape. All in all, this makes for a far better workplace environment.
Probably more than any other factor, technology has made great strides in helping people achieve better work life balance and making telecommuting more feasible than ever before. Parents can conduct business from home and spend the time they usually wasted in traffic with their kids. Thanks to advancements in communication and collaboration software, teams from around the globe can do great things together in real time.
Even traditional office workers have far more freedom and flexibility in their schedules than they have ever had in the past. The days of a corporate-wide 9 to 5 or 8 to 6 schedule is largely a thing of the past. While workers may actually be putting in more hours than ever before, they are able to tailor their work hours more around personal obligations and commitments which may actually lead to greater job satisfaction overall.
One of the main driving forces behind changes in the modern workforce is simply a vast amount of data showing what is and is not working. In the past, experts have proposed theories as to how to do everything from increase efficiency to improve work quality, but there was very little data to show what was and was not legitimately working.
Today, however, technology provides us with a vast amount of data ranging from how employees are responding to the new team member to the effect that artificial or natural light has on our moods and energy levels. All of this data is helping us to better understand how to create a better work environment for all.
The cost of doing business is neither rising nor falling, but rather it is shifting. What businesses save in real estate and energy costs by using remote workers, they often shift to better benefits for workers. More and more businesses are beginning to invest more in their employees than in anything else. While this is still too new of a trend to determine if it will indeed be the most cost effective strategy for businesses in the long run, early signs show promise.
One significant shift is CEOs who are no longer seeking to shift every dime they can from their businesses into their own pockets. Several years ago, Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey not only gave up any future stock options and bonuses, but also reduced his own salary to a single dollar. Today, some of the top CEO’s of some of the largest companies in the nation have also followed suit. While they are certainly not hurting financially, the trend is towards at least moderately decreasing the gap between the lowest paid employee and the highest.
Overall, the trend seems to be towards creating workplace environments that foster a healthier, happier work experience. Even corporate giants like Apple and Google that still insist on employees showing up in a central office have shown their commitment to at least making that environment as pleasant as possible. Businesses are no longer as concerned with a single bottom line as they are with a triple bottom line. Just making a ton of money is no longer the most sought after metric of success. This is having a profound effect on the workplace.