Blog - Commercial
Four New Ways of Working
The world is changing, so is the way we work. Automation, globalisation and the rise of mobile devices are making where, when and how we work increasingly less relevant. As technology continues to evolve, the value now lies in human creativity, giving rise to working concepts that focus on collaboration and empowering employees to make decisions and think strategically.
1) ACTIVITY-BASED WORKING
Not to be confused with ‘hot desking’, activity-based working (ABW) is built on the premise that a workspace (or setting) should change depending on the type of work a person is doing. An ABW designed office normally offers a mix of desks, quiet rooms, telephone stalls and meeting rooms.
Some even offer things like multimedia rooms and brainstorming spots – empowering people to organise their time and work in ways that make them happier and more productive.
ABW has already been adopted by many high-profile companies in Australia and around the world, including Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Google and Macquarie Group. And, with research linking workplace happiness, productivity and creativity to the amount of control employees have over where and how they work, the concept is sure to become more and more popular over the coming years.
But beware ABW is not for everyone. For it to be successful, it needs to be relevant to the workforce, and demands trust from management, changes to workplace policies and performance appraisals, and a high level of IT support.
2) FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS
Mobile technology has advanced to the point where employees can access the resources they need to do their job from just about anywhere. This means employers can offer their staff more flexibility when they needn’t work traditional hours or be physically present in the office.
Today’s modern workforce is also acutely aware of their own productivity rhythms and lifestyle needs, with research showing that employees prefer to spend 70 per cent of their time in the office, with the remaining 30 per cent done remotely. So, flexible work arrangements – like reduced work hours, flex hours, shift swaps and working from home – are becoming more popular than ever.
The result? Happier, healthier and more productive employees who focus on producing good work rather than simply leaving the office when their time is up.
3) CO-WORKING OFFICE SPACES
Co-working involves multiple organisations sharing a workspace. The concept is particularly favoured by startups looking to avoid long-term leases for office space that their company will quickly outgrow.
Co-working spaces can usually be accessed around the clock with community members choosing to work in quiet or more collaborative areas.
As well as flexibility, co-working environments bring a genuine sense of community that can be leveraged by relatively unseasoned businesses. Space is usually occupied by companies with unique skills sets, which can be shared amongst, or may even complement, other community members. And this makes networking between like-minded individuals more organic and convenient than it has ever been before.
4) FLATTER ORGANISATIONS
Flat organisations have few or no levels of middle management, which can foster productivity, communication and collaboration. In fact, there is a growing body of evidence to show that leaner structures outperform their hierarchical counterpart – empowering employees to make important decisions and think strategically.
Advancing technology means that a flat structure can work in any organisation. However, the concept demands a high degree of trust and communication from upper management. It’s been most successful in companies that are constantly changing, foster innovation and share a central purpose.
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Looking for other ways to keep your employees happy and productive in the workplace? Read this.