The Future of Work: Employees Want to Work Their Own Way

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three men sitting while using laptops and watching man beside whiteboard

In this series about the future of work, we’ve talked about how employees want to work smarter through the use of chatbots that can personalize responses (like “What’s my schedule next week?”) and work in the modern cloud  to learn about an opportunity to pick up an open shift. There’s one more piece to this future of work series and it has to do with everyday interactions. Because when it comes to communication, employees want to “work their own way”.

So, what does it mean for employees to “work their own way”? It starts with giving employees excellent tools – like technology – that’s able to help them get the work done. Honestly, on some level, that’s the easy part. Then, it means for management to trust employees and get out of the way so they can get the job done. I believe that’s the hard part.

The Future of Work

Organizations that allow employees to “work their own way” aren’t promoting workplace anarchy. They’re still responsible for setting expectations, providing training, coaching performance, and giving employees timely information. The purpose of allowing employees to “work their own way” is to help employees make their work lives easier and more productive using modern technology tools. Because if organizations can make the day-to-day stuff employees have to do less cumbersome, then employees can focus on the real work. You know, the big goals that are going to keep the organization competitive. Which is work employees want to spend their time on and what the business ultimately wants. Here are a couple of practical examples:

Example #1: Allow employees to access work-related information where they already spend a lot of time.

During a future of work presentation at KronosWorks, I heard that by the year 2020, 25% of internet users will be mobile only. Mobile is no longer a nice to have. It’s a need to have business strategy. And what do people do on their mobile devices? Check Facebook.

Workplace by Facebook allows organizations to send messages like company announcements, recognition, learning/training, etc. through an employee’s newsfeed. It also gives employees the ability to collaborate in terms of sharing content, conducting polls and surveys, and participate in work chats.

Workforce Dimensions from Kronos can be accessed from within Workplace by Facebook. This partnership allows employees to work their own way by picking up extra shifts, requesting time off through a chatbot, or making a shift trade all within the business version of the social network that they use regularly. No more using multiple apps to coordinate schedules and collaborate on projects. Kronos has a similar partnership with Microsoft Teams, another popular enterprise collaboration platform.

Example #2: Allowing employees immediate access to earned wages

Did you know that 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck?  According to a survey from BankRate, 29% of Americans have more credit card debt than they do emergency savings.

You can see where I’m going with this one. I’ve read all the same reports you have that money isn’t a primary motivator, and that might very well be true. But money still matters. And somedays, money matters a lot – when a family member has to go to the emergency room or when the ‘good’ car needs repair. Even what may seem like a good situation on the surface, like the opportunity to pick up an extra shift at a time-and-a-half pay rate, can be stressful if there isn’t enough cash tucked away to pay for a sitter for a few hours. Workforce Dimensions has partnered with several organizations like Even, Branch, FinFit, PayActiv, SalaryFinance, WageStream, and Hastee that provide financial wellness and earned wage access, meaning that employees can work their own way can get paid on the same day […]

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