Understanding the expectations of employees today is crucial to a healthy and productive workforce in the future. As companies across Asia are becoming increasingly concerned about adapting their processes to the new world of work, Adobe’s new research report, “Work in Progress”, uncovered how working life is changing for the future
Surveying a total of 2,011 workers in the US, UK, and India, here are 10 interesting findings:
1. Stay engaged, stay happy: Four in five employees (80%) in the US said they would keep their jobs even if they won the lottery. That's how important it is for them to stay engaged in their job.
2. A job that provides meaning: When asked if employees prefer working more hours on jobs they enjoy or fewer hours working on jobs they dislike, 76% favour the former.
3. The gig economy: “The ability to balance your personal and professional life in a way that a lot of folks have not been able to do in the past is the most appealing part of the gig economy,” says Elizabeth Kim, executive director at IDEO. As such, leading companies are increasingly treating employees as guests rather than indentured servants.
4. The future of work won’t always be full-time: Instead of selling things, Uber-like organisations could empower workers with tools, structure, and support in place to let them complete tasks on their own as their time allows.
5. Rise of the workplace machines: Workspaces that encourage unconscious thought, smart coffee machines that know when and what to brew, chatbot assistants, fully distributed workforces, do-everything dashboards, and conference rooms that awake and revert to your personal settings whenever you and your employee badge enter. Expect these and more from the future.
6. Flexible “third places”: Sociologist Ray Oldenburg argues that some of our most inspired ideas take place in what he calls neutral and public “third places.” Think watering holes, city parks, cafes, street corners, and other free-form gathering places. That being the case, employers are enabling more natural interactions and opportunities to get out from behind the cube wall.
7. Work-life everything: “We have airplane mode for our phones,” says Jon Perera, VP of product management, Adobe Document Cloud. “Maybe it’s time we have airplane mode for our work.” Others argue that work-life balance is a false dichotomy. “It’s just life,” says Natalie Engels, design director at Gensler, a corporate building designer. “Nevertheless, work is the invader of all three areas,” she says, referring to work, home, and third spaces.
8. Locally aware smart offices: Companies are starting to play with the concept of anticipatory design. she says. For example, your office or conference room might open the blinds when you enter depending on the time of day or what your previous settings were.
9. Machines learning: More than just making recommendations, our computers might soon take the initiative. For example, they might say, “I’m seeing a lot of things about this company in the media these days. Maybe you should reach out to them.” Or maybe they might encourage us to hold an important meeting on a less stressful day of the week as opposed to the current one.
10. Never too far in their thoughts: Employees actively think about work 78% of the time on workdays and 41% of the time on days off.
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