Following the lead of global brands like Google, Apple, and Instagram, companies across the world have started implementing and improving workplace well-being and happiness concepts. These forward-thinking pioneers have adopted the notion that creating a workspace that supports their employees’ well-being and happiness is a powerful motivator for staff retention, loyalty, and productivity. These are some of the emerging workplace trends that go in that direction.
Tasks Before Titles
Steve Jobs was a pundit of the collaborative working idea. He believed that everyone in the office can work together, regardless of their title or seniority level. Today’s offices need to be configured in such a way that they encourage teamwork by drawing the best brains together, but also leave enough room for solo creativity. The winning scheme is a combination of an open plan office and private “thinking nooks”.
The autonomy and trust that are the basis of flexible working hours can create a much better work-life transition. As we all have unique and different responsibilities and schedules outside the workplace, a flexible work environment seems like a key to happiness. It ranges from flexible leave rules to work practices like hot desking, where several workers share one workstation. It stimulates them to move around and engage with other people, instead of sitting at their desks for eight hours. Eventually, it can lead to increased productivity and lower stress levels.
The Employee Is Always Right
Don’t let this slightly hyperbolised statement confuse you. One thing is for certain – one of the biggest workplace trends is business relying heavily on employee experience as a driver of talent attraction and retention. In other words, many companies have realized the connection between positive employee experience and their ability to hire and retain the best talent. Your staff is your most valuable asset. If you take the effort to empower them, engage them, and motivate them, their results will show the difference.
Millennials are changing the way business is done – and for the better. With more and more young professionals who reached adulthood at the turn of the century, workspaces must be designed to attract and support the way they work. They are highly adaptable, tech-savvy individuals who can bring new ideas and offer a new way of thinking.
A young workforce seeks more social interaction and collaboration. They are dependent on their smartphones and they have learned to share everything. According to a research by a survey software firm Qualtrics, about 76% of millennials would trade a higher salary for flexible working hours.
The recent advances in technology have also impacted and transformed the workplace as we know it. Companies are eager to introduce innovative environments and systems that are configured for mobile devices, with an aim to improve the productivity of their design and digital teams. Overall connectivity and tech-friendly spaces allow employees to work uninterrupted by using facilities and furniture designed to improve meeting experiences. Still, while companies are adopting innovations to remain competitive, they shouldn’t ignore the aging work force, who are perhaps less tech-enthusiastic than millennials.
The biophilic design concepts are now widely recognized as important for the well-being in the workplace. Biophilia hypothesis claims that humans innately seek connection with nature. In their research “The Financial Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Workplace”, Abby Lerner and Mike Stopka have shown the relation between natural work settings and employees’ general happiness and productivity. The green office trend is gaining in popularity and has gone a long way from bringing a few planters in. A modular green wall not only adds to the aesthetics, but also improves the air quality and reduces sound transmission.
Creating a flexible work environment for a tech-savvy workforce that values social interaction and sharing is a huge leap forward. However, we shouldn’t forget that the core of a happy ship is management and how people are treated.