Evolving Workplace – Information technology, shifting cultural attitudes, and the rise of globalization are all major factors that have only begun to completely redefine the workplace as we know it. Established cultural touchstones are changing at a pace almost too rapid to keep up with; with even the classic (but much dreaded) “9-5” routine swiftly going the way of the dinosaurs.
And it makes a lot of sense.
That bulky computer with the dial-up Internet used to be the only way of checking your email, forcing office employees to huddle around their desks if they ever wanted to get any work done. We all know that’s different nowadays. Most of us are more productive with the 6-inch screen on our smartphone than we ever would at an old desktop computer.
So if the way we work is drastically different than in the past, it only makes sense that where we work is drastically changing as well.
More and more, the employees of today’s world — from millennials to baby boomers and gen Xers — are ditching the stuffy cubicles and offices of the past, preferring to telecommute from home, a coffee shop, or anywhere they please.
While traditional managers may be frightened by the idea of their team working out of a distant Starbucks, the prospect of remote workers is a win-win for both employees and employers.
For companies, it is a massive budget saver. Crowded central offices used to be the only way to ensure that work was being done and information was flowing freely. But with the rise in popularity of communication tools like Slack and the numerous task management tools available, managers can easily keep track of project process.
For employees, the benefits are arguably too numerous to even name: more flexibility, getting to choose one’s own hours, not to mention the ability to make more visits to family and get to all those kid’s soccer games without sacrificing any workplace productivity.
Not surprisingly, telecommuting is becoming more and more popular. Companies like Buffer, Zapier, and Automattic are famous for managing distributed teams, letting them attract the best talent from all around the world. This trend only seems to be becoming more popular, with statistics showing that 50% of United States workers hold jobs that could at least be partially telecommuted, and up to 90% of these workers believe they would like to telecommute at least part time.
But why telecommute from home – if you can telecommute from France, South Africa, or the Caribbean Islands?
Springboarding off of employees’ preferences for travel, forward-thinking companies are beginning to offer brand new programs that leverage travel, productivity, and education.
In the same way that telecommuting is a win-win, offering integrated programs that allow employees to travel while they work remotely can benefit employers just as much the programs benefit the employees. So while the workplace is changing—changing and evolving to encompass anywhere in the world—employers can rejoice in the benefits they’re able to reap.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
Millennials are projected to be the largest generation in the workforce in the next few years, and they are looking for different values in employers than previous generations. Whereas a college graduate might have preferred a secure job and upwards opportunity a few years ago, the latest workers’ value experience and flexibility.
That grey-walled cubicle isn’t as attractive to a 22 year old graduate as it once was. Employers need to be offering flexible opportunities and, in turn, will be able to attract and retain top millennial talent.
Aside from being able to hire employees, flexible work schedules and travel opportunities can improve an employee’s talent.
Developing Global Employees
We’re living in an increasingly globalized world. Information is exchanged freely across borders and some of the best and brightest minds are emerging from all corners of the globe.
Keeping employees cooped up in offices may seem like a way to ensure productivity, but it is just as quick of a way to stifle innovation. The rise of globally-minded employees has never been more important for a company wanting to stay on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.
Considering that 76% of employees reportedly look for educational and professional development opportunities in the workplace, employers that offer this from a global perspective will be creating a workforce of globally-minded employees. Programs like TAP have emerged to help employers offer professionally-driven travel opportunities for employees.
The Future of Work
The way and where of work is rapidly changing, giving early-adopting employers the opportunity to gain an edge in the quickly approaching future of employment. The ability to work whenever and wherever you’re connected to internet or a cell tower makes it an exciting opportunity for employers and employees alike to optimize performance and global experience at the same time.