The application of any digital transformation is driven by company culture, or perhaps should be. To effectively implement a switch to, for example, an agile, cloud-based approach to work, a company’s values must be conducive to flexibility, mobility and education.
With revolutionary technology changing the way we work, how might the office culture look in years to come?
Culture can mean many different things to an organisation. But the essential drivers are geared towards employees, environment, and job performance.
According to Mckinsey & Company, culture is the most significant self-reported barrier to digital effectiveness. Traditional concepts are quickly becoming outdated. Rigid 9-5 structures and long commutes are extremely unattractive to new generations that strive for technology enabled, flexible working styles. It’s important to continually review your culture’s effectiveness in line with these trends.
So, how can we harness the digital future to create happier, more comfortable and more productive working environments that pleases the upcoming virtual generations?
Millennials as managers
By 2020, it’s projected that around 50% of the workforce will be millennials. And by 2030 this will rise to 75%.
The horizon is a future where millennials dominate management, senior and C-suite positions.
We’ve spoken previously about the expectations of a millennial workforce. But what happens when millennials take charge of implementing culture?
As Generation Z enters the workforce, the two groups will form a new hierarchy within organisational structures. Both groups share a desire for strong cultural values. 86% of millennials said they would consider leaving an employer if their values were no longer in line with their expectations. The heightened emotional awareness and intelligence of the next generations will become the backbone of how they hire, and decipher core cultural values.
Interestingly, EQ (emotional intelligence) is set to overtake IQ during the recruitment process. The information that can help fuel IQ is now far more accessible than ever before due to the constant state of connectivity. Everything we need to know is at our fingertips, so it is likely that schooling and qualifications could lose some leverage during the hiring process.
As new roles manifest as a result of collaboration with artificial technology and increased agility across the globe, education will no longer stop at graduation. Workers will be a constant state of learning and information retention, which will redefine company culture. EQ is already important to millennials, and will become the main criteria in which they assess culture fit, characteristics and work ethic as managers.
Data from Sustainable Brands in 2014 reveals that 76% of Generation Z is concerned with the impact of humans on the planet and believe they can operate as change agents in this regard.
A more comfortable, sustainable, and smart environment should satisfy the new generation of workers. And it’s likely that this will contribute to a less structured working day will where the ‘office’ will be more conducive to collaboration with teams and colleagues around the globe, as well as agile working solutions.
Connected buildings with digitally driven design will include systems that control lighting, shading, comfort levels, and building energy efficiency. Security features will make it easy for members of the team of buzz in and out ‘outside of hours,’ allowing workers to operate at during their peak hours of creativity.
For landlords, connectivity will become as important a choice as location or size. Offices will be built around function rather than location with a focus on performance.It’s predicted that the office could eventually evolve to include childcare facilities, laundry rooms, hairdressers and banks - becoming more disabled friendly too, fostering an adaptable environment that promotes opportunities for all.
With that, office technology is becoming the pinnacle of how we approach work in every way, down to performance quality and recruitment.
Location is no longer a restriction and technology enables companies to hire based on the best person for the job. This is a revolution that could transform the output of many organisations.
Thanks to cloud computing, mobility across devices, rooms, buildings and even countries, is easier than ever. This will be propelled further with the introduction of smart offices that use connectivity to enhance agile working and promote connectivity across the globe.
Companies with a smart and digital culture will be able to attract and retain the best talent from around the globe. Apps and software are already integrated into the lifestyles of millennials and generation Z’s, and a work environment that is suited to these ways of working is the most attractive. 45% of millennials said they would accept a lower paying job if it provided more flexibility on device choice and mobility.
It’s important to highlight that a digitally connected culture will need to be supported. We’re in state of revolution and evolution which will likely be reflected in the cultural values an organisation fosters.
Both the rise of virtual jobs and smart buildings will see the eventual demise of traditional rigid structures and working solutions that are restricted by time and location.
The overriding goal is to work towards a more productive environment. A successful culture will allow technology to thrive as the ultimate enabler through knowledge sharing systems, collaboratiion and agility.
It is hoped that a future culture will encourage and help to create better productive environments allowing employees to fully take advantage of digital advancements. However there’s a fear that burdens future employers where the lines become blurred between work and home, in which case, it could become easy for employees to burn out and forget to press the off switch at the end of the day.
Written by Chris Coupe
Chris is a director at RunTech. Having spent six years in business development and management, he plays an invaluable role in seeking out new opportunities and driving the company forward.