The Changing Workplace: Digital Transformations and Flexible Work are Impacting Employers

Jul 24, 2019
| Michael Altiero
Digital Transformations and Flexible Work

Workplaces around the world are undergoing significant changes and shifts as new trends emerge, requiring employers to continuously explore ways to get their business ready for the future.

Perhaps the biggest and most stressful of these changes have been digital transformations brought on by technological advances. But others, such as talent management and compensation trends, can also present challenges for employers, especially small businesses.

A new report from Condeco explored some of these workplace changes and gathered insights into how employers and workers view them. In this post we take a closer look at some of the data, and what it might mean for business leaders.
 

How is the Digital Age Impacting Business?

The first finding from the survey revealed the top challenges organizations face today and in the next 5 years. It’s no surprise that digital transformation and technology were cited as the top two. Interestingly, the other top responses are all common HR difficulties that many employers (especially smaller businesses) face:
 
  • Digital transformation – 37% today; 30% in five years
  • Technology adoption – 35% today; 34% in five years
  • Talent supply – 26% today; 25% in five years
  • Regulation and compliance – 24% today; 21% in five years

But digital transformation is also impacting the modern workspace. When respondents were asked to name the biggest workspace challenges, they listed digitizing the workspace as the number one response (60%).

Interestingly, the second most popular challenge that was cited was adapting to changing employee expectations (52%).

Despite how respondents view digital transformations, just 20% said their organization is very prepared for it. Meanwhile, 21% said their company is not very prepared for a digital transformation – an eye-opening result.
 

Workspace Challenges Facing Today’s Employers

In addition to digital changes, employers are also facing workplace challenges as employee expectations continue to shift.

The survey asked respondents “what are the greatest potential benefits for your organization of investing in developing a workplace of the future”? Here are the top responses:
 
  • Improve productivity – 37%
  • Improve creativity and innovation – 26%
  • Reduce costs – 25%
  • Increase flexibility and agility – 24%
  • Improve employee wellbeing – 22%
  • Improve work-life balance – 21%

Additionally, 56% of survey takers said transforming the physical workplace was fairly important to the success of their organization. 29% said it is very important.

The survey also asked respondents to rank the workspace developments that are most important for organizations to prioritize in the next few years:
 
  • New technology to use space effectively (most important)
  • New technology to drive productivity
  • Creating a more agile working environment
  • Adapting to the needs of a mobile workforce
  • Making it eco-friendlier
  • More wellness facilities
  • More services (least important)
 

Flexible Working and the Modern Workplace

One of the growing demands that today’s workforce wants (especially Millennials and Gen Z) are flexible working arrangements.

The survey took a look at what types of flexible working are most commonly offered:
 
  • Flexi-time (choosing when to start and end their workday) – 60%
  • Remote working – 41%
  • Compressed hours – 34%

Remote working is another quickly-growing workplace trend that some employers are struggling with, creating challenges as job seekers and current employees demand this perk.

The survey took a look at why employers decide to offer remote working to their employees:
 
  • Improve retention – 52%
  • To reduce office costs – 47%
  • Employees demand this perk – 45%
  • To scale staff members – 44%

Looking to the future, almost half of all survey takers believe flexible working will increase in the next five years.

Employers will need to continue exploring ways to offer these kinds of perks to their workforce as talent management continues to grow more challenging. However, offering best-in-class benefits and perks are great resources for not only retaining current staff, but also attracting job seekers.
 

Work Trends Continue to Change

Surveys like this one continue to highlight just how much the modern workplace is changing and paint a picture of even more differences in the near future.

Some employers are taking these challenges head-on in order to address workforce expectations and build competitive advantages.

Even small employers, through the right partnerships, can overcome many HR troubles and become a place that both current and potential talent want to work for and stay with into the future!

How can outsourcing help small and medium-sized businesses overcome 10 common HR symptoms? Our eBook explains these HR challenges, and how partnering with a PEO can help overcome them!

10 HR Symptoms That PEO Can Cure
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