Recent workplace trends suggest a major shift in the way companies handle talent. Here's how business owners are coping with the apparent workplace revolution.
The blended workforce: Over the past half-decade, the gig economy has gone from a minor movement to a significant trend. As it continues to flourish, companies are able to transcend geographic boundaries in their search for talent. At the same time, the gig economy has also created a more diverse workplace, where full-time staffers work alongside freelancers. According to surveys, 93 percent of businesses are already experiencing more blended workforces that include collaborations between on-site employees and remote contractors.
Managing without borders: The rise of the blended workforce has made life easier for business owners in many ways. At the same time, it has also complicated the management process. These days, managers have to utilize proactive strategies to ensure productivity and accountability among off-site contributors. From video conferencing to time-tracking software, more and more managers are leveraging technology to promote better communications and increased efficiency.
Continuous feedback: In place of annual performance reviews, many businesses are providing regular cycles of feedback, along with ongoing coaching and guidance. Much of this has involved opening up communication loops that allows for timely interactions between managers and employees. Regular feedback has also become essential for remote staffers who spend a lot of time working on their own. Whether it's the result of an open-door policy, routine one-on-one meetings or daily emails, continuous feedback helps on-site and remote employees meet shifting job demands.
Improving company cultures: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the average employee moves from one job to another every 4.6 years. What's more, a CareerBuilder workplace study showed that 76 percent of full-time, employed workers are either open to new job opportunities or actively searching for them. In response, more business owners are focusing on talent retention by developing positive office cultures. They are also attempting to foster employee satisfaction by offering flexible hours, remote work and greater leniency around work policies. At the same time, because so many companies have implemented flexible working environments, it can be a challenge to make remote workers feel like part of the team. Through regular communication, recognition and rewards, companies are able to make remote workers feel more a part of the company, even when they live on the other side of the world.
Investing in flexibility: According to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, in 2016, just over one in five employed Americans did some or all of their work from home. Surveys suggest that this number will climb sharply in the next couple of years. Much of this is a result of business owners recognizing that remote work can create a better work-life balance that promotes happier, more productive employees. At the same time, businesses are also discovering that they can save big when they add more flexibility to their workspaces: According to a report from Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs, employers can save over $11,000 a year by allowing a single worker to telecommute only half the time.