24 Oct 2018

Modern workplace trends

From various types of business model frameworks to office culture, from small startups to established brands, organizations worldwide are opening their doors to change. New workplace trends are seeping into their day-to-day with the aim to upgrade the work experience for current and future employees.

By upgrade we mean shed a few habits of old and introduce trends that will keep companies in step with the times. In the majority of modern companies, words like flexibility, productivity, self-accomplishment and equality have become household terms. Mind you, it wasn’t that long ago when most workplaces exercised much more rigid practices, forcing employees to conform to strict cultural norms without many opportunities to grow.

It is the latter style of operating that reduces efficiency, limits creativity and hinders responsiveness to problem-solving, resulting in the hampering or even halting of progress. Fortunately, we sometimes do learn from our mistakes. Organizations are evolving to support precious things like a good work-life balance, personal development and interpersonal communication, which leads to better cooperation, higher morale and, in turn, overall success.

With emphasis being on the human experience, creating an inclusive organizational culture is something that is happening across all industries. Hiring individuals with diverse backgrounds, points of view and experiences is a practice which many present-day leaders see as a necessity. And rightly so, for this trend helps spread creativity and fresh approaches to work throughout an organization.

Closely connected to the aforementioned phenomenon is the long overdue trend of closing the wage gap as well as recognizing underrepresented groups within the workforce – racial and ethnic minorities, women in management positions, and those who identify as LGBTQ. McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm which measures the global impact of business, has found that a diversified workforce increases performance by 33%.

Another positive trend, which is stronger now than ever before, is employee wellbeing. As workers become more invested in their work, employers are striving to foster a culture of physical and emotional health. They do so by optimizing the office environment with wellness-enhancing policies in order to provide a workplace that would no longer be associated with a strict, stress-filled regime.

While more flexible hours, remote working and healthier cafeteria food are important factors, office design remains in the foreground. Hybrid offices, with private areas for independent work and face-to-face meetings, open areas for socializing, adjustable desks for better backs, rooms filled with natural sunlight and biophilic designs have been proven to dramatically increase productivity and reduce stress.

Another trend intrinsically connected to the employee experience is technology. Digitalization and automation are changing the way we work, communicate, and share and store information. Basically, tech aids all other trends we’ve mentioned thus far. By taking care of certain repetitive mundane tasks, office gadgets allow employees to focus on jobs involving uniquely human skills, like creativity, which is more important, enjoyable and rewarding.

Companies are embracing the smart office and holding on to it tightly. Augmented, virtual, and mixed realities don’t only offer refreshing new ways of working, but also make it easier for companies to visualize and market their products to a wider, global audience. Also on a steady rise is cloud computing, which requires less time and effort to manage and improves efficiency.

To top it off, there’s Joan – an e-paper booking and scheduling solution. It’s a unique, sustainable, easy to use system that a growing number of companies are adopting to manage their meetings and venues. This type of office ecosystem is replacing countless man-hours and resources and is definitely a trend worth looking out for.