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Future Workplace Trends: Four Ways the Workplace is Changing

Published 19 January 2023

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Demanding control over the how, where and why of their professional lives, people across the globe are influencing a restructure of mainstream employment culture.

Employers and businesses are faced with a need to acknowledge these future workplace trends and adapt to ensure they’re meeting the needs of the revolutionised employee. From Gen Z’s rejection of hustle culture to a greater demand for fluid boundaries between personal and professional responsibilities, we explore four key trends shaping the future of the workplacehow your business can continue to support employees in the future – both in and out of the office.

Employers and businesses are faced with a need to acknowledge these future workplace trends and adapt to ensure they’re meeting the needs of the revolutionised employee. From Gen Z’s rejection of hustle culture to a greater demand for fluid boundaries between personal and professional responsibilities, we explore four key trends shaping the future of the workplacehow your business can continue to support employees in the future – both in and out of the office.

The Flexibility Phenomenon

There’s a push for greater flexibility in the employment landscape, allowing for more remote working. In July 2022, only 20% of global desk-based workers said they wanted to return to the office full-time.

This shift in demand for greater remote working possibilities provides businesses with opportunities to create inclusive hybrid workplaces that enable all individuals to curate their days. Reportedly, in addition to making some employees feel more productive or engaged, remote working can make fitting chores into the workday easier for parents, allow people with disabilities to create a desk set-up that better serves their needs and make self-designed schedules that could help prevent burnout a possibility among those living with chronic illnesses.

As a by-product, we’ll see boundaries between personal and professional lives break down, minimising the barrier to career achievements that currently exist. Parents, for example, need no longer have their career paths impacted as much by childcare demands. With hybrid working offering so many benefits across workforces – and their employers – businesses should prepare to adapt their flexible working options.

The Flexibility Phenomenon

There’s a push for greater flexibility in the employment landscape, allowing for more remote working. In July 2022, only 20% of global desk-based workers said they wanted to return to the office full-time.

This shift in demand for greater remote working possibilities provides businesses with opportunities to create inclusive hybrid workplaces that enable all individuals to curate their days. Reportedly, in addition to making some employees feel more productive or engaged, remote working can make fitting chores into the workday easier for parents, allow people with disabilities to create a desk set-up that better serves their needs and make self-designed schedules that could help prevent burnout a possibility among those living with chronic illnesses.

As a by-product, we’ll see boundaries between personal and professional lives break down, minimising the barrier to career achievements that currently exist. Parents, for example, need no longer have their career paths impacted as much by childcare demands. With hybrid working offering so many benefits across workforces – and their employers – businesses should prepare to adapt their flexible working options.

The Four-Day Work Week

Is the five-day work week on its way out? Research has shown that 94% of global knowledge workers want to choose when they work, as well as where and how.

This craving for output-based schedules is being explored by some employers through the introduction of the four-day work week, a movement that proposes professionals can maintain their level of productivity while working 32 hours a week, on the same salary. With output-based productivity measurements, rather than time-centric ones, some experts suggest this condensed work week may satisfy employees calling for a bottom-up collaborative approach to working hours.

Successful trials of the four-day work week in Iceland propelled schemes to be rolled out across the globe. Businesses should take note of the 70 employers in the UK – including banks, charities and tech firms – that have already started to experiment with this new way of working.

The Four-Day Work Week

Is the five-day work week on its way out? Research has shown that 94% of global knowledge workers want to choose when they work, as well as where and how.

This craving for output-based schedules is being explored by some employers through the introduction of the four-day work week, a movement that proposes professionals can maintain their level of productivity while working 32 hours a week, on the same salary. With output-based productivity measurements, rather than time-centric ones, some experts suggest this condensed work week may satisfy employees calling for a bottom-up collaborative approach to working hours.

Successful trials of the four-day work week in Iceland propelled schemes to be rolled out across the globe. Businesses should take note of the 70 employers in the UK – including banks, charities and tech firms – that have already started to experiment with this new way of working.

Blended Work-Life Days

With flexible working here to stay, more people are seeing their jobs as just one activity in an otherwise full life, rejecting long working hours and putting emphasis on enjoying a slower pace.

Take ‘quiet quitting’ – an increasingly popular trend among young employees that sees them shaking off the shackles of hustle culture, leaving behind the impulse to go above and beyond, and matching their output to their job description. Originating on TikTok, where it’s commonplace to bemoan corporate norms (like micromanaging) and expose remote working problems (like the pressure to maintain an active status on platforms such as Teams or Slack), the term “quiet quitting” garnered 795 million views as of October 2022.

