Introduction – what do employees want from a business?
In the fast changing modern workplace, employee expectations have changed significantly from 2020 and are likely to continue to change as we move into 2024. This article will consider how employee expectations and priorities have transformed and how organisations have altered their strategies in response. We’ll explore how flexibility has become a none negotiable for most employees, mental well-being has also been recognised alongside career development, diversity, and technological advancement. In this article we will explore the intricate balance between employee expectations and business success.
A retrospective lens – employee priorities in 2020
Cast your mind back to the volatile year of 2020, when the world was thrust into a sudden, unprecedented remote work experiment. Employee priorities during this time were shaped by the uncertainties of the pandemic. Employees were concerned about job security, health, and adaptability. The shift to remote work brought the need for flexibility and the ability to balance professional and personal lives in a confined space. On the other hand, employers were tasked with ensuring operational continuity while safeguarding the well-being of their workforce. But what do employees want from a business now?
Employee expectations in 2024 – What do employees want from a business?
Fast forward to 2024, and the landscape has evolved. Employees, having experienced the benefits and challenges of remote work, now seek a delicate balance of both worlds. The desire for a flexible work environment that caters to individual needs has become very important. In order attract and retain top talent, employers are now expected to consider employee expectations far more than they would have had to before the pandemic. But what do employees want from a business now and beyond?
- Flexibility and work dynamics
Flexibility has completely evolved from previously being a perk to now being a non-negotiable component of the modern workplace. The 9-to-5 office routine is no longer the norm, as employees yearn for autonomy over their work schedules. Hybrid work models, including blending remote and in-office work, have gained prominence in many businesses. In many cases, organisations embracing these models create an environment where employees can deliver results while enjoying a harmonious work-life balance. What could be better for all involved?
Although employees expect flexibility, it’s crucial to acknowledge the significance of in-person interactions in fostering collaboration and innovation. While remote work and hybrid models provide flexibility, they can sometimes fall short in replicating the spontaneous exchange of ideas and the development of strong interpersonal connections that often occur in face-to-face settings. In-office interactions can enhance team cohesion, creativity, and the exchange of knowledge that may be challenging to achieve through virtual channels. Business leaders are challenged with maintaining a balance between flexibility and regular in-person engagement, ensuring the best of both worlds for employees and the organisation as a whole and therefore have to be conscious of employee expectation management.
- Hybrid work model and robust infrastructure
The hybrid work model in most cases, seems to be a practical solution to providing the flexibility that employees crave while maintaining the benefits of in-person collaboration. Looking to the future, if they haven’t already, organisations would be wise to consider investing in robust remote work infrastructure, which allows a seamless transition between physical and virtual workspaces. This approach not only meets employer expectations but in many cases, also enhances the overall productivity of employees. Coworking spaces have become more popular and offer a cost-effective and flexible alternative to traditional offices, providing individuals and businesses with access to well-equipped workspaces, meeting rooms, and amenities without the burden of high overhead costs. Beyond the practical advantages, coworking spaces cultivate a dynamic community, fostering networking opportunities and collaboration among professionals from various industries. The shared environment promotes a professional atmosphere, heightened productivity, and a sense of community. Additionally, coworking spaces address the challenge of isolation for freelancers and remote workers, offering scalability for growing businesses and projecting a professional image to clients.
- Well-being and mental health
As well as flexibility, the spotlight on mental health and well-being has increased over the last few years, with employees recognising the impact of work on their employees health. Organisations are increasingly implementing well-being initiatives, acknowledging the link between a healthy workforce and heightened productivity. Flexible work arrangements, mental health days, and access to wellness programs have become fundamental components of employee benefit packages over the last few years.
- Career growth and development
Over the last few years, the traditional career ladder has transformed, with employees now seeking diverse experiences and continuous learning. The expectation is for organisations to invest in their employees professional development, offering mentorship programs and skill-building workshops as a way of employees advancing in their careers. Businesses that foster a culture of continuous learning and career growth are more likely to attract and keep top talent.
- Diversity and inclusivity
Diversity and inclusivity are no longer buzzwords as they might have been a few years ago, but requirements for businesses aiming to thrive in the future. Employee expectations include workplaces that celebrate differences, fostering an environment where all voices are heard and valued. Comprehensive well-being initiatives are now far more expected by the workforce in 2023, who demand services such as mental health support, fitness programs, and flexible work arrangements. Many businesses also recognise that by embracing wellbeing initiatives, they have a healthier, more engaged workforce. Businesses that champion employee well-being create an environment conducive to long-term success. Organisations committed to diversity and inclusivity have found the need to demonstrate their diversity and inclusion values not just through words, but through actionable policies and programs.
Embracing technological advancement is no longer optional. With the rise in flexible working, and employees working more frequently from home, organisations must proactively integrate cutting-edge technologies into their operations, ensuring that employees have the tools they need to thrive. From artificial intelligence to virtual reality, in 2023 and beyond, technology should be harnessed to enhance collaboration, streamline processes, and drive innovation.
Employer expectations in 2024 - How can employees go about meeting expectations
As employee expectations evolve, so do the expectations from employers. Meeting these expectations requires a cooperative relationship between both parties. We explore some of the things that employers expect from their employees in the modern workplace and beyond:
- Job performance and productivity:
In the modern workplace, employers expect employees to meet or exceed performance expectations, delivering high-quality work in a timely manner. This includes meeting deadlines, achieving goals, and consistently contributing to the success of the team and organisation.
- Proactive communication
Open and transparent communication is key to ensuring a successful employer-employee relationship. Employees are expected to communicate their needs, aspirations, and challenges effectively. In turn, organisations should establish channels for feedback, ensuring that the concerns of the workforce are acknowledged and addressed promptly.
- Adaptability and resilience
The dynamic nature of the modern workplace demands adaptability and resilience. Employers seek employees who can navigate change, learn quickly, and contribute to the organizational agility.
- Initiative in professional development
While organisations are committed to fostering career growth, employees in the modern work setting, are expected to take the initiative in their professional development. Proactively seeking learning opportunities, participating in training programs, and staying abreast of industry trends are essential for employees aiming to meet and exceed expectations and therefore progress in their career.
- Tech proficiency:
In today’s technology-driven environment, employers often expect a level of proficiency with relevant tools and technologies. This includes basic computer skills as well as familiarity with industry-specific software.
The journey from 2020 to 2024 has witnessed a complete transformation in employee expectations, reshaping the whole workplace. Organisations that recognise and adapt to these evolving expectations are far more likely to succeed in the current and future work landscape. By embracing flexibility, prioritising well-being, fostering career growth, championing diversity, and leveraging technology, businesses can create an environment where employees firstly want to work and secondly thrive which, in turn, drives the success of the organisation. The intricate balance between employee expectations and organisational strategies is the key to navigating the complexities of the modern workplace.
Join us at Bloxham Mill
If you’re interested in becoming part of a dynamic working environment, Bloxham Mill might just be the place for you. From flexible workspaces to collaborative opportunities and a supportive community. We have various membership options available at Bloxham Mill including serviced offices and monthly and day passes in our co-working space. Get in touch with our Commercial Director today to find out more – email@example.com.