By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will consist of Millennials. Boomers will be on their way out and Generation Z will be getting their first jobs.
With a new workforce come completely new expectations about what a workplace should be, how it should operate, and how technology can easily be used to make things like remote working a reality.
I am what you would describe a stereotypical millennial, I use social media, I love avocados and I’ve done a lot of job hopping. We millennials, just like Gen Z, have grown up in the digital age and take certain things for granted.
The younger generations are now more likely to seek companies that invest in their growth, be that on training opportunities or on the job development. Employees want to understand and really feel a part of the purpose of the company, which means stepping away from closed doors and traditional hierarchy. Instead, embracing communication between management and staff whilst working towards shared goals.
Having worked in several roles since graduating, it was only when I encountered one of these ‘workplaces of the future’ that I really felt for the first time that I wanted to stay long term. Yes, they had dogs, free food, a beer fridge and table tennis but it was so much more than that. From the moment I met the CEO and my manager, I was completely invested in their vision for the company and from day one I was made to feel part of that mission.
Of course, running a business isn’t always fun and games and sometimes you have to make difficult decisions (and as HR I’m sometimes the one that must execute them). However, I will always believe that people are the most important asset a company has. Having a positive company culture isn’t about free pizza or winning awards; it’s about making sure your staff feel valued because with that breeds loyalty and loyalty breeds the motivation to work hard and take good care of your business.
As Richard Branson famously said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”
Having followed Piers to his new company, Tewke, we are right at the beginning of a journey which will give us the freedom to create our culture and structure from scratch. I’m really excited to embrace to push the boundaries in terms of what the workplace represents and how it can help us to grow as a company. From encouraging our people to work wherever and whenever they like outside of our power hours (Tuesday-Thursday, 10-4pm) to scrapping management and offering our team much more autonomy in decision-making. However, creating the workplace of the future isn’t going to be without its rough patches and pitfalls. As we undergo our journey, I’ll keep a diary chronicling our learnings, exploring what works, and where the challenges are. I hope through our experience, you can glean some takeaways, apply to them to your businesses, and make the workplace of the future a reality for your businesses as well.