Even shared office spaces now cater to blended lifestyles, popping up everywhere and featuring everything from gyms to apartment complexes and childcare spaces. Savvy businesses will spot the importance of adapting their workspaces to enable employees to work and thrive simultaneously, thereby prioritising the future wellbeing of their staff.

Blended Work-Life Days

With flexible working here to stay, more people are seeing their jobs as just one activity in an otherwise full life, rejecting long working hours and putting emphasis on enjoying a slower pace.

Take ‘quiet quitting’ – an increasingly popular trend among young employees that sees them shaking off the shackles of hustle culture, leaving behind the impulse to go above and beyond, and matching their output to their job description. Originating on TikTok, where it’s commonplace to bemoan corporate norms (like micromanaging) and expose remote working problems (like the pressure to maintain an active status on platforms such as Teams or Slack), the term “quiet quitting” garnered 795 million views as of October 2022.

Even shared office spaces now cater to blended lifestyles, popping up everywhere and featuring everything from gyms to apartment complexes and childcare spaces. Savvy businesses will spot the importance of adapting their workspaces to enable employees to work and thrive simultaneously, thereby prioritising the future wellbeing of their staff.

Empathetic Offices

Has your organisation struggled to get its employees back into the workplace? It’s nothing personal: many people are facing often-overlooked barriers that prevent them from wanting to come into the office.

In the absence of in-office childcare provision at most workplaces, alternative workspaces are emerging that incorporate childcare facilities, such as London’s Huckletree and Lausanne’s The Village Coworking. Businesses are also urged to consider other potential barriers, like the menopause, as 18% of British women consider quitting their jobs to cope with its symptoms. Additionally, improving inclusion for older employees will be essential for future workplaces, especially as offices welcome more retirees returning to work.

It’s therefore imperative that businesses show empathy with their employees when readdressing future workplaces and plan for previously unaccounted-for challenges to help provide more inclusive, appealing places to work for all.

Empathetic Offices

Has your organisation struggled to get its employees back into the workplace? It’s nothing personal: many people are facing often-overlooked barriers that prevent them from wanting to come into the office.

In the absence of in-office childcare provision at most workplaces, alternative workspaces are emerging that incorporate childcare facilities, such as London’s Huckletree and Lausanne’s The Village Coworking. Businesses are also urged to consider other potential barriers, like the menopause, as 18% of British women consider quitting their jobs to cope with its symptoms. Additionally, improving inclusion for older employees will be essential for future workplaces, especially as offices welcome more retirees returning to work.

It’s therefore imperative that businesses show empathy with their employees when readdressing future workplaces and plan for previously unaccounted-for challenges to help provide more inclusive, appealing places to work for all.

So how do these future workplace trends affect your business? Could you consider an elevated hybrid workplace experience? Or perhaps your employees are calling for a four-day work week or need enhanced workplace wellbeing?

Whatever your workplace looks like today, there will be room for improvement. The pandemic made wellness relevant to every industry, and flexible schedules, remote or hybrid working models and people-centric set-ups will help your business pave the way to a better future workplace for the evolved employee.

So how do these future workplace trends affect your business? Could you consider an elevated hybrid workplace experience? Or perhaps your employees are calling for a four-day work week or need enhanced workplace wellbeing?

Whatever your workplace looks like today, there will be room for improvement. The pandemic made wellness relevant to every industry, and flexible schedules, remote or hybrid working models and people-centric set-ups will help your business pave the way to a better future workplace for the evolved employee.

Want to know more?

This blog is a small glimpse of the insights available in Stylus’ newly released New Ways of Living, a suite of seven comprehensive reports that take a temperature check on how global populations are dealing with current financial, environmental, social and cultural challenges. Members have access to all seven reports now.

 

Not yet a member? Get a glimpse of the scope of this research, and discover six more New Ways of Living by downloading your sample report.

Want to know more?

This blog is a small glimpse of the insights available in Stylus’ newly released New Ways of Living, a suite of seven comprehensive reports that take a temperature check on how global populations are dealing with current financial, environmental, social and cultural challenges. Members have access to all seven reports now.

 

Not yet a member? Get a glimpse of the scope of this research, and discover six more New Ways of Living by downloading your sample report.