Things About Work That Have Changed In The Last Decade.
As 2023 approaches, it’s hard not to think about the last decade. As we adjust to the 2020s, it seems like a good time to look back at the first twenty years of the new millennium and examine how ways of working have changed.
Multiple surveys conducted by independent firms as well as academics, statistically significant responses have cited – technological advances, telecommuting, informal work environments, and dress codes as the most significant changes in the workplace in the last 10 years. Let’s take a look at what’s changed over the last decade and what you can expect today.
One significant change that has skyrocketed over the last couple of years is flexible working. From the introduction of new technologies and tools to the growing trend towards remote work, the modern office has adapted to employees’ changing needs and work styles. Additionally work hours have become more flexible as more employees work remotely, and outdated procedures like annual checks have become obsolete. We have also moved away from the traditional 9 to 5, Monday to Friday workweek. Today’s jobs see the benefits of telecommuting and flexible working that were out of the question 50 years ago. CEOs and HR leaders are now forced to work together to ensure that each employee’s work-life balance suits all possible job assignments, times, and life stages.
As the business environment changes, leaders must use technology and information to create a hybrid physical and digital workspace that encompasses how all employees work, not just those working full-time. Jobs evolved, became more diverse, and goals changed, along with a re-evaluation of work-life balance. The impact of technology on measuring productivity is changing the workplace culture. We can expect the post-pandemic workplace to be more suitable for distributed work and remote workers based on current trends.
Working with GenZ
A notable change in office culture is the influx of Gen Z workers into the workforce. Those born between 1946 and 1964 were baby boomers, a generation known for their strong work ethic, professional demeanor, commitment to work, and ability to work in higher positions.
Gen Z, unlike millennials, grew up in the age of smartphones and social media. They have never known a world without the internet, and they are aware of technological innovation. Working with Gen Z is drastically different than working with older generations because they bring rigor and passion and are extremely vocal in their disagreements.
Working with Gen Z (born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s) is said to be difficult, as they are hard to reach, and their thought process or approach to problems is very unconventional — but this isn’t the issue.
Earlier, it was often the case that the employees were older and more experienced than the managers. But, because of technology, today’s employees, including Gen Z, are more digitally savvy than their employers. So, when communicating with Gen Z, you need to find a common ground.
In the workplace, let’s say a meeting has to be set up, or a file has to be reviewed by multiple stakeholders; while most would get a print and meet people in person, a Gen Z employee might email it and expect everyone to respond within the hour. It’s these instantaneous expectations, in terms of response time and action to be taken, that presents an issue where tech and Gen Z meet.
Job roles for retired personnel as mentors, advisors, consultants, and trainers are increasingly becoming common in the corporate world. Especially to train and mentor GenZ. Retired personnel like you fulfil these roles, as most usually have the time, expertise, and energy to offer to organizations. You can offer a variety of skills to organizations, depending on your areas of expertise. These roles are a natural fit and can help you stay productive during their golden years.
Improved Corporate Culture
In the last year, virtually every company has focused on workplace culture. Many companies are so invested in improving engagement, recruiting, and retention that they’ve started to groom potential employees even before they start their jobs in the form of training programs that help build skill sets and prepare them for a job, or even an interview.
Many companies, now also include anti-discrimination laws in the employment contract which helps safeguard workers. Thus with a more global approach to hiring, senior folks, irrespective of age, race, etc., can also be approached by companies in India and abroad for advisory roles.
One of the biggest changes in office culture is de-hierarchization. While the pyramids of the hierarchy haven’t been broken, flat hierarchies are replacing them. A flat organization has an organizational structure with few or no levels of middle management between staff and executives.
This has opened up many doors and while that may seem unnatural to some, the benefits of training are definitively improving learning across age groups.
With the development of technology, office culture and communication methods have undergone tremendous changes. One of the most significant changes in the workplace has been the technical transformation into a wireless, paperless, and digital workplace.
Workload has been streamlined, and the level of effort put into daily duties has been reduced. Work engagement and productivity efforts have increased, focusing attention on more vital tasks like accuracy and inventiveness. Customer and employee expectations have also been altered by technology in the office, which keeps everyone linked at all times. Because of the advancement of digital technologies and automation, quicker results are demanded more than ever.
Some who have never worked with this kind of technology before might find it alien and difficult to adapt; HR teams have been very helpful in training and bringing all employees up to speed and making technology easier for them to use. Constant training and learning have now become commonplace occurrences with rapid changes in technology. Many companies have mandated hours of training that are needed to be followed.
Our occupations, compensation structures, recruiting and evaluation processes were all structured to keep retired generations out. Many businesses felt that older employees were “overcompensated” and that they could be “supplanted” with new graduates that were just as capable. “Younger individuals are smarter,” as CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and many others had explicitly said. The youth was idolized by the whole broadcast and publication sector. But now, things are changing.
The academic research on this topic suggests otherwise: Raw cerebral horsepower drops well beyond 30, but the biggest indicators of organizational outcomes — experience and knowledge — continue to rise for a while after 80 for the majority of the population.
The good news is companies are starting to realize this. And they are changing; for the better.