In our series, The Future of Work, we are taking a look at how companies can change the way they work to adapt to the needs of their employees and customers. We hope this series can help organizations feeling the pressure to adapt but have not begun or are just beginning their transformation journey.
To sustain any change, establishing a strong culture that exhibits that change is critical. If your organization is revamping its way of working, this could be an opportune time to overhaul the culture. Establishing the core values of your change across your organization and embedding them within your culture can strengthen that change as experience grows.
In addition to sustaining change, a strong culture helps attract top talent to your organization, which is useful in today’s hypercompetitive market for workers. An organization with a more attractive working environment can typically win out on better talent. An organization with an inferior working environment may need to compensate for that shortcoming by offering a higher salary.
Research shows that two of the most important values a company can hold in today’s working-age are flexibility and collaboration. During this post, we will address each of those separately.
Think about this, you have two options.
- Work for an organization with a traditional working environment and culture. You need to come to the office during normal working hours. You must complete your tasks during those hours, and if it takes you longer, you sometimes need to come in earlier or stay later.
- Work for an organization with a newer working environment and culture. You can come into the office during normal hours, or you can work from alternative locations, such as your home office or a cafe. As long as you are completing your tasks and doing well, it doesn’t matter where and when the work is done.
All things equal, which one would you prefer? For the new generation of workers, millennials, and generation z, option two is the only option possible. Not only are new employees looking for jobs that encourage flexibility, but they are also starting to demand it. The statistics to support this are staggering. Employees would go to these lengths to find more flexibility:
- 54% would switch jobs
- 40% would take bigger workloads
- 31% would pay for their own technology
- 24% would give up company benefits
There are two parts to this equation. Firstly, the employees are demanding that they work flexibly. The second part concerns the organization. What are the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely and have flexible hours?
- 41% of workers say that flexible work would have the most positive impact on their ability to innovate and problem solve.
- 54% of workers who have multiple workspaces think they are more effective outside of the office.
- 83% of millennials will not stay with an employer longer than five years if they are not given the opportunity to choose where they work.
- 54% of employees would move to another company to achieve flexibility.
- 97% of employees say work flexibility would positively impact their life.
The numbers certainly support the change, and companies are starting to get on board with work flexibility. To successfully offer this benefit, though, the correct IT infrastructure is needed. More and more companies are moving away from the traditional VPN model and towards cloud services to build this infrastructure.
Employees want to work wherever they want and whenever they want. Increased employee production motivates companies to drive this cultural benefit. But what about working as a team? Since employees are no longer geolocated, do they not want to collaborate? It is actually the opposite. Newer members of the workforce value collaboration nearly as high as flexibility. How can organizations achieve collaboration if nobody is in the office?
Cloud-based collaboration tools are one way, and Google is helping teams manage this without having to come to the office. With Google Workspace, teams can get an identical experience working together no matter where they are located.
What are the benefits of collaboration? Or what do we think the benefits are?
- 85% of global c-suite executives rate collaboration as important or crucial.
- 80% of global employees think that teamwork is more important than individual work.
- 69% of global workers say they do their best work in collaboration with others.
- 85% of global workers who access collaboration software are 85% more likely to identify as happy in the workplace.
If employees want to collaborate and executives think there are benefits to collaborating, what is stopping us from actually collaborating? One reason could be technology. Thirty-nine percent of workers say that their tools don’t help them collaborate internally or externally 80. On top of this, 83% of workers say their c-suite managers only collaborate with them rarely or on an ad-hoc basis.
Google Workspace can enable your teams to work more closely together, even when they are far apart. Video conferencing with Google Meet helps enable face-to-face discussions. Multiple people can collaborate on one Google document and track their changes. Using Google slides and Google Meet together, trainers can give courses to students virtually and still see their confusion or understanding in real-time. With Gchat, you can quickly make decisions as a team and have a discussion over your morning cup of coffee, much like you would at the office.
People over tools in the future of work
Tooling helps, but the tools are only as powerful as the people that use them. It takes special people to achieve their goals at the highest level of collaboration with flexible work. The next generation of workers seems like they are ready to achieve this.
Did you miss out on the previous parts of this series? Be sure to check them out:
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Are you interested in modern collaboration in your company using Google software as an alternative to MS Office? Get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more: We are an official Google Cloud Partner and would be happy to give you no-strings advice on the implementation, licensing, and productive use of Google Workspace!
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