Sustaining culture and collaboration with a flexible workforce
Consistent disruptions and changes to work have meant that today’s workforce is more dispersed than ever, with a significant portion of employees working adopting flexible working schemes many business leaders see advantages behind these new strategies, but how does this affect employee engagement? Do they feel valued? Empowered? Listened to? According to Workplace’s research revealed today, while 86% of employees feel connected to their direct co-workers, only 14% feel connected to their business.
As the workplace advances gradually more companies have decided to take a flexible working or a hot desking approach to their workforce and although this has proven to provide a plethora of benefits, these studies have showcased that there needs to be more efforts made for employees to communicate and collaborate.
“Collaboration tools are vital in connecting the unconnected and ensuring everyone has a voice. There is a serious communications failure between managers and frontline workers which is inhibiting innovation and creativity. Some workers may be deskless, but they should not be voiceless.” said Karandeep Anand, Vice President, Workplace by Facebook.
With these new advances into the world of work many leaders feel as if this new culture is heavily benefitting their workforce. With 83% of managers confidently ensuring that they are giving all of their employees a voice within their business however when asked the same question, only 46% of employees felt like they had a voice.
These findings demonstrate the importance of companies heavily fixating their strategies over strong collaboration and powerful inclusive culture. “Nurturing an inclusive culture is all about removing barriers and empowering a speak-up culture that unlocks ideas and amplifies the passion, commitment, and understanding of employees regardless of role, location, language, or otherwise.” Said Alun Metford, Head of Global Internal Communications, AstraZeneca.
Flexible working without advanced communication skills can limit employees from speaking out and communicating well with their peers and managers, as only 22% of employees said their ideas made up a substantial portion of a conversation with their bosses, worse still 17% said that they never speak with their further senior management team. This showcases the utmost importance of these new tools.
“Organizations should consider a comprehensive approach to workplace collaboration that enables and engages 100% of the workforce. These workers, who in many cases interact directly with customers, play a critical organizational role that directly impacts productivity and customer experience. Therefore, frontline workers must be more fully incorporated into the distributed work environment and viewed as a key component of integrating workflows at ‘the edge.” said Raul Castanon-Martinez, Workplace Collaboration and Communication Senior Analyst at 451 Research.
The world of work is constantly changing and flexible working is a key perk in demand as according to AXA PPP healthcare one of the ultimate benefits workplaces can offer to their employees is flexible working. This new way of working can help sustain both financial and mental wellbeing as well as increase productivity and retention. Though if companies choose this approach, then collaboration and communication are ever-more important to maintaining and improving workplace culture as this becomes much more of a challenge to maintain this if employees are constantly remote.
“In the past, businesses have worried that remote working could lead to disengaged employees and reduced productivity. Thanks to modern technology however, working remotely is now just as effective as working in the office. With, smartphones, integrated applications and cloud-based document storing, employees working remotely are at no disadvantage. Live Video has the power to bring the human factor to collaboration between colleagues, customers and prospects so that employees can continue to build strong relationships regardless of whether they’re in the office, at a coffee shop, or at home.” said Debbie Murray, VP People, BlueJeans.
There is an increasing demand for flexible working for companies all shapes and sizes, and if employers can offer these benefits alongside maintaining a strong collaboration and culture base, this could be the key to securing and maintain the right talent.