Workplace changes are accelerating, which should be a good enough reason to get your business ready for the future. With the right tools, you can make sure your team won’t be affected by the most recent trends - but will embrace them instead. Here’s how you can improve the employee experience once and for all.
There’s no doubt that we’re in the middle of a workplace transformation. As a matter of fact, The World Economic Forum already has a name for it: the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which affects the way we work, live, and communicate with each other. How is it different from the previous ones? Apparently, it’s evolving at an unprecedented rate, mostly because of rapid technological advancement. Billions of people have already joined the network of connected devices, and are now more willing to automate their tasks, as well as work on the move. This, in turn, affects the job market.
Actually, working remotely and being part of distributed teams is now much more common than ever before. Living the life of a digital nomad might seem like a dream come true, but it also creates the need for powerful collaboration tools in order to make it all work seamlessly. How exactly can you get ready for the future of work and improve the employee experience once and for all? Get familiar with the most interesting workplace trends, along with with some pieces of actionable advice to get you prepared.
Top workplace trends to follow
There’s no hiding from the fact that the gig economy is on the rise. Back in the days, freelancing was often treated as nothing more than a source of additional income or a temporary solution in-between jobs. Things have changed, though. In fact, many independent contractors claim that freelancing is their only source of income, not to mention that 43% of the US workforce is predicted to go freelance by 2020. Plus, this trend is not only visible in Northern America: In the UK, as an example, it’s estimated that by 2020 half of the workforce will turn freelance.
That’s hardly surprising, given the benefits of freelancing for both employees and employers. According to a survey carried out by Malt and the European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP), 35.6% of freelancers in Europe enjoy being their own bosses, whereas 46.8% state that the main reason they became freelancers was to have a flexible schedule. Location independence was also an important factor that affected their choice.
For the employers, though, it’s mostly a wide talent pool that matters. It’s easier to find someone with certain skills when you can choose the top talents from all over the world. Collaborating with freelancers also helps to cut costs and hire people for specific tasks only, which often proves to be very convenient for startups and solopreneurs in particular.
Digital nomads are often considered as freelancers but these terms are not necessarily interchangeable. The majority of freelancers work from home on multiple projects, whereas digital nomads seem to be rather working for one employer on a regular contract, and are location-independent.
In fact, digital nomads can work from almost any location in the world and they often balance work with traveling, since all they need is a computer and the internet connection. Clearly, not every job is possible to be performed remotely - the majority of digital nomads nowadays work as IT professionals, online marketers, copywriters, recruiters, and designers. It seems to be an attractive way of life for many, though - in the survey taken by the MBO Partners State of Independence, 27% of the participants claimed that they would consider becoming digital nomads.
A 9 to 5 office job is still a reality of the majority of employees around the world. Yet, with the number of both freelancers and digital nomads increasing steadily, it’s not unusual anymore to see distributed teams with their members working from different locations. Actually, flexibility in terms of location, hours, and tasks is one of the most significant workplace trends, and shouldn’t be ignored by employees.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing - quite the contrary. Flexibility is said to increase productivity, provided that your team takes advantage of the right tools, accessible at any time and on any device. Otherwise, communication and information flow can easily suffer in distributed teams.
With the rising popularity of remote work and freelancing, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are more and more services that support this way of work. Coworking spaces are a perfect example of such a service. Even though many people enjoy working on the move, they are often in need of an actual office. Also, a home office is not for everyone - many people find it hard to maintain the work-life balance this way, and they often feel isolated or simply miss the routine of going to the office every morning.
That’s precisely why coworking spaces exist. There are almost 19 thousands of them worldwide, each having on average 185 members. For a fee (be it a daily, weekly or a monthly one), they give access to the working station – which can be a small room, a private desk with a locker, or just a spot in a shared open space. This way, there’s no need to rent the whole office by a single person for a longer period of time, which matters when you’re constantly on the move.
The need for higher productivity
Apparently, we face productivity issues caused by the rapid changes in the workplace. Office workers seem to be suffering interruptions every 3 minutes, and spend ⅓ of their office hours on email. What is even worse, though, is that it might take even 30 minutes to refocus after a single distraction.
Emails and social networks may have been perceived as the main productivity killers, but they’re not the only issue here. It matters how work is organized, and what tools are available for the team to take advantage of. On average, office workers are said to spend 19% of their time on finding documents, files, and resources they need to do their tasks. Multiple devices and systems, as well as unintegrated tools and storage spaces, can easily create chaos and be cause a waste of time. As a result, distracted and unproductive employees can easily mean billions of lost dollars for businesses out there.
How to prepare for the future of work and improve the employee experience?
- Embrace the changes. There’s no hiding from “the workplaces of the future”, which is why it might a better idea to take advantage of the recent developments, instead of fighting them;
- Listen to your team. Nowadays, not only customer expectations are on the rise - the needs of your employees increase as well;
- Offer flexibility, whenever needed. People work differently - exact time and location shouldn’t matter as long as they actually complete their tasks and stay productive;
- Provide your team with the right tools to make their jobs easier. Proper software can not only increase productivity but also affect employee morale positively.
If you run a call center and you’re searching for a powerful tool to improve both employee and customer experience - look no further. CloudTalk has many advanced features in store and can integrate with over 500 tools (including e-commerce, CRM, and helpdesk tools, such as Pipedrive Help Scout or LiveChat, just to name a few). Such integrations make agents’ lives easier by showing relevant information about clients, even before picking up a call. Plus, your team can easily make and receive calls from different devices and any place in the world.
Give it a try and provide your team with the right tools to embrace the future of work.