Here’s what I know: the times are a-changin’

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All organisations evolve, and the workplace is no different. Change is to be expected as technologies evolve and different generations come into the workforce. But I think it’s fair to say that in the last five years I’ve seen more change—and more rapid change— than in the entire fifty years I’ve been in business. And the pace is accelerating.

Technology creates new jobs

People’s roles at work have changed radically in the last ten years. We’ve always had this, of course... We don’t need lamplighters anymore, although they used to be employed on every street in every city. Now with technology and automation, many more jobs have disappeared. But conversely, there are hundreds of job titles that didn’t exist at all ten years ago including mobile app developers, social media managers, cloud services specialists, or Uber drivers.

Employee expectations

With these changes in technology, we see changing expectations from the workforce around working conditions more generally. Many employees spend part of their time working remotely, or wish to work flexibly thanks to the freedoms of new technologies. Office cultures, more broadly, are changing, with moves away from formal working environments to a focus on a more relaxed atmosphere. Staff wellbeing is becoming more central to a company’s culture with a belief that more concentration on the individual’s welfare improves productivity and reduces absenteeism.

Legal changes

Regulations and legislation are changing, too, with more and more onus on the employer to protect the employee and accommodate their individual needs and requirements. So there are pressures both from employees and legislators to make improvements and keep abreast of changes. As an employer, this can feel daunting, particularly if this new era of technology is not something you’re familiar or comfortable with.

Technology in the workplace

We look at two specific examples of the impact of technology in the world of work in this month’s In the Loop. One article examines whether employees should be allowed to wear headphones at work. Another looks at the use of WhatsApp groups within the workplace. Both of these issues wouldn’t have crossed anyone’s mind ten years ago. Today, if you handle them badly or aren’t aware of them, they could have serious implications for you as an employer.

Don’t struggle on your own

Peninsula is here to help you navigate this minefield. Whether it’s flexible working, remote or part-time working, WhatsApp groups, workplace conduct, or any issue around employment law and legislation, we can help. And when it comes to employee health and wellbeing, our Health Assured group offers all the advice and support you need. It may be a changing and evolving workplace, but you don’t need to deal with it all yourself. For employment law advice, call us on 0800 028 2420. Or, to talk about staff wellbeing in your workplace, call Health Assured on 0844 892 2493.

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