The working week is constantly shifting as we head into the future, so what exactly is causing all these changes? It’s possible to narrow all external forces down to five main contributors:
- Technological advancement
- Global capabilities
- Diverse demographics
- Economic changes
- Social media
Each of these factors feed off each other but each of them alone can have a significant impact on workers, workplaces and even work itself.
The idea of a fixed work location is fast becoming a thing of the past; employees can now take their work with them no matter where they are. Of course, there are still many organisations that prefer physical offices, but even these are changing – it’s now fairly common to find offices that have designated rooms for collaboration and rooms set aside for quiet thinking. It’s now necessary for organisations to capture the hearts and minds of their employees and build up loyalty by allowing them the freedom they crave.
With the 9 to 5 working day no longer being the standard, employees are able to mould their work around their personal lives so that their time is ideally organised. With this flexibility available to almost anyone with an Internet connection, employees can choose how they want their work to fit into their lives and choose when they work best in order to see the highest standard of results. There also seems to be a move towards flat management structures, which gives all employees the platform to move around, fit to any position and communicate more effectively.
In the past, fear seemed to be a given – employees were scared to make mistakes, to be overly ambitious or to challenge ‘the way it’s always been done’. Scared no more! Gen Y have been shaking up the working week for a few years already; by starting their own businesses, challenging traditional methods and generally being creative in their jobs, they’ve managed to create a new atmosphere of fearlessness by worrying less about their methods and more about their values and principles.
The Millennials coming up into the workplace have grown up with one eye on the future, always ready to adapt to the next new piece of technology. This upbringing is clearly bleeding into the changing working week. With digital literacy absolutely paramount, it’s now important to constantly get the right training for the technology available. Without the proper training and constant updates there is a real danger that employees can become obsolete – staying on top of the new advances is crucial.