The workplace is changing – you need only to think back to the dial-up days to realize how quickly it’s doing so, and the role technology is playing in that change. According to at least one study, the landscape we work in will continue to change rapidly, with work becoming something people do rather than a place people go by 2040. That’s according to this study from Johnson Controls’ Global Workplace Solutions.
Others have predicted that we can expect to see more worker collaboration instead of a top-down structure, and more flexible work hours.
So what do businesses need to do now to adapt to this future?
- Innovate Technologically
Technology is driving many of the changes re-shaping the work force. From cloud-based solutions to apps, your business is already expected to evolve with changing technology. That will only continue, and continuing to innovate will help your business adapt. That could mean anything from making sure your company has a mobile-friendly website to selecting a good video conferencing tool to connect with people across the city or in another time zone.
- Embrace Flexible Work
That doesn’t mean you need to throw working hours out the window, but do consider adopting a telework plan. A good reason to do so now is that your employees will waste less time in traffic during their commutes. As for the future, many experts believe more workers will connect to the workplace virtually, so getting a policy in place now will ensure you’re ready for that shift. According to this Forbes article, market intelligence firm IDC estimates the worldwide mobile worker population will increase from over 1 billion in 2010 to more than 1.3 billion by 2015. Beyond having a clear policy in place, finding the right connectivity and collaboration tools are important aspects of workplace flexibility.
- Consider Transportation Options
Millennials are going to make up a significant portion of the workforce, and they do not view a slogging commute as a given in their work day. In fact, millennials are the most car-averse generation we’ve seen in a long time, vastly preferring to work and live in dense, walkable areas. If locating in a place that allows your employees to use transportation options like transit or bicycling is possible, that’s great. Even if it’s not, you can adopt policies that make it easier for employees to use options, like shower and bike storage facilities or company discounts on transit passes. It will give you an edge in recruiting, and will probably make for happier, healthier, and more productive employees.
- Crowdsource Talent
For some businesses, there will be a shift in coming decades from selling products to offering more services. That will mean a bigger role for “talent on demand” in the shape of freelancers or contract employees. Employers should be ready to find and recruit within pools of talent to find temporary workers to fulfill positions or a certain task.