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The previous blog just scraped the surface in terms of the benefits and facilities provided at modern-day workplaces. In this article, let’s dive in to some of the other benefits employees gain from working in a modern workplace.

Modern workplaces have adopted a more work-friendly atmosphere when compared to traditional office spaces. A friendly atmosphere at the workplace can boost the creativity and productivity of the employee, resulting in the overall growth of the organisation. These include the option for employees to engage in recreational activity sessions, team outings, and even bring pets into the workplace and much more. Let’s have an in-depth look at some of them:

Growth opportunities

Creative differences are bound to happen at workplaces. However, the way they are dealt with is seeing a massive transformation. Many workplaces have adopted an all-inclusive environment. Organizations are no longer restricted to the hierarchy culture anymore. Employees working at any level have the freedom to share their opinions and ideas freely with their seniors. Communication is becoming a two-way thing, as it should be. This inclusive communication provides massive growth opportunities for individuals and businesses alike. Employees can fearlessly pitch ideas for new products or suggest changes in the workplace environment. Junior employees are no longer restricted to working strictly as per the orders of their seniors. This can result in tremendous growth, especially for new employees, as they can freely explore their creativity and bring in new work methods that can benefit the organisation as a whole.

Equal opportunities for all

Today, equal opportunities are provided to employees at workplaces irrespective of their gender, caste, colour, or sexual identity and preferences. This includes equal wages determined solely on the basis of the talent, potential, and skills of the employees. Incentives and appraisals are also determined by the same criteria. Impartial rules and guidelines are adopted so that every employee is treated fairly by the organisation. An excellent example of this is the introduction of paternity leaves to would-be fathers or new fathers. Earlier, such leaves were only restricted to expecting women in the form of maternity leaves. Such a shift in policies shows a broad-minded approach by modern workplaces.

Workplaces are becoming more open to hiring people from the LGBTQ community. The stigma and dogma attached to the people from these communities are fading away, and workplaces are truly encapsulating an ‘all-inclusive’ environment.

Networking opportunities

Organisations are providing ample networking opportunities to their employees to increase their bonding with co-workers. Short office trips and team lunches are encouraged by employers so that co-workers can get a better understanding of each other on a personal level. This can help increase the productivity of the team overall as employees have a better understanding of each other’s personalities after interacting with each other on such occasions. Thus, work priority and schedule can be discussed and adjusted according to the convenience of the team members easily without friction between team members or hampering the required output. Weekly activities are also gaining prominence at workplaces. These include short, fun games held at workplaces on weekends to provide a relaxing atmosphere and increase interaction between employees. Workplaces are no longer restricted to only work activities but are increasingly becoming a great source for expanding our social circle.

Having pets at workplaces

Work can get stressful sometimes, which can lead to frustration, and this can reduce the productivity of the employee. Thus, many workplaces are allowing employees to bring their pets along to the office. Interaction with pets has shown to reduce cortisol, a stress-related hormone, and also reduce blood pressure. Employees can de-stress and cheer up their mood by interacting with their pets during breaks or during a stressed work period. This ensures that employees can focus on their work and have improved concentration after having a short break with their pets. Thus, pets can serve as a distraction, but in a positive way at workplaces.

Pets can also serve as a means to increase social connections in the workplace. Colleagues can strike a conversation over a pet animal. Introverts or new employees can easily get comfortable talking to other employees by starting a conversation over a pet. Plus, the added benefit of bringing your pet to your office is that you no longer need to leave your loved animal at home alone and can keep him company throughout the day.

So, what does an average employee ask from their workplace? A place where he happily reports every day, where his talent and professionalism are respected. Where his voice his heard and needs are considered. And this is exactly what workplaces are transforming into.

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word, ‘workplace’? Usually, claustrophobic cubicles or outdated buildings are what are recalled when you think about typical workplaces. However, these definitions are changing, slowly but surely. With the latest wave of entrepreneurship, many businesses are being established and run by people in their mid-twenties and early thirties. This new generation is ditching the old, disengaging, unimaginative, and uncreative workplaces with new vibrant, fun, and creative ones. Some are even resorting to open workplaces, a concept that is literally breaking the walls and adopting an outdoor environment for working. Workplaces are being upgraded with the latest tech, providing employees flexible working hours, access to fitness and health centers, and much more. All these features are in complete contrast to what employees were used to, say, maybe even five or ten years ago. Let’s take a look at a few of the offerings of the modern-day workplace that helps improve the employees' productivity:

Tech infrastructure

Most of our work today depends on computers and internet devices. Workplaces are upgrading to the latest tech gadgets and infrastructure. These include the latest computers, high-speed internet connections, and the latest software. These devices have become a necessity for employees, especially for people involved in creative work, such as graphic designers and video editors. A lot of the time can be saved by using computing systems that can complete the required operations quickly. The initial investment for the hardware may seem high, but it can significantly improve the productivity of the employees, thereby proving cost-effective in the long run. Saving, say, even ten minutes, per employee, per project, can accumulate over a period of time and result in significant time savings for the organization. And the latest hardware and software can help save much more time than that.

Internet speeds, too, have increased while the costs have seen a decrease in recent years. A lot more work can be done if the employees depend upon the internet for their work with a high-speed internet connection. As with the upgrade to the latest hardware, an increase in the internet speed may seem insignificant on a daily basis. However, the results are visible when you calculate the benefits over a substantial period of time.

