Creating social glue for employees without a home
We’re very used to the idea of remote workers. But what about employees with nothing to be ‘remote’ from? The speed of the shift to mobile connectivity and devices is making the traditional office and corporate HQ - with all the associated capital costs and long commuting times - look outdated and inefficient. Advertisement In the US, for example, there are already estimated to be 100 million mobile workers.
For HR that means a very different environment and a shifting set of structures and relationships on which to base people management.
Where’s the glue that gives people a sense of shared experience, values and identity?
People can be very comfortable with IT and the pace of change, with working independently and intensively in high-speed. For many, especially younger generations who haven’t experienced more traditional working environments, a high-tech bubble can look ideal, effective and efficient. But for people who need to work with them it can be more of a problem. More focus and support will be needed on developing emotional intelligence, empathy and people management.
HR need to look to create particular roles where cohesion is an important part of their day-to-day responsibilities, who can work against the trends for reliance on IT, be thinking about what and how social activities can be used and make them happen.
They should play a part in monitoring IT use and setting out principles for what’s ‘healthy’ in and outside of work hours, and to give guidance on when face-to-face contact is needed. There’s a neat fit with the issue of our ageing population, with opportunities for the older members of the workforce can also make a significant difference.
More over 60s at work can play an important role in acting as coaches, mentors and the social glue for engaging and supporting younger people.
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