The modern workforce is more dispersed than ever and desperately trying to break out of the traditional 9-5, but why?
The way we are working is rapidly changing. We’ve seen an influx in communication and collaboration tools which enables close working relationships to continue without the need for everyone to be in the same room. Individuals are now suitably equipped to work from home or any other location around the world.
As a result, organisations are adopting ‘Alternative Workplace’ programs, which is allowing employees to work at flexible times and in varied locations. According the ‘The New Ways of Working’ research study by Knoll, almost half of those surveyed have implemented an alternative workplace programme in the past two years and a large majority in the past five years.
So what has brought about these programmes and the demand for more work flexibility?
The Distributed Workforce
Distribution of companies is becoming more and more an integral part of organisations’ plans for global growth and success. Below we have addressed some of the key pressures organisations are facing which is driving their dispersion.
Finding the right people for a role is essential if you’re going to be driving your company forward successfully. Unfortunately, talented individuals with the skills you need don’t always live around the corner from your office. With localised skill shortages and digital technologies facilitating effective collaboration and communications, we are seeing organisations hiring further afield or even abroad to meet their role requirements.
- Cultural Knowledge
As companies expand their offering over the globe, they are faced with numerous culture and language challenges. Having your employees based in the various locations your product serves will help ensure local knowledge and cultural sensitivities are identified, helping to better serve the linguistic and user experience preferences of that region.
- ‘Always on’ organisation
A quick response and ability for face to face meetings is often preferred with prospective clients. Having localized teams enables you to deliver better connections with local prospects and an ‘always on’ presence across the globe.
Work flexibility has been increasing in popularity amongst both employees and organisations. From an employee’s point of view, being able to work flexible hours or locations can really help increase their quality of life as non-work commitments don’t need to be compromised by work. From the organisations side, by introducing flexible work programmes they have become a more appealing company to work for, helping to attract and retain talent. There are also other business benefits to reap from flexibility programmes as Vodafone’s research study revealed; 81% said adopting flexible working has improved productivity and 61% said it help increase company profits (CIPD). Having a work-life balance has become of greater importance to people and as more companies start adopting these programmes there is now a competitive pressure on other organisations to follow suit to remain an attractive employer.
Organisations are coming under continuing pressure from governments and society to publicise and improve upon their environmental impact across the globe. Legislation is going to continually change and become more stringent as the world’s resources deplete and the true impact of global warming comes to light. But also on a employee level, people are more aware than ever about the environmental and social impact of large organisations and this is having an effect on their decision to remain with or start work for a company. As a result, organizations are looking at how they can offset their carbon footprints and in some cases are looking to consolidate their office locations and offer more remote working programmes to significantly reduce their environmental impact.