We now know, empirically, what organizational leaders didn’t know a decade or so before now: that employees who are fully ‘engaged’ in their work will deliver business impact. And we also know that their level of engagement is affected by their environment – largely by the way that employees are treated by their organization and their managers.
Aligning corporate real estate strategy and employees’ expectations: key questions
What do most corporations want from their corporate real estate? Traditionally, they did not give this much thought. Today, most organizations just want to keep their costs low.
Yet, corporations also claim that their people are their most valuable assets. Much of corporate real estate is provided for the specific purpose of supporting people, so that they can work effectively. Logic would suggest that if people are so valuable, and their workspace is important to them, then corporations would give them what they want (within reason).Download the white paper: Remote work, employee engagement and Business impact
So, what do employees want from their work-life? That is a far more difficult question to answer, as people are all individuals. But, there are some almost-universal truths. Most people would prefer to be given a choice of how to work, and how that relates to their own life.
This is freedom, within work.The result of freedom is fully-engaged employees, working productively and effectively. And, the result of this engagement is improved corporate performance; or business impact.
“True leisure is not freedom from work but freedom in work…”
Freedom and employee engagement
How much freedom do employees typically have in their daily work/life?
Actually, Mumford was explaining that, except in “servile industries like mining”, playful relaxation, aesthetics, and other stimulations, were “not spatially or mentally separated completely from the work in hand.” In other words, the work of the artist or artisan was not about labour-saving, but “labour-loving” as he called it.
How do we create the right culture and environment for people? It is simple really, isn’t it? Organizations must give their people some freedom.
Not freedom from work (people need to work, and most want to work), but just some freedom to manage how, where and when they work. Trust employees to work remotely, when they need to, or just when they want to. Give back some work-life balance, by allowing people to work closer to home.
We should all perhaps try it, as many organizations already have, and see how better engaged people create greater business impact.
Remote working improves employee engagement – it’s about trust
In 2013, Gallup demonstrated a direct link between working remotely and employee engagement. The Gallup organization can support this better than most, through strong quantitative credentials, as their media states:
Through decades of research with hundreds of organizations and more than 25 million employees, Gallup leads the world in its unparalleled understanding of engagement’s impact on the workplace.
Business impact, was the main focus of attention in the Gallup study. Their research was able to show that the more engaged employees are, the more this directly correlates to higher earnings-per-share.
This was no ‘woolly’ social experiment in how happy people are. The study used empirical data to demonstrate that high levels of employee engagement lead on directly to business impact.
If you want people to deliver more, just leave them alone to decide how!
Like the artist or artisan of earlier centuries, referred to by Lewis Mumford, there is something in all people which makes us want to be masters of our own world. We want to be able to do our work, practice our ‘art’, in our own particular way.
And, more than this – people in the 21st Century world of work do not have the luxury of time to waste. Many have to balance work, family, friendships and other social responsibilities in their community. To give back time to someone is almost like putting cash in their hand! Sometimes it is more valued than money.
What’s it all about? ….It seems to be about trust.
Leave people to decide how, where and when they can best deliver their work, and they will in turn feel trusted. People generally reward that trust with greater engagement in their work.