Featured image by Pressmaster
Work and the workplace itself have gone through a massive transformation in the last half century. It’s interesting to look at these things and see how far we’ve come.
Cubes and Hierarchies in the Workplace
Just a few years ago, many employees worked in cubicles. Only the higher ups could enjoy a corner office and some privacy.
It was fine to have a drink or two in the workplace—and even to smoke a cigarette around your colleagues.
But women’s opinions weren’t as respected then as they are today. And unless you were a manager, your input about the next presentation wasn’t important.
Collaboration and Cooperation
Today, everything about working and the workplace has changed, including the layout and design of the workplace itself.
RELATED ARTICLE: RECRUIT TOP TALENT WITH GROOVY OFFICE DESIGN
Collaboration is a top priority in most organizations. Everyone has a say on a project. You can correct your boss and not get fired.
But drinking and smoking at work are now frowned upon. And certain top positions are held by women.
Technology and the Internet in the Workplace
If there’s one key thing that has drastically changed both working and the workplace, it would have to be technology. Because of technology, millions of people today work from their homes. And if they’re not working in their homes, they could be be anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection.
In short, we can work anywhere we like, and the entire world has become our workplace.
What’s more, we are more connected now than ever before. This allows us to perform in mere minutes tasks that formerly would have taken us days to complete.
However, these advancements have their own caveats. The main one among them is that so many of us become easily distracted.
Errors at Work and Accidents in the Workplace
This opens employees up to more errors in their work, including accidents in the workplace.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that slips and falls in the workplace are all too common. Nor is it any wonder that employees are frequently involved in car accidents in company vehicles. Often, this is because they put too much of their attention on their smart device.
Thankfully, there’s workers’ compensation. It’s not new. In fact, it’s been around the workplace since the 1960’s. Right now, it’s mandatory for every workplace in the US to provide this benefit to their employees. This helps to create a workplace that’s safe for employees to work in.
This type of compensation is particularly important in industries where physical movement is important. These include maintenance, manufacturing, carpentry, restaurant service jobs, supermarkets, and so on.
Perks for Workers and Productivity in the Workplace
In the last decade, companies have learned that employees are more productive and invested in the organization’s interests if their needs are being properly met in the workplace. We’re not just talking about health insurance and workers’ compensation here.
Along with the Silicon Valley boom, there have been a growing number of startups that provide unusual perks in their workplaces for the people who work for them. For example, some feature yoga rooms, onsite haircuts, volleyball courts, free massages, and even free alcohol!
In a way, it feels like work and the workplace have reverted to the ’60s again—but not quite.
Employers offer these extras to foster employee productivity. They have learned that when employees are happy and are given sufficient breaks and perks, they perform better at work. In fact, they often come up with highly creative ideas that benefit their employers.
RELATED ARTICLE: CREATING AN EMPOWERING WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT
Work and Meaning in the Workplace
Perks notwithstanding, many workers, especially the younger ones, don’t want to work just to pay the bills. They want to work at jobs that are meaningful to them in workplaces where they feel appreciated and challenged.
Some even say they’ll take a lower salary if it means being able to work at a job and in a workplace they feel passionate about.
Niches and the Gig Economy
These transformations have led us to the gig economy, where everyone chooses their own work and their own workplace.
Moreover, everyone works in different niches, including unique ones. Along with the work-from-home movement, people are freelancing, too. They might be writing, creating graphic designs, printing t-shirts, articulating voice-overs, walking pets, driving for other people, or performing household tasks.
Just two decades ago, working in these ways, in all these different sorts of workplaces, simply wasn’t possible. But because of technology, people have access to more possibilities than they ever had before.
Moreover, if you’re smart about it, you can work anywhere you like and make anyplace your workplace. You might even find your way to creating passive income.
Working in an Evolving Workplace
Yes, some jobs will become obsolete. But at the same time, technology will open up more opportunities for everyone as our ways of working continue to evolve.
If you’d like to work in an evolving workplace, you will need to continuously update yourself. Otherwise, you’ll soon be left behind.