As companies become more competitive in attracting the best workforce and achieving the highest productivity with the lowest costs, workplace trends continue to change. During the previous years, we’ve seen paid vacations, nap rooms, game rooms, free buffet, remote offices, and other interesting ideas. But in 2019, people expect more.
In most companies, workers are no longer seen just as the human resource. Employers are interested in hiring the best people and keeping them for long periods of time. The new generation of leaders in charge is not only in pursuit of profit anymore. They are also looking forward to making a higher contribution to society and the planet as well.
All these new interests are found in the newest workplace trends. If you aim to keep your company up to date as one of the progressive places where everyone wants to work, these are some of the ideas and strategies you should implement.
With more and more employees working remotely, the need for flexibility increases even for those employees who still attend the office. This means that the 9 to 5 schedule is soon to become a thing of the past.
The newest trends emphasize permanent flexibility for all employees, with extra perks for those with extra needs. For example, employees with children should be allowed to create their own schedule around their kid’s school drop-off and pick-up times. Or moms who breastfeed should be able to go home for a few hours to feed their babies. Generally, everyone should be granted some flexibility when it comes to the working schedule.
Mental wellness awareness
Mental health has been a taboo topic for ages, with a huge stigma attached to it. But in this day and age, people are much more aware of the negative consequences triggered by ignorance. Here are some stats everyone should consider, according to the American Institute of Stress:
- 83% of workers suffer from work-related stress.
- Each year businesses lose up to $300 billion as a consequence of workplace stress.
- 43% of the employees think their work-life balance needs are being considered by their employers.
- One million employees miss work because of stress every single day.
- 120,000 people die each year from affections caused by workplace stress.
- Stress-related affections cost $190 billion in healthcare every year.
- Depression caused by workplace stress costs $26 billion in treatment costs and $51 billion due to workplace absenteeism.
In a culture that traditionally values productivity over personal well-being, trends are starting to shift. Employers take measures to increase happiness and decrease stress levels among their workers.
The most frequent measures are no overtime rule: no working past the regular schedule hours, and no expectations to answer the work phone or reply to work emails during the evenings or weekends.
It’s not news by now that companies around the world are invested in providing their employees with the tools required to help them work smarter instead of harder. Once numerous studies have shown the positive effects of shorter working days and weeks, some companies jumped right on board.
It might seem unusual, given that most people in the western world have known the five-day working model for all their lives. But looking through history, that hasn’t been always the case. At the beginning of the last century, the five-day workweek seemed just as strange to our grandfathers. Unlike us, they had to organize in workers movements and fight for better work conditions and less exploitation.
We are living more peaceful times during which employers and employees work together to find optimal solutions for increased productivity and well-being. Basically what four-day workweek means is that employees should focus more, for a shorter period of time, for the same revenue.
Companies are goal-oriented and interested in the results. And it seems that this new model of work is delivering exactly that. For example, one particular Australian marketing company adopted the four-day workweek last year, introducing a Wednesday-off rule. According to the CEO, the staff is happier, healthier, and more likely to stick around for a longer time. Besides that, the company’s revenue has grown by 46%.
The green plan
One thing that’s sure about the Millennials is that we care about the environment. As a result, many startups and millennial-ran companies have a green plan. That means pledging to reduce their carbon footprint and waste as much as possible.
Even though it sounds complicated, there are many simple actions that can be taken: no printing paper; composting leftovers; donating or upcycling old electronics; no disposable plastic wraps, cups, or containers.
At 4PSA, we are doing our part by implementing four different strategies.
Recycling. We’re now recycling paper, glass, aluminum, plastic, and batteries. All our team members are encouraged to be a part of this plan and some even bring recyclable waste from home.
Automation. Automating things such as lights, electrical outlets and work stations, and even using cleaning robots during the night helps us reduce not only waste, but also our carbon footprint.
Virtualization. We work on virtual desktops with energy-saving thin clients. These ultimately eliminate other technical equipment that would produce waste and eventually be transformed into waste. And this way we stay green, mobile, and productive.
Meeting productivity enhancer. The product we build, Hubgets, renders many face-to-face meetings useless. With Unified Communications features like voice and video calls, conferencing, chat with file and screen sharing, people from around the world reduce their carbon footprint instead of consuming valuable resources by traveling from one place to another.
Beyond its ultimate goal, involving everyone in your company’s green plan gives people a higher common purpose. Furthermore, it helps them bond better and feel more motivated.
Every leader wishes to run a company that is the dream workplace for its employee. A place in which people are happy to spend several hours of their day and bring their A-game.
Following some of these workplace trends will help you achieve that dream and stay relevant in a very competitive market.