The future of work

New generations want a different relationship to work

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The fourth industrial revolution is here. Since the arrival of digital tools in the workplace, the transformation of companies is unprecedented. Abolishing borders, reducing distances and speeding up time, digital technology has destabilized the entire organization of work. The new generations aspire to a new relationship to work woven on well-being. Well-being that would encourage innovation.
Open forum
 
DYesterday's efficiency and productivity are no longer sufficient and are being overshadowed by an urgent need to innovate in a context which is as flexible as it is hyper-competitive. In passing, the digital wave has also destabilized employees with its perverse effects: increased stress, burn out and bore out. Faced with this situation, the younger generation of graduates also have new expectations. The sacrifice of a personal life for the sake of a stressful career is no longer attractive. Less career-oriented, the 24-35 year old generation is looking for meaning. They aspire to build a new relationship to work that is woven around well-being. Well-being that encourages the innovation that is so desperately needed.

Participatory management

The first foundation of well-being in the workplace is the quality of management. In 2019, management that is too pyramidal no longer seems to be in tune with the new digital society of work. Nor does its managerial culture: at the top, those who think, at the bottom, those who execute.
 
For their part, employees are looking for a reduction in hierarchical weight. On the other hand, they are looking for a new form of local management: management that is accessible to employees and that would involve them more in the Group's decision-making and innovation processes, as well as management based on listening and freedom of expression and on values of transparency and mutual respect. This would be done in a very friendly environment where employees could ask any questions they might have to managers and executives. Indeed, according to a study by the DREES on well-being at work, 74 % of working people think that managerial policy plays a role in participatory innovation. For 20% of them, 20% believe that management is open to new ideas and dialogue.

The conduct of wellness

A rethought management would not be sufficient without the support of an internal policy focused on employee well-being. In recent years, digital technology has been able to abolish the boundaries between home and work. Just like the boundaries between private and professional life. As a result, the management of well-being involves restoring this balance by leaving the employee in control of his or her own schedule: flexible working hours or lunch breaks, shorter commuting times and teleworking. To confirm this, the study by theIfop for Lavazza in 2019, showed that teleworking is favoured by 83% of managers.
 
 After telework, daily attention is the most desired by employees for 44% of them. They include spaces dedicated to personal development (gym, siesta or massage rooms, video game areas) and can take other forms such as setting up crèches or homework help.

Unleashing innovation

This well-being management coupled with respectful management creates the right conditions for innovation in an ecosystem of competitive companies. Innovation only emerges in a benevolent framework set up upstream and which will give the employee the right to express new ideas, to experiment by himself, to adopt new agile methods or to take up technical challenges without fear of hierarchical faux-pas.
 
Finally, innovation is not just a solitary enterprise. It must be a collaborative process, offering dedicated spaces for employees. This is in order to share everyone's knowledge, facilitate cooperation and decompartmentalize the usual operating methods.
 
Corporate well-being is essential because it provides a framework for innovation. It creates a virtuous and productive circle. Welfare policy does not only have beneficial effects at the level of the individual employee. It satisfies all employees, builds their loyalty, involves them and engages them. And in the long term, it satisfies customers and therefore promotes... growth.
 
Maud LorantDirector of Recruitment, IIC Group
 
Header image Photo by Zénaïde Gaboriau and Alice Leblanc 'Bureau', winner of the contest. EXPLORE OUTSIDE THE BOX on the theme of the future of work, organized by the French Institute of Design.
 

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