Growing need for a flexible workplace creates fresh challenges for employers

Many businesses are misaligned with their people, with nearly half of employees not understanding their company’s strategic objectives, according to new research published by The Ludic Group, which claims that the changing nature of workforces and the growing need for a flexible workplace are creating fresh challenges for communication, collaboration and engagement. The research suggests that the impact of technology is causing digital chaos, with businesses struggling to get the communications balance right. With the number of channels and tools increasing almost half of people (44 percent) want to hear more from employers. Perhaps surprisingly, one in five (20 percent) individuals said that their firm has not used any tools or techniques to communicate with them. This lack of communication results in people being disconnected from the business strategy, with only half of individuals (50 percent) reported fully aligned with their company’s objectives and 44 percent not knowing or understanding what these are. Alongside this, people increasingly want to design their own working experience and expect more flexibility from their employers.

Nearly half (44 percent) of individuals would like to work from home regularly, while 6 percent want to hot desk and almost a quarter want to keep their own desk at work. Almost a fifth are not offered opportunities for flexible working at all. This is a significant shift in where people choose to work and how people identify with what work is. However, unsatisfactory levels of engagement have been reported with less than two-fifths, 37 percent, of individuals highly engaged and one in twenty, 4 percent actually feeling disengaged and 23 percent, don’t think their company makes a concerted effort to engage them whether onsite or working remotely.

“This report highlights the fundamental changes that need to be put in place for organisations to succeed in the digitally enabled working environment,” said Paul Ashcroft, co-founder and partner, the Ludic Group. “Organisations need to create a supportive environment for flexible working and invest in providing this flexibility in the ways the employee of the future has already come to expect. The traditional model of going to a fixed daily place of work is rapidly changing. Work is taking place online, wherever people may be. The best organisations will ensure continuity and effectiveness of work no matter where people are located.”

In this new digitally enabled workplace, personalised learning and development at scale are paramount for successful businesses. The study reveals that one in 10 individuals don’t receive personal development at work, rising to 25 percent of people at small businesses. The provision of development programmes increases with business size across all learning delivery methods, except for in-person training where it drops after 250-1000 people. A further challenge for organisations is that for training to be more effective it needs to be personalised to the individual and 26 percent of people in the UK reported that training is not personalised enough for their needs.

The report, which surveyed over 5,000 employed adults across the UK, explores the main trends identified: Digital chaos, Tribal workforce, Mass Personalisation, Intergeneration game and provides key recommendations in light of the findings.

“In today’s hyper-connected world, change is the new norm,” said Garrick Jones, co-founder and partner, The Ludic Group. “The opportunities presented by this new reality are immense, for those in the position to grasp them. Global organisations cannot afford to be complacent. To survive and thrive in the future, they must shift away from traditional ways of working with their entire ecosystem of customers, partners, suppliers and people into more agile, technology enabled businesses.

“While many are ready to accept that large-scale transformation is the way forward, they are still struggling with fixed programme plans that do not enable them to keep momentum and rapidly scale up,” he continued. “We hope that the findings will turn up the volume on the programmes organisations need to put in place to keep up with digital transformation, and engage and enable their people in shaping their successful futures.”

Access the full report, ‘Reimagining the workplace of the future’