The modern workplace can be confusing – busy, varied and increasingly stressful. We regularly see workplace trends come and go; we see ideas touted as fact, and many workplaces struggle to keep up, aiming to increase productivity and employee happiness in any way they can. But what should workplaces be focusing on? What should they prioritise, for the happiest, healthiest and most productive employees? The Modern Workplace 2018 : People, Places & Technology Report has identified the top six priorities of the modern workplace, ranked:
1. Agility and flexibility
The most important priority for any modern workplace – flexible working styles and agile working areas have been shown to have a positive impact on both employees and the standard of output. Flexibility incorporates many different approaches, so there really is a style for every single type of workplace; whether it’s activity-based working, desk sharing, working remotely or encouraging creativity and collaboration with informal workspaces.
2. Excellent meeting facilities
The Modern Workplace Report 2018 shows surprising results when it comes to meetings:
"only 64 per cent of those surveyed are happy with the quality of meetings within their organisation."
Clearly, there is room for improvement, from cutting down on unnecessary meetings, to ensuring that meeting rooms are the right size and most importantly, possess a simple, user-friendly booking system.
3. Strong communication and technology integration
Video is becoming increasingly important in business, and organisations that do not embrace video integrated meetings may find themselves left behind. The Modern Workplace Report found that many organisations are reporting an increase in the number of video meetings they hold, however, 12 per cent of respondents were unhappy with the quality of their video meeting technology.
4. Millennial appeal
It’s an undisputed fact that millennials are driving much of the changes to the modern workplace, particularly workspace design. The Modern Workplace Report identified that business leaders feel a pressure to keep up with the millennial ideal – cool, stylish and sexy workspaces that offer an experience, rather than just a nine to five grind. While this is a priority for many, it should be remembered that some millennials may have unrealistic expectations, and it’s more important to focus on function before appearance.
5. Environmental consciousness
Many businesses feel the pressure, both internally and externally, to improve their environmental consciousness from all perspectives. While this is a big topic, the Modern Workplace Report found that it is a lower priority for many business leaders – it was rated 3.9 out of 5 as a global concern. This is an issue will only become bigger overtime, so those who make a start on addressing it now will be better placed to weather future changes.
6. A focus on wellness
"Wellness" has long been a buzzword in business, and many experts recognise the need for organisations to create longer term plans to support employees in their health (both physical and mental). Despite this, wellness was also found to be a lower priority in the Modern Workplace Report, at just 3.76 out of 5, globally. In fact, not one country surveyed ranked wellness higher than 4 out of 5, suggesting that despite the publicity, the real impact of wellness in the workplace is still being overlooked.
What are your thoughts on wellness in the workplace? And are you taking any steps to promote it in your organisation?