The way we work and increasingly, where we work, is changing rapidly. SME’s are following the lead of multinationals in upping the bar in the #FutureOfWork.
Corporations such as Facebook and Google have revolutionised the way we view the workplace. Office spaces are open and well-designed. Hot-desks provide working space for the flexible schedules of non-permanent staff.
The days of the dedicated office cubicle – all too often containing a depressed African violet sitting atop a battered steel filing cabinet – have passed on. Along with the African violet.
The increasing popularity of working from home provides a mutually beneficial relationship to employer and employee. A well-equipped home office and fast reliable internet access opens the door wide to the setting up of productive workspaces in homes.
A previously sidelined, huge group of professional, experienced workers, namely moms, are increasingly attracted to the advantages and flexibility of working from home.
Maternity Leave Reinvented
Netflix is a prominent player in leading the way with the introduction of unlimited maternity leave. Microsoft and Adobe too, have jumped in and shown the way by introducing expanded maternity leave programs.
The majority of women require longer than the traditional three months maternity leave. In support of this demand, human resource studies show that mothers are consistently more focused when they return to work after longer maternity leave.
The penny is dropping as employers realise the benefits of tapping into this huge pool of knowledgeable experienced professionals. An invaluable asset to any business, moms can foster a culture of teamwork and harmony in their workplace.
Skills developed from previous work experience along with maturity and empathy give mothers the ability to be successful negotiators. In addition, these characteristics make them excellent mentors for younger employees.
Without a doubt, work trends will continue to change and adapt to a more flexible and fluid work culture. Hot-desks and employing people who work from home is more cost-efficient than accommodating an enormous staff contingent.
Empirical evidence indicates that flexible workers give employers a better pay/output ratio and increase productivity.
Millennials Drive the Demand for Flexible Work
Millennials, with their grasp of media, communication and digital technology are less conformist than the baby-boomer generation before them. Their generational trait is for a more balanced approach to work and leisure. With an expert knowledge in technology and an insistence on staying close to their families, their preference increases the demand for more flexible employment.
Technology a Wellness and Lifestyle Companion
Speaking of technology, the improvements and output of wearable technology increase daily in complexity, inventiveness and popularity. So too, the appeal of the smartwatch and activity and fitness trackers. Wearable technology has also been integrated into navigation systems, advanced textiles, and healthcare.
Technology has been a game changer for more flexible working conditions. It frees an enormous pool of human resources from the frustration of time wasting….or their skills being wasted by not working at all.
Long commutes to work, interruptions in the office and the challenges of finding suitable helpers to do the school run, homework and extramural activities, is stressful.
So too is the guilt and pain inherent in mothers who spend very little time with their children,
#FutureOfWork means flexibility. It works.