*Originally published on CommercialIntegrator.com
Workforce trends expert Rick Grimaldi outlines trends AV business leaders should understand to be better at relating to their employees.
Workplace trends expert Rick Grimaldi, the author of “FLEX: A Leader’s Guide to Staying Nimble and Mastering Transformative Change in the American Workplace,” recently highlighted office trends that are changing corporate life—and not just because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sure, business leaders must increase their focuses on workplace safety because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the rapid evolution of AV and IT technology also plays a major role in how things are changing across the cubicle farms.
Flexibility that allows for work-life integration is another area Grimaldi says has taken on increased importance these days. Gone are the days when most employers have rigid rules about when and how employees work.
“Work from home can improve employee productivity, creativity and morale…(but) there’s no substitute for face-to-face interactions and we’re starting to see burnout from those who have been working from home for the past year and don’t know when to close their laptops for the night,” said Grimaldi.
“Organizations must weigh the trade-offs between what’s good for the company and what’s good for the worker,” he said.
Workplace Trends for AVTweeps to Embrace
Grimaldi expects to see more multi-generational companies as leaders embrace both younger and older employees who can bring value to their businesses and boost their bottom lines.
“The most recent census revealed there are 38 million baby boomers, 57 million millennials (Gen Y) and 53 million Gen Xers,” said Grimaldi. “Soon, we will add in the 65 million Gen Zers. Youngsters far outnumber the oldsters at work.
“But at the same time, boomers are still hanging on to their place in the workforce. This is a good thing. The most productive and high-performing companies include a nice mix of employees of all age ranges, older employees included,” he said.
“A blend of different ages means you get more diverse perspectives and a synergy that gives you a competitive edge,” says Grimaldi. “Younger workers can come up with different ideas and may push for meaningful social and environmental change. But older employees bring a wealth of experience, insight, stability, and soft skills that younger people may not have developed yet.”
Grimaldi also urges business leaders to take a zero-tolerance stance against sexual harassment, speak out on social and environmental issues, promoting psychological safety and connectedness along with diversity, equity and inclusion and bringing employee mental health issues more to the forefront.
“Your ability to flex is what will make your business successful in the future,” said Grimaldi. “Disrupt yourself now by letting go of what’s out and embracing the trends that make our modern work environment more productive, more inclusive, and more profitable.”
It’s up to the individual business leader which of these trends should take priority at their companies but Grimaldi sees all of them as important to understand and embrace as the workplace continues to evolve and adapt in a world rocked by the pandemic for more than a year.
Showing you can related to your employees and understand their needs is more important than ever at a time when more people are coming back to the office, either part-time or full-time, as vaccination numbers continue to increase.