The Future of Employee Empowerment is Here – Are You Ready?
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in many ways – as Australia returns to a ‘COVID normal’ we are seeing shifting employee expectations and attitudes.
As humanity turns the page towards the next chapter in history, some thought leaders are referring to 2021 as Year Zero due to predicted sociocultural changes. These unprecedented changes mean it’s more and more important for businesses to evolve with the times, or risk falling into irrelevance.
According to the 2021 Edges Trend Forecast, employees are starting to draw lines between work and life, hoping to work for organisations that value balance. The pandemic has shown employees how important it is to find purpose and self-actualisation outside of the workplace. People are now placing a higher priority on experiences, health, wellness, and family time. As a result, the traditional workplace will need to adapt to this new reality.
Experts anticipate that, as people ‘de-couple passion from their paycheck,’ they will no longer be solely defined by their job. Businesses struggling to understand this will face employee burnout, and stop attracting the best talent.
A1 Office has always emphasised the importance of leadership, workplace culture, and employee wellness; however, evolving organisations must increasingly focus on these three pillars. Making sure that employees have a degree of autonomy can encourage employees to feel empowered in the workplace, which can lead to improved job performance and job satisfaction.
As a side effect of the pandemic, employees have awakened to the fact that almost everyone is disposable. Location is no longer a barrier for hiring talent, which can work both for and against employees. Demand for a strong work-life balance is an emerging desire among many team members. We are seeing a widespread need for employers to understand that life and work must be balanced more harmoniously.
Leadership must evolve to cater for these changing attitudes, focusing on flexibility and output as opposed to hours worked. It’s also important to balance employees’ workloads, ensure you’re not understaffed, and managing expectations will also be important. A1 Office has been operating under such leadership and attitudes for a while now. Our management understands that attracting and retaining talent is becoming dependent on work-life balance, flexibility, and workplace culture.
A great company culture comes from great leadership. This becomes evident when we undertake our cultural shadowing exercise before designing a workspace.
More and more employees are looking to work for a company with an empathetic culture that supports employees. Encouraging employees to share their views on specific operations in the business can help to improve the mutual trust between the employer and employee and can also make employees feel empowered at work. Empowering employees can improve employee experience and can allow employees to have additional responsibilities, which can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the business. In an age where many human skills are automated, empathy is the new currency. Vulnerability, reliability, and relatability are all becoming significant pillars of a healthy workplace culture. These traits are evident in many industry-leading businesses.
Mental Health and Wellness
For some employees, the uncertainty of working from home has impacted their mental health. Human beings need routine; with less face-to-face connection with colleagues and managers, the uncertainty caused by remote work has had a negative impact.
Now more than ever employers need to consider the mental health of their staff, taking measures to ensure individuals are working in a positive environment, which will improve employees’ job enrichment and will lead to stronger job performance, and day-to-day employee engagement. If your employees are working remotely, ensure to connect with them regularly over Zoom or Microsoft Teams or your preferred video conferencing app.
We recommend businesses stop waiting to decide on the future of their physical workspaces, and start designing what that future will be. Be open and flexible to both in-office and remote working needs.
At A1 Office, we consult with many businesses that are evolving with the times. With our thorough cultural shadowing process, we find flexible solutions to technological and cultural workplace needs. We are not just designers but the tool for empowering the potential of your business, staff, and workspace.