There’s a lot of talk in the world of workplace at the moment about the ‘new social contract’ that employers are forging with their employees. But what does it mean for you and your staff – and how do you get it right?
This new deal between companies and workers is the result of the dramatic changes wrought upon the way we work by the pandemic emergency. Working from home and hybrid working proved they could be effective when supported by the right workplace technology, and staff came to love the sense of control they represent.
Did you know: The Times newspaper reports that in a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, flexible and remote working opportunities were shown to be as important as salaries when it comes to recruitment.
But the new social contract is about more than flexibility in where we work – it extends to styles of management, too. Workplace leaders are being urged to manage with far more empathy towards their staff than they ever have before.
Gartner ® states: “HR leaders must create a new, human-centric model that is fit for the hybrid environment by designing work around employee-driven flexibility, intentional collaboration and empathy-based management.”*
Above all, the new social contract is dependent on two-way trust between workers and their employer.
Companies need to trust staff to do their work in an efficient manner when they are not sitting in the same room – and employees need to trust that their workplace leaders will provide the facilities they need even in the hybrid workplace to encourage effective collaboration, networking and the career satisfaction advancement they generate.
It means that responsible organisations are currently busy reviewing their corporate office space and questioning whether it is set up to meet working requirements today and for the future.
Because each individual workplace needs to create its own recipe for productive hybrid working success, it takes workspace management software to provide the reliable foundations for a workplace where trust can thrive.
Technology helps leaders build a trustworthy workplace in these ways:
- It captures utilization data that reveals when and how your workspace is actually being used, in real time detail. Analyzing this information enables the creation of flexibility, so a workplace can change to meet changing needs.
- Empathetic management can understand what its workers need from the space, and using those drivers, it make good planning decisions such as repurposing large meeting rooms into smaller ones if that is what’s needed.
- Scheduling technology creates a seamless employee experience for workers coming into the office, allowing them to locate and reserve the desks and meeting rooms they need quickly using an app – they have no uncertainty or stress about securing their space.
- The technology also encourages collaboration by making it easy (using the same app) to locate colleagues you need to work with, and book space near them.
- Organizing meetings even in multiple locations and combining in-room/virtual attendees becomes far more simple, with bookings and invitations handled by the meeting scheduling technology. This makes it easier to encourage inclusivity, a vital part of promoting workplace wellbeing and team building.
Today’s office spaces have evolved into collaboration, innovation and networking hubs where workers together come for specific purposes, not simply to be present.
Managers need to trust their staff to get on with work wherever they do it; workers need to believe their workplace is an inclusive and enabling place that makes it worth the effort to attend.
Because the thing about the new social contract is that it goes both ways – and it’s a win-win. Employers gain productivity, staff retention and quality recruitment; workers gain a good employee experience, job satisfaction and a healthy environment.
We all want to work somewhere we can trust and be trusted, whether we are in the room together or not. And when supported and underpinned by the right workspace management technology, the results of creating a trustworthy workplace are impressive.
* Gartner ®, 2021. “Redesigning Work for the Hybrid World: Opportunities for Knowledge Workers.”
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