The work environment is changing constantly and companies face challenges to create the best possible workplace.
The increase of mobile technology makes our work life faster and blurs the line between home and work life. Our work day now starts when we sit at our breakfast table at home and doesn’t end once we have left the office.
Mobile technology also facilitates remote working. More than 60% (1) of organisations allow their staff to work away from the office. This brings new challenges for the office layout – how many individual workstations are required? Due to remote and mobile working as well as meetings and collaborative spaces, only 49% (2) of desks are in use at any time.
There are four different generations in the workplace with different working behaviour and attitudes and most of all different expectations towards their work environment.
With Baby Boomers slowly retiring, Generations X and Y are the majority of the workforce. This group is mobile, flexible, connected and very diverse. These working individuals are comfortable with technology and believe that success comes through team work. Especially generation Y who have high expectations towards the quality of their workspace. The Quality is now only second to salary when it comes to Job satisfaction (3).
There are some common goals for organisations: Increase flexibility, increase productivity and reduce costs – and of course do everything faster and more efficiently. This also has an impact on the workforce who have to cope with pressure, stress and often long working hours. Keeping the workforce productive, happy and healthy becomes another important goal.
Back problems due to poor posture and poorly set up workstations are still one of the most common reasons of absenteeism. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), almost 31 million days of work were lost in 2013 due to back, neck and muscle problems. Providing the workforce with ergonomically set up workstations and chairs as well as regular training on how to use equipment properly prevents back pain and other musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. It’s crucial to keep staff well supported and comfortable throughout the working day. A task that becomes more challenging with the rise of mobile working where workers are not only deskbound.
(1) Skype Living Workplace Survey 2011
(2) Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions
(3) Skype Living Workplace Survey 2011
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