The workplace is experiencing some of the fastest changes ever to take place, with today’s roles and working environments expected to be a world away from those of tomorrow. For HR departments, this represents a huge challenge that can only be met by keeping abreast of the changes.
A recent study by ADP addressed how workers across eight European countries felt about the changes that are taking place in today’s working environments. For HR staff, the report makes compelling reading and could help to shape employment strategies that rise to the demands of an adapting workforce.
One of the standout findings from this study of 10,000 workers is that 23%, or almost one in four participants, claim that outdated technology at work is a source of frustration. By not investing in the latest technology, businesses risk holding staff back in their work and productivity; in fact, this may even result in staff moving on to more technology-savvy companies.
One of the other key trends to emerge from the study was that more individuals are seeking flexibility in their careers, whether working freelance, opting for self-employment or being given the chance by employers to work more flexible hours. Despite 42% of respondents claiming to have flexible working hours, the same amount would like a more flexible workplace and lifestyle.
HR departments will need to address the issue of increased flexibility if they want to retain their staff; for example, investing in updated technology that allows staff to work from home or remote locations could be key to promote a more flexible workforce. It seems there is a long way to go, however, with just one-third of the respondents in the survey having access to a company laptop, which is a pivotal tool for providing a more flexible or remote working scenario.
Although companies that do not have the technology in-house are encouraging staff to bring in their own devices for use in the workplace, there are issues surrounding this arrangement. Will these devices encourage staff to be as efficient as possible, and do they possess the required security features?
The report also highlighted that nearly one-third of staff, or 31%, are not getting the career development they need, further adding to the frustration felt in the workplace. It is also bad news for employers, as just one-quarter of workers intend to stay put for the duration of their career. With the notion of a job for life confined to the past, HR staff need to ensure they are doing everything they can to enhance the career development of staff so that they are not tempted to leave.
Having the right tools and skills for the job is an essential element of career progression, with 41% of workers predicting they will need new technology and devices training in just 10 years’ time.
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