I on different projects to improve your

I work for one of the best large companies
to work in Ireland as recognized by Great Place to Work Ireland(Greatplacetowork.ie, 2017). This year we ranked in 4th place so we must be doing
something right. I would consider our work place to be quite modern with an
ever-growing focus on becoming more ‘digital first’.

To give you an insight on this I will give
a brief description of our ways of working. Firstly, we do not have allocated
desks. We ‘hot-desk’. This means that when you come in each day you can sit
where-ever you like. While there are slightly designated floors such as
consumer, commercial operations, enterprise, etc., there is absolutely nothing
to stop you from sitting on one of those floors to complete your work. This can
be a great way to meeting people who work on different projects to improve your
understanding of what else is happening in the business.  Each employee is assigned a laptop and locker
to assist in this style. Ergonomic accessories, such as monitors, keyboards,
foot rests are also available if required.  

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For meetings, we have a variation of
options from, stand up desks, pods, to meeting rooms with full video
conferencing abilities. Each employee can access ‘Skype for Business’ which can
be used for meeting from your desk with the ability to see your attendees and
share your screen if required for presentations. This is very useful for us as
we deal with many stakeholders in a variety of international locations.

Our working environment can also be
considered quite flexible in the way that working from home is not normally an
issue. Also, we are not restricted to normal 9 to 5. If you need to come in
early and leave early it’s totally acceptable. You just have to be conscience
of this when planning meetings with other stakeholders.

 

 

Feelings

As children, we learn from the
actions and information passed from our parents. My father worked in the
financial industry so I used to see him leave at the same time each morning and
always return at the same time Monday to Friday. When I had the chance to visit
his office, I remember how each employee had their own desk with a desktop
computer and filing cabinets.  I can
still remember the day he came home giving out about how the company was
changing to an open-plan office so they took the door from his office (Appendix 1). This is how I was always expecting an office job
to be.

When I started in my current
organization it was as I have described above very different and I have to say,
I like it. I have friends who work in the banking sector and it would seem like
not much has changed from my father’s time. I don’t think it would suit me to
work in such a restrictive way.

 

Analysis

Workplaces are changing and there
is no doubt about it. Factors such as technology, organizational structure and
the human element are all having serious inputs to this change.

In a report titled “The Future
Workplace” published by UNUM, an international insurance provider, they called
out 4 key trends which will impact all organizations (Team, 2017)(Appendix 2). It discusses the collaborative workplace
where an open and honest social exchange is required between the employers and employs
to encourage loyalty and engagement. The ageless workforce highlights
the need for staff to be supported to have the physical and mental energy to
work as long as they want. The mindful workplace which is emphasizing
the importance of protecting the mental health of your employees and the intuitive
workforce which covers off the need to encompass the ever-growing level of
technology.

When we think of technology in
the changing work place we can describe it as a double-edged sword. On a
positive side, it is allowing us to reduce costs and wastage such as printing
paper, etc. With the development of broadband speeds in more rural areas, small
business which want to grow can do so without the requirement of moving to and
paying the rent in a larger city.  Cloud
computing is also expanding the range for businesses without incurring the
costs.

So, what could be the negative
side? For years we have seen movies about AI (artificial intelligence) causing
havoc on our world, but from an organizational point of view it could lead to
the reduction of the human work force. Earlier this year Forbes magazine discussed
it’s view on the sectors where the workforce may be hit by AI (Forbes.com, 2017). Transport with the driverless
vehicles, the rise of the automated warehouses and building maintenance were
all called out with a possible impact of a 25% to 75% reduction in the work
force.

Throughout all business studies
courses we have looked at the hierarchical structures of organizations as being
linear in style, but according to Cathy Benko a vice chairman at Deloitte the corporate
lattice model is more suited to the changing work place (DU Press, 2017). This new concept denotes the multidirectional,
adaptable and expansive nature of how successful organizations operate today.
Appendix 3 displays a visual representative of the old linear versus the
lattice structures of progression.

 

 

 

Conclusion

“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim
constantly focused on the future”. (Walt Disney)
The work environment is changing constantly and
if a business or its employees tries to ignore this fact they are most likely
deemed to fail. More importantly is the mind-set of the employees. People of a
more recent generation do not think the same as previous generations. The
understanding of how skills are becoming more transferable is allowing people
to move jobs or even hop between industries continuously. The power of
technology is breaking down barriers to geographical working opening a larger
sea of employment for individuals.

In an interview with a enterprise
manager she discussed how she had a rising star in her team. She figured that
she would offer him an account manager position which included a company car,
the freedom to meet clients out on the road, Etc. What shocked her was that
while he was happy to take the new position her had no intention of leaving the
office. Being a ‘generation Z millennial’ his logic was to use communication
technology to be a successful account manager without needing to waste time
travelling (Urban Dictionary, 2017).

 

 

 

 

Action
Plan

For individuals, it’s to not fear
change. Keep up-to-date to with work place practices through following the news
and industry journals.  Part time studies
can also keep the individual informed of changes in work practices or
methodologies while also adding to their subject base knowledge.  I’m currently in my third year of a degree
and while I plan to take a study year off after I finish the thoughts of what
post graduate course I wish to consider are always floating around my head. I
know that I won’t commit to anything until closer the time because as I’ve been
discussing change is more prevalent than ever.

The HR department of any business
also needs to keep this front and foremost in their recruitment. It can be said
that it is an employee’s choice compared to 20 years ago. Companies need to
attract the best workers. They need to display that they are current in their
work practices, technology and environment. We often hear about how the Googles
and Facebook offices are designed compared to the slightly more conservative
accountancy firms.  

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