Gone are the days when fax machines were considered cool. Paperwork is almost out the window and you can pretty much kiss goodbye that collection of hardcopy documents you’ve been saving for years. As the modern working environment continues to evolve, those tedious nine-to-five working hours, brick-like office equipment and endless piles of paper are now confined to the archives of history.
As we roll into another working year, Australian workplaces and the way we work has changed dramatically – for the better too. Businesses strive for improved workplace productivity, as generation X takes a dominating lead and our professional and personal lives become more positively entwined. So what else can we expect for 2015? Find out the latest workplace trends here.
1. Flexible Working Arrangements fuelled by Gen X
Flexible working arrangements have been evolving for a while now, but 2015 is the year where it’ll become mainstream. Thanks to work practices fuelled by Generation X (those born between early 1960’s and early 1980’s), freedom and flexibility for workers has been pushed into a strong cultural shift.
As the traditional work ideas become outdated, employers have noticed that when they give their staff more freedom – they’re happier, consequently raising the level of productivity. Senior economics writer for TIME Magazine, Stephen Gandel points out, “flexibility is no longer a favour to be handed out like candy at a children’s birthday party – it’s a compelling business strategy”.
As a result, freelance work is on the rise and more employees are working from home to improve employee experience and generate a healthier and more productive environment. This wireless workplace is supported by technology advancements, enabling you to work remotely as opposed to being chained to your desk 9-5, Monday-Friday – which is so, 20th century. In 2015, staff will be online all hours of the day to cater for their own individual circumstances.
This change will ensure levels of stress are reduced and people’s productivity brought out.
This change has not only turned workplaces positively upside down, but it’s shifted the focus from work that’s more showing up-based, to work that is results driven. By recognising and adapting to the needs of employees; implementing a work culture that supports them, we are more motivated to get the work done.
2. Technology Boom Boosts Productivity
Over the years technology has played a vital role in the productivity of the workplace. In 2015, it will continue to be a key part boosting not only out-of-the-office flexibility, but also in the office too. More companies will see a shift to a wireless workplace, making solid infrastructures essential for businesses using Wi-Fi.
There’s no denying just how connected the world we live in is. With the boom of technology, the 4-walls of an office isn’t as strongly required for employees to do their jobs properly now. 2015 will also be the year where companies leverage cloud-based technology, and document management systems will improve for a better workplace productivity, including increased security options and electronic workflow efficiency.
From burden to benefit, technology is becoming much more diverse allowing companies to drive changes that are actionable and precise. Fibre optic internet connection will improve reliability and computers and mobile devices will become the ‘cool’ wearables. These significant changes will benefit all work departments, with web-based technology keeping us all available 24/7.
3. ‘Bleisure’ Proves How Deeply Personal Work Has Become
“Bleisure” – a mix of business and leisure is a phrase we will definitely be more in-tune with this year. As work-life integration becomes more prominent, we see our professional and personal lives become intimately linked.
For many, this link between the two is not always encouraged. We’ve all been made aware of reasons for separating your personal and professional life, but this integration is a stepping stone into how employees are valuing what they do more significantly now. Instead of workers struggling to balance the two worlds together, the boost in flexible workplace productivity and adaptable practices proves just how deeply personal our work lives have become.
In that aspect, the change is definitely a positive one. As employees want the best of both worlds, the link between the two has workers getting that little bit more passionate about what they can bring to the table at their workplace.
4. Collaboration and Networking is the Norm
To roll with the times, the way we collaborate and network with business professionals also needs to change to lift productivity. Improved tools are not only a key way for businesses to reach their goals and utilise resources, but also to boost the way we work internally to add value to engagement and productivity.
Employees are fast realising that regardless of where you are or who you work for, professional collaboration and networking is becoming the norm. In 2015, video conferencing will become a more widely used tool boosting productivity by saving staff time.
5. The Freelancer’s Movement
As we mentioned above, flexible working arrangements will become the next big thing in 2015. This, ultimately, will start a freelancer’s movement with a substantial rise in the number of Australian’s now undertaking some form of freelance work. With 3.7 million Australians involved in freelance work, we notice more are striving for the flexible working lifestyle.
The latest research by the Airtasker Future of Work Research Monitor (January, 2015) found that Australian’s are increasingly adapting freelance work because it allows them to be their own boss and earn a decent living by capitalising on their skills.
“Workers are crying out for increased flexibility from their employers and online platforms are booming because they allow people to choose what they work on”, CEO of Airtasker Tim Fung explains.
It’s clearer now than ever that Australia’s crave that laid back working vibe. In order for businesses to tune in to their needs and run a productive company, old working habits are dying hard as technology and Generation X fuels a new movement and the latest workplace trends for 2015.
About the Author:
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for PrintSync Business Solutions –Print and Document Management Solutions across Perth, Bunbury, Mandurah and Karratha to keep your office running smoothly. You can catch her on Google+.