Buildingi’s Amber Miller looks at the expectations of the multi-generational workforce and how to get them to play together nicely.
How happy they will be if we start to attach sensors directly to them is another matter. It has already begun to occur with European companies trialling under-skin microchip implants and other less invasive systems. It’s also possible for companies (with a legal precedent already set for employee communication analysis) to use natural language processing to determine levels of emotion, stress and engagement within emails, texts and chats. It’s obviously nonsense to try and gauge people’s happiness by doing something that makes them unhappy so a balance needs to be struck.
There is also a generational shift occurring in the workplace over this period with people bringing/wearing their own technology and coming to us with different aspirations and behaviour patterns – and perhaps less fear of technology than some of us have. It will be an interesting few years.
Understanding your employees’ workstyles, the real demands on space, and the full supply of workspaces you have available are all key components of making wise strategic choices. Using tools like Accordant Anywhere is great for getting your hands on and keeping track of this critical data. Flexibility is more than a “fancy furniture solution that can reconfigure in a flash” or an office free-for-all where each employee has to find somewhere to work every day. There may always be a place for assigned spaces, but it is worth taking a close look at how your talent is really using your space. Listen to your workforce and find ways to solicit feedback on how your workspace is performing for each individual. Combine their ideas with watching what they actually do, and then create a strategy that will grow with your needs. Once you start implementing changes, be sure to tell everyone how and why you made the changes you did, as well as how to leverage it to their benefit, so they see the full value and the effect of their involvement. This will help keep the improvement cycle going, encourage engagement across your entire workforce and result in greatly increased organizational productivity.