Is it time to jump onto the millennial bandwagon?  

The traditional workforce as we know it is undergoing a seismic shift, dubbed the Future of Work. Over the past decade, demographic and socioeconomic changes, plus advances in technology, have generated an evolution in the workforce. Global organizations are homing in on how attract and retain top talent, particularly as automation and AI are changing the nature of the job pool.

The Influences

The Rise of the Millennial – According to Forbes, “by 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.”[1] This generation has distinct preferred workstyles – they demand a life/work balance, a flexible schedule, and they expect to leverage consumer technology into their corporate experience.

Geographically-Agnostic IT – Today’s workforce uses the same robust technology at their corporate office hub to work from home or from the road.  Powerful transport, network availability, virtualized productivity tools, and device-in-your-hand versatility allow teams to operate more quickly, more collaboratively, anytime, anywhere. Geography is largely no longer a barrier to a virtual workstyle.

 

The Impact

Transforming the Traditional Office Space – The Future of Work embraces non-hierarchical environments, and instead, reflects the free and open nature of evolving workstyles. It’s still all about location, location, location – but the location has expanded to comprise anywhere with network access!

Consider the domino effect of these physical work arrangements on the corporate bottom line. If workers operate remotely on loose schedules, corporations can reduce desk space and therefore real estate costs by approximately 20%. Corporations’ number one cost is employees (salaries, benefits, etc.). The second highest cost is real estate.[2] A 20% reduction in a corporate hub such as Los Angeles, New York or Miami generates provides a big incentive to embrace Future of Work trends.

Adopting Flexible Hiring Practices and Work Styles – Technology and generational changes have forced Human Resource departments to modify hiring and work policies to attract and retain the top talent of the millennial generation. A downstream effect of these modifications is that Managers must adapt to overseeing a global, virtual employee base.

 

The Benefits

The Future of Work promises tremendous benefits for organizations who adopt an intentional strategy addressing all the necessary changes and their potential impact.

Cloud-based solutions and reliable, secure mobility are two of the game-changing factors that have eliminated barriers to finding and accessing today’s top talent. For example, tech firms who want access to a pool of highly skilled talent can simply set up a satellite office close to the desired pool and channel their resources to the pool. This is a drastic advancement in HR and real estate policy.

 

The Critical Role of Change Management

As organizations undertake a digital workplace transformation initiative, an effective change management strategy can make the difference between a painful trudge filled with pitfalls, or a smooth ride along a successful path to growth.

This strategy will tackle the big questions, such as where should you acquire real estate and what size? How should you re-think your office space as your occupancy shifts? You will also want to consider the minutia of how technology implementation will impact your office design, collaborative capabilities and evolving workforce.

Struggles between the five generations which comprise today’s workforce can cause disruption and roadblocks to transformation. HR, Management, and Operations need to account for this tremendous age spread and all the IT-drivers and workstyles that accompany it. Change Management can help organizations implement change, facilitate transition out of the office, and ensure user adoption of critical virtualization tools, smoothing your path to the Future of Work.

This post was derived from Yorktel’s article in Sound & Communications Magazine’s May 2019 edition. The article appears in its entirety here.

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