Workplace trends are ever-changing. A couple of decades ago, ping pong tables, lounges, and standing desks in the office were basically unheard of. So … what has changed between now and then? The way businesses function.
Mike Kappel Contributor
Small Business Strategy
Mike Kappel is the founder and CEO of Patriot Software, LLC.
6 Workplace Trends To Take Advantage Of
Workplace trends not only benefit your employees, but also your business. Use these six workplace trends to turn things around and take employee engagement to the next level at your company (I know you want to).
1. Offering Flexible Work Arrangements
According to one source, 57% of businesses offer flexible work schedules. As time goes on, more employers are saying goodbye to the regular 9-5 shift and hello to other working arrangements and hours.
The word “flexibility” might scare off some employers, but not me. In my 30+ years of entrepreneurial experience, I’ve found that flexibility can be key to attracting and retaining top talent.
Now, flexibility can mean a variety of different things. It doesn’t have to be limited to the time of day an employee works. To incorporate flexible working arrangements at your business, you can:
Offering flexible working arrangements can give employees a better work-life balance to do things like go to a doctor’s appointment or pick up their kid(s) from school. Not to mention, flexibility also helps boost productivity and employee satisfaction.
2. Including Remote Workers More
If you’ve jumped on board the flexible workplace bandwagon, you probably have a few employees that work from home. And let’s face it—some of your remote workers (especially ones that are out-of-state) may feel lonely or experience FOMO (fear of missing out).
To avoid leaving your isolated employees all by their lonesome, include them in as many workplace activities as you can.
At my accounting software and payroll software company, Patriot Software, we try to include our lovely remote workers as much as we possibly can. Whether it’s sending them little goodies and care packages or video chatting them during a meeting or event, we always try to keep our remote workers in the loop. Trust me when I say this: small gestures go a long way.
3. Emphasizing Work-Life Balance
Business owners and employees around the world know how oh-so important a healthy work-life balance is. Without one, you or your employees will likely be stressed, sleep-deprived, and all around exhausted. And as a serial entrepreneur, I can tell you that work plus little to no sleep is not a very good combo.
To prevent burnout and improve productivity, be an advocate for healthy work-life balance. Be the ultimate role model when it comes to juggling work and life. Show employees that they don’t have to work around the clock to be productive. And, let them know their personal lives and mental health don’t have to suffer.
4. Saying Goodbye To Old Office Designs
Take a look around your office. What do you see? Cubicles? Corner offices? Lots of closed doors and blinds? If you said “yes” to one (or all) of these, it’s time to rethink your office’s design.
As workplaces evolve, more companies are doing away with stuffy spaces and embracing open workplaces. At Patriot, our meeting rooms don’t have walls. Instead, they have glass windows. All of our corner offices also have windows. And, they don’t have blinds, so rooms feel more open and welcoming.
In addition to a more open office design, you can also spice up your workplace with things like standing desks, a lounge, and comfy furniture (think bean bag chairs and couches).
Shaking up your business’s office design may seem like a silly strategy. But, it can help foster creativity and collaboration. Not to mention, open office spaces are pretty dang versatile and cost-effective.
5. Focusing On Employee Experience
Your employees are the foundation of your company’s success. Without them, you would struggle to stay afloat in this crazy business world we’re in. And if you want your top employees to stick around for the long-run, you’ve got to focus on giving them the best employee experience out there.
To give your employees a positive employee experience, ensure your workers are happy, fulfilled, and satisfied. Give them an experience they will never forget.
Making sure employee experience is top of the line for your workers can improve your workplace’s culture and employee engagement. Plus, focusing on employee experience in the workplace can help give your employer brand a nice boost.
To give your workers a top-notch experience, consider doing some fun and out-of-the-box activities at work. You can have team-building activities like a laser tag party, a chili cook-off, and an employee potluck lunch (yes, we’ve done all of these activities at my company). The opportunities are honestly endless when it comes to enhancing your employees’ experience and promoting engagement.
6. Increasing Artificial Intelligence (A.k.a. Automation)
In this technology-driven world, there are new things popping up every day that can simplify business owners’ daily tasks and responsibilities. Do you know what this means, fellow business owners? This means more automation and fewer time-wasters.
You have a billion things to do each day. And, I have a hunch that you spend loads of time doing the most basic tasks (e.g., sending emails). By automating some of your tasks, you can save time and get back to the business you love so dearly.
Take it from me: When it comes to automation in the workplace, the more automated tasks, the merrier. You can automate things like your:
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