Power to the people: A modern work culture

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The focus on company culture and brand values has become a top-tier priority in the modern workplace, as businesses start to realise the only way to persist isn’t to only keep up with changes in the market, but to keep up with changes in work culture and values.

The proportion of worldwide employees feeling unengaged at work –at 85%– is shockingly low. The new work culture is designed to satisfy both employer and employee, based on the logic that if employees are happy at work, they’ll engage more with it, therefore work quality will consistently increase, and over time, so will client satisfaction and business success. It’s the new empowering, more emotionally in tune, inclusive face of business.

Awareness of workplace rights, as well as the digital age increasing access to support, advice, data and knowledge, means we’re now more in tune than ever with the overarching ecosystem of business. In terms of recruitment, the power has always usually been one way and in the hands of the employer, with laser focus on the calibre of the candidate: whether they’re good enough, whether they suit the company, whether they could work with them. Now, sites like Glassdoor and Indeed incorporate employee reviews as standard, making the job recruitment process no longer just about whether the candidate fits the company, but whether
the company (and its values) fit the candidate. It has an air of accountability to it, highlighting the importance of brand values to the current and future workforce.

Post-recruitment, in the day-to-day running of a business, lots of companies have adopted flexible working, in varying degrees. A Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) allows staff to work any hours, anywhere, as long as they get results. It judges staff by the work they do, not by the hours they put in, leading to more staff feeling empowered and trusted to take on responsibility, which has been proven to make them more willing to work and strive to do better. The rise of collaborative team and client-facing platforms like Skype, Zoom, Slack or Dropbox, encourage flexible and remote working, the same way they also work to retain
international and global clients. Four-day weeks are now on the rise at the same salary as five days, and many businesses have found that after a year, earnings and net profit have increased, sick days have halved, incoming CVs have doubled, and staff happiness is at a high.

Ways to increase team engagement don’t always have to require a big shift in operations, but small tweak to day-to-day practices. Allowing flexible hours within the workplace such as working from eight to four o’clock or ten to six can help, or encouraging employees to openly share ideas about how the company and day-to-day processes can be made better and more streamlined. Allowing one day per month to work from home, or things like introducing an ‘employee satisfaction review’ similar to a performance review, or a staff app like Open Blend, can also help individuals to achieve a work/life balance.

A hefty 89% of British workers believe that flexible working would boost their productivity, and the UK law now endorses flexible working. It states that after 26 weeks, everyone has a legal right to formally request to their employer flexible start and finish times, or the option to work from home, to suit their needs.

Endorsing flexible, employee-centred values into your business has the potential to increase prospective employee interest from the outside, employee engagement inside, improve client satisfaction and retention, and minimise staff turnover. It’s irrefutable that flexible working in its entirety does not work for every sector. The demands of some industries do just require regular on-site, in-office, face-to-face interaction. But every business can incorporate some aspects of flexible working into their environment, no matter how miniscule, in order reduce presenteeism, makes employees feel more engaged, and stand the success of their
business in good stead for the employee-centred future.