Technology has always had a profound effect on the way people work and the environment in which work happens. While Office Space famously lampooned the stereotypes of traditional corporate jobs, much of the 1999 film is in fact, historically accurate. Landlines, desktop computers, walled-off cubicles, fax machines – it painted a picture of cookie-cutter productivity. Luckily for us, over the past 15 years, technology has enabled new levels of collaboration between employees. Voice, video, and messaging shattered the silos, and the office itself reflected the change with open floor plans and a higher emphasis on shared working spaces.
Today, we once again find ourselves at the brink of utter workplace transformation. It isn’t the office at the core of the change, but rather the concept of the work day itself. Fuze’s Workforce Futures: The role of people in the future of work found that more than ever, the parameters of the traditional 9-5 are losing its appeal. Of employees polled, 56 percent stated that they would prefer a job with no set hours, allowing them to manage their own productivity in a way that blends with their personal responsibilities and passions. In fact, 73 percent would currently work outside of their contracted work hours as that’s when they’re more productive. As our own Michael Affronti recently argued, the number of employees who have non-traditional work arrangements is rising – with the flexibility offered by mobile tools, there’s less of a reason to conform to traditional standards.
The challenge for employers is learning how to translate their operating model in a way that accounts for a lack of set hours. For some industries, the task is nothing short of herculean. In many ways, it speaks to many of concerns facing organizations at the outset of digital transformation. Evolution at this scale can be messy, it can be difficult and sometimes frustrating. But the appetite among today’s employees is growing, and by preparing for the work day of 2025 now, you earn the attention of top talent and increased productivity of your staff.
Success in the workplace requires a certain amount of self-reflection: What are my preferred channels? Am I at my sharpest in the morning after my coffee or in the afternoon following a run? Due to the freedom allotted by mobile technology, employers have an incredible opportunity to engage workforces by empowering them to cater to these traits outside of what is traditionally considered “the work day.” Embracing an open concept of work means embracing the changing nature of work itself, much to the benefit of your business and your employees.
For more findings from Workforce Futures: the role of people in the future of work, check out this infographic.