Our response to COVID-19

Why businesses must adapt to their tech-savvy workforce

Posted on: 13th January 2023

Reading time:  6 mins

Why businesses must adapt to their tech-savvy workforceWhy businesses must adapt to their tech-savvy workforce

Digitally-native millennial and Gen-Z employees will make up over 70% of the workforce by the end of the decade. These tech-savvy employees need and expect companies to embrace emerging technologies to offer them a more flexible, connected, and frictionless way of working.

Businesses need to adapt to the needs of a younger and more tech-savvy workforce or risk losing outstanding employees and candidates to their competitors.

This is especially true of younger digital natives for whom new technology is not an encumbrance or even a novelty, but an absolute necessity. To this generation, technology is the key to unlocking a better way of working. One that affords them greater control over their work-life balance, health, and wellbeing.

In this digital age, employees have begun (quite understandably) to expect more from the companies they work for. A growing majority want to be able to work more flexibly and to share meaningful experiences with colleagues and managers no matter where they’re working, and they want access to the technologies and infrastructure to facilitate this.

Millennials set to dominate

Millennials are no longer the upstarts who have just entered the workforce. The youngest of them are in their late twenties and the eldest among them are in their early forties. With millennials now the most populous generation living today, they are set to dominate the workforce along with their even younger counterparts. Along with Gen-Z, they will form 72% of the global workforce by 2029.

Unless businesses start listening to what these generations expect from their employers, they risk alienating a rapidly growing proportion of the workforce. 

Better working through technology

Millennial and Gen-Z employees are conversant with new digital technologies that they use in both their working and personal lives. But familiarity is only part of the appeal. By facilitating hybrid working through its communication and collaboration tools, by extension, technology promises younger employees more freedom, flexibility and autonomy.

Specifically, the tech-enabled hybrid working lifestyle can make grinding city-centre commutes a thing of the past, allow for more meaningful employee experiences away from the company HQ, and even play a part in shortening the working week. Indeed, in the second half of 2022, a record-breaking 3,300 employees from 70 companies in the UK began to take part in the world’s biggest trial of a four-day working week. For Millennials and Gen-Z, this is no longer a worker’s pipedream.

Hybrid living empowers employees to build their work around their lives rather than the other way around. Tech-savvy employees know that this better way of working can only be facilitated by embracing technology.

The vast majority of workers are ready to embrace new technologies

Adapting to new technologies can be an intimidating prospect for businesses. Leaders may worry about friction, expense, or disruption to their operations when incorporating new digital tools into their infrastructure. Moreover, they may worry that the workforce will be resistant to the change inherent in adapting to new technologies.

There is evidence to suggest that a healthy majority of employees are primed to incorporate new technologies into their working lives. A new eLearning Industry survey of 1,200 workers demonstrates that:

  • 84% of workers would be happy to attend meetings in virtual conference rooms
  • 81% would use simulations to practise new tasks or job responsibilities
  • 80% are willing to complete training or learning programmes with virtual teachers or simulations

There is a demonstrable appetite among employees to work in more location-agnostic ways, learn new skills, and interact with colleagues differently, and they understand that technology is the key to unlocking these new working methodologies.

Could the metaverse take hybrid to the next level?

Hybrid working can facilitate meaningful interactions between employees, managers, and peers even when they are not sharing a physical space. Metaverse technology has the potential to take this to the next level.

Our own report into how the metaverse can boost the world of work revealed that 71% of business leaders felt that it could open up new opportunities, while 65% considered it the next evolutionary step in hybrid working.

What’s more, 65% of business leaders believe the metaverse will have a more transformative effect than any other videoconferencing technology. IWG’s CEO Mark Dixon describes the metaverse as “yet another nail in the coffin of the outdated nine-to-five concept of work”.

The metaverse uses virtual reality technology to game-changing effect, potentially transforming the way in which hybrid employees interact. Potential applications include:

  • Improved collaboration
  • 3D virtualisation of objects
  • Universal translation
  • Virtual drawing, mapping, and building
  • Simulated training and onboarding in virtual environments

 

Essential digital tools for elevating the employee experience

While the metaverse has some exciting applications for the future of hybrid working, it’s understandable that companies may not yet feel ready to incorporate it into their operations. There are, however, a number of extremely useful digital tools that companies can start adopting straight away. These can not only enhance the employee experience but help business leaders to get the most out of a hybrid workforce.

They include:

  • Time management tools like Harvest
  • Project management apps like Asana
  • File management platforms like Huddle
  • Messaging platforms like Jell for simplifying communications
  • Employee recognition and rewards programmes like Awesome Boss

 

Whether it’s a short term investment in vital software, or a long term strategy for incorporating innovation like the metaverse, it is clear that the onus is on businesses to keep pace with technology. A successful hybrid system requires it, and so do the tech-savvy employees making it all happen.

Regus facilities can help your business adapt to hybrid, and provide the high-performance digital infrastructure necessary to embrace the future of work. With 3,500 global locations you’re never far from a business-class facility. 

Topics in this article

RegusMagazine

Recent Articles


Keep up to date

Get news articles straight to your inbox.