Another advantage of upgrading your workplace with the latest tech is providing employees with the option of remote working. Employees can be in touch with co-workers over the internet, attend meetings over video calls without physically being present at the workplace. Employees can maintain a healthy personal-professional life balance due to the availability of advanced technologies.

Health and wellness facilities

Workplaces are no longer restricted to only work activities. Employers are providing health and wellness center facilities to maintain the physical and mental health of the employees. Employee wellness programs have been introduced at modern workplaces, and both employers and employees are reaping their benefits alike. Major companies such as Google and Samsung have provided an on-campus gym facility for employees to de-stress and work-out. Yoga and meditation sessions, too, are conducted at many modern workplaces to take care of the mental health of the employees.

Fitness is not only restricted to the gym but also includes diet. Hence, workplaces have started providing nutritious meals to their employees. A dietician is appointed to prepare a daily meal chart for the employees, ensuring that all their nutritional needs are met in a healthy way. Thus, the overall health and wellbeing of the employees are being looked after by employers. Employees no longer need costly gym subscriptions and spend hours at the gym after work as their fitness needs can be seamlessly integrated at the workplace itself.

Flexible working hours

Gone are the days of the standard 9-5 jobs we were accustomed to. Employees are being provided with the option to work according to a time schedule as per their convenience. At the end of the day, its the work that is being evaluated instead of the working hours spent at the office. Work from home or ‘remote working’ is another concept that’s gaining mass popularity. Employees can avail work-from-home options without having to utilize their leaves, be at the comfort of their homes, and still fulfill their work commitments in case they have some minuscule task at home. Thus, employees can easily manage their personal and professional responsibilities in a convenient manner.

Workplaces and work cultures are changing, undoubtedly for the better. They are adapting more according to the needs of the employees. The benefits of a modern workplace are too vast to be summarized in one blog. The continuation of this blog talks about other benefits like shuttle services, paternity leaves, bringing pets to the office, and growth and networking opportunities that these workplaces offer.

Technology has strongly helped to overcome the communication gap earlier faced by companies. People are connected with each other and can collaborate even from the comforts of their homes. ‘Work from home’ is becoming popular among professionals as it can prove to be more productive than working on site. People can save time lost in traveling to and from the office and also better manage their personal lives in a work-from-home situation. This, as such, maybe good for organizations as well as individual employees for balancing their flexible personal needs and work requirements. However, it can prove counterproductive in certain situations. Long periods of remote working can hamper the career development of the employees. Virtual teamwork can’t guarantee the productivity levels achieved at on-site collaboration in certain situations. Thus, organizations need to balance the option of remote working and onsite collaboration. Let’s have a look at certain perks and downsides of remote working and onsite collaboration.

Time management

Indians, on average, spend 2 hours per day commuting for work. Commutes are often displeasing, tiring, and can cause stress and irritation. This may ultimately result in lower concentration and productivity levels at the workplace. With the option of remote working, employees can not only save the time lost in commute but also have a cheerful mood. Employees can get more work done with remote working as workers are usually less productive in the last hour or so at the office. They are usually concerned about returning home and can have low concentration levels at the end of the day.

However, employers cannot simply allow certain employees to work remotely where others might have to travel to the office space. Such policies can create friction among certain co-workers. Employees should look for workspaces as close to their homes as possible or make use of public transport as they usually tend to be faster, economical as well as a better option environmentally. With better time management, employees can better manage their personal as well as professional lives. Employees can give their best output at the workplace with a well balanced time schedule. Businesses can, therefore, have maximum productivity from each employee.

Productivity

As mentioned above, remote working can help with time management and can result in higher productivity of individual employees. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate to the overall increase in the productivity of the team or the organization in general. Projects usually require collaboration between different team members and the non-availability of certain employees on-site can slow down the completion of the project. Technology such as video conferencing has made it easy to conduct meetings, however, it can’t replace the physical presence of the individual in a discussion or a meeting.

Remote working has fewer distractions than onsite working, however, in certain situations, there might be disturbances like background sound or the presence of family members. This can prove to be an irritating distraction during important discussion sessions. Employees should, therefore, refrain from remote working in case of important discussions or meetings scheduled with team members at the workplace or search for a quiet workplace. Employers, too, should grant employees the option of remote working only when the employee is in absolute necessity.

Teamwork and social connections

Organizations are built upon the co-operation and harmonious teamwork of employees. On-site working helps employees better co-operate with each other and get an understanding of coworkers’ personalities. Teams can get a better understanding of coworkers' behaviors, thinking, strengths, and work ethics if employees work together in an office space. This ultimately helps in improving work productivity and proves beneficial to the organization.

Remote working can cause hindrances in understanding the behavior and personality of co-workers and result in friction among team members. Organizations should organize events and activities for engagement boosting among employees that allow workers can get to know each other better. With a better understanding of each other’s personalities and needs, employees can work harmoniously and, thus, hugely benefiting your organization.

Increased talent pool

With the option of remote working, employers can hire people from any part of the country or the world based on their talent. Thus, the organization is not limited to a talent pool of nearby employees. This can help increase the productivity of the organizations as they can find and hire employees according to their specific requirements. However, managing schedules can become cumbersome with remote employees. A monthly schedule should be planned in advance to avoid any miscommunications, in case of such employees.

The decision to allow employees to work remotely or onsite should be decided by considering the needs and requirements of the employees as well as the organization. Remote working and onsite collaboration both have their benefits, as well as cons. A mutual understanding should be reached between the parties involved to maximize productivity while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.