HR Insights


10 Proven Ways to Build the Workplace of the Future

Posted by Gretchen Knurr on November 21, 2017

 The rise of technology and the digitization of many aspects of business have led to some dramatic changes in the workplace as we know it. As technology continues to progress, the workplace is an ever-changing environment. The future of the workplace is about the future of people. As we change – as we become increasingly dependent on mobile devices and as we work faster and become less tolerant of inefficient processes and technologies – we expect changes in the workplace. Start now to build the workplace of the future—one that is efficient, offers a flexible schedule, and is employee-centric.


Here are 10 Proven Ways to Build the Workplace of the Future:

 1. Give your employees a voice 

 Listening to your employees not only helps them to feel heard and understood, it helps you to know what they are looking for and make changes accordingly. There are many ways you can give your employees a voice, and one great way is by hosting informal focus groups where your employees can discuss the issues that mean the most to them. Your future planning has a greater chance of success when you have heard first from those whom the changes will affect.

 2. Give feedback quickly

 Whether you are responding to employee feedback or giving feedback to employees regarding their performance, do it quickly. If you wait too long to offer feedback, your employees may not see it as very important. If you want your feedback to be valued, provide it quickly. While it may seem counter-intuitive, giving constructive feedback can actually build trust, as it shows you care about the person’s growth and improvement and will be honest with them. All feedback is important and should be delivered in the right way, with an attitude that conveys care and value.

 3. Be transparent 

 Keep employees informed about the company happenings, the triumphs and the challenges. They will value your honesty. No one wants to work for a company that hides information or tries to keep them in the dark. Honesty builds trust. Tell employees what the company goals are. It helps inform employees’ sense of purpose as they can see how their work fits in the bigger picture and is moving the company towards achieving goals.

 4. Communicate company values

 What are the key values for your company? Do your employees know? Communicate what your company values are with your employees. When organizational values are clearly articulated and understood, it works as a form of accountability for both employees and for the organization. They can each hold the other to the values standard.


 5. Create a clear path for professional development

 With Millennials on track to comprise the majority of the workforce within a matter of a few years, it’s critical to establish a clear path for professional development. Utilize your employees’ unique skills and give them the chance to grow. Research suggests that most millennials would even take a pay cut to find work that matches their values, puts their skills to good use in a positive environment. The best employees are motivated and will work hard, especially when given a clear path to career promotion.

Promote employees’ personal development 

 Employees who are happy and fulfilled in their personal lives will be able to contribute more in their professional ones. Recognize your employees for their individual gifts and talents, and encourage them to pursue the things that will develop them personally. Your employees’ schedules should allow time for growth and development, both in personal and professional pursuits. Your organization should give employees access to training and certification programs and should encourage them to participate.

 7. Grant employees autonomy in their work

 Independence enables employees to be treated more like the adults they are—with less need for constant supervision. When employees are granted a greater level of autonomy in their work, they are freer to come up with innovative solutions and ideas. Morale will be higher as well when employees have the confidence to take initiative. Step back and see what your employees can do.

 8. Gather information

 Measure all the most important aspects of your company. Collect great data and analyze it to ascertain your organizational strengths and weaknesses. Use the data to assess your processes, how time is spent, or the level of knowledge on key company priorities. This is to ensure everything is working as it should, or you hope it is.


 9. Keep your technology updated

 People have access to updated technology in their personal lives, so why should the workplace be any different? Workplace technology should match the level of every day technology—it’s what people expect. Your top priority should be to keep the basics—devices and software—strong. Ensure the most frequently used devices such as desktops, laptops and smartphones are reliable and fit for purpose so employees can easily carry out their day-to-day tasks.

 10. Assist employees in establishing work-life balance

 Utilize your benefits, flexible schedule, or even your workspace to help employees achieve a healthy sense of work-life balance. No system will ever bring a perfect balance, but having flexibility helps employees to find the structure that works for them. Focus your technology and facility design on a single objective: creating a workplace that adapts to how people want to work. No one benefits from living life as a workaholic. Encourage your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance to ensure they do not become burned out.

 Prepare for a bright future in your workplace by taking good care of your employees and honestly evaluating your systems and values. The workplace of the future will be one that can anticipate trends and pivot quickly to take advantage of new ways of working. Are you ready for the workplace of the future? Think of one small step you can take today to head in that direction, and then take it.






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Gretchen Knurr

About The Author

Gretchen Knurr

After 5 years of working in higher education, Gretchen brings a fresh perspective to research-based content through freelance writing and editing. You can usually find her working in a coffee shop filled with natural light and easy access to a hot cappuccino. When she's not finding new insights into modern HR topics, she is probably hiking in the mountains of Colorado or re-watching The Office. 

Post Topics Benefits & Compensation, Employee Engagement