A Contemporary Workplace: Re-imagining the workplace

WorkFlex Conference, held in Chicago, USA  was organized by the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Families and Work Institute where a diverse community gather together to anticipate and imagine what the workplace will be like in the future. Not a new theme but it certainly re-enforced what we know about creating contemporary workplaces now to thrive in the future.

Six key trends are pushing for flexibility to the forefront of talent engagement and retention, namely: rise of time famine, increasing eldercare responsibilities, dual-earner families, more male work-life conflict, and a diverse and global changing workforce.

Have you taken a closer look at your workforce lately? What will be like in 5 years time? One thing for sure is that your employee composition will be increasingly diverse. Five generations will be in the workplace; one in two workers will be contingent, and there will be a growing work and skills gap, creating shortages of qualified employees. Technology changes will also have a huge impact on how work is done where it is anticipated that one third of all data expected to be passing through the cloud.

So why is flexibility being embraced in forward looking contemporary organizations? This is because they recognize that flexibility is the key to engagement and a driver for retention in the future.

Is your organization ready thrive in the future by being a contemporary organization that leverages on flexibility? Here are my recommendations based on my experience in implementing and in partnering organizations to embed flexibility in their organizations.

  • No one size fit all. The solution has to fit the problem and has to work for the employee and the employers.
  • It works only if flexibility is implemented with joint responsibility between the individual and their organization.
  • Create a culture of flexibility.
  • You need to be clear about efforts for success. Connect with people implementing flexibility. We have to know if it’s working, and build that into programs at the start.
  • Top and middle managers have to be involved as active advocates and role models, and have skeptics on taskforces promoting flexibility.
  • Pilot X 3. It’s good to try something out and get kinks out of the system before you take it more broadly.
  • Develop checkpoints to assess results and then make adjust. Evolve with the process.
  • You need to communicate. A lot of companies or organization create flexibility but no one knows it’s there. Does your talent know?
  • You need to recognize and reward managers who are using flexibility successfully.

NOW is the time to make a flexible workplace a reality for everyone. No more just about talking about the business case. Time to take ACTION.

I would love to hear what your organization has been doing to embed flexibility as a way in your work-life. Leave me your comments below.




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