Article: Changing Landscape – Technology and the Impact on the Workplace

It is hard to understate the role that technology plays in our lives today, and in the workplace, this is no different.

It can be easy to take technology for granted. From contactless cards that enable most of us to avoid using cash and the means to pay our bills online, technology is helping to make our lives easier than ever. 

One environment where technology is making significant progress is the workplace. Phrases such as “flexible working”, “collaboration”, “shared spaces” and “agile thinking” are now the norm – changing the way that we work and interact with the environment around us. 

In this article, we’ll analyse several workplace technological advances and how they can be an incentive for recruitment and better performance.

Flexible Working – The Here and Now 

When considering the modern working environment, the quote “work is an activity, not a place” comes to mind. Most work performed in an office setting could theoretically be performed anywhere around the world, let alone New Zealand. 

In a 2016 Strategic Pay bespoke survey on flexible working, 87% of 299 organisations reported they allow staff to work from home. However, only 32% of those who offer the flexibility to work from home reported having a formal work from home policy in place. 

In short, flexible working is possible thanks to advancements in technology such as cloud computing, collaborative tools, providing instant feedback, communication with co-workers and increasingly fast internet. For example, many businesses are building single cloud-based platforms that are accessible from anywhere and offer various applications and features such as screen sharing, video collaboration, voice calls and instant messaging.

Technology allows simple information sharing, collaboration and communication and means employees can be more flexible with their working hours and conditions. However, are there benefits for enterprises as well in this equation? 

Using Technology to Improve Recruitment and Retention 

It’s important to note that not all businesses have the capacity to offer flexible working conditions. This said, these opportunities can be leveraged to attract new talent and retain them in the long term. 

For example, parents who need to take care of their children may appreciate the chance to work from home certain days of the week or other workers who want a little more flexibility in their schedules. 

While many managers still find it difficult to estimate the productivity of employees working from home, most organisations believe home-workers are equally as productive as in-office employees, if not more so. Workplace flexibility is believed to have a positive effect on engagement, motivation and satisfaction. 

At the end of the day, employees should be treated as valued assets. The more care, appreciation and effort that business leaders put into making the working environment fit around their lives, the better their performance, loyalty and engagement with the job. 

Where possible, flexible working should be an in-built part of a job description and remuneration structure. It is key to develop a formalised flexibly working policy, providing greater transparency and strengthening the health and safety aspect of such a benefit To get started in ensuring technology doesn’t leave your business behind, get in touch with the team at Strategic Pay today.

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