One of the biggest impacts of the rise of all of these digital tools is that it has opened up so many options for when and how we work. We encourage anyone that we work with to look at those interactions might look like 5 years and 10 years out, and to resist the temptation to design a MIT SL SLOAN MANA AN MANAGEMEN GEMENT REVIEW T REVIEW SOCIAL BUSINESS Copyright © Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015. All rights reserved. Reprint #56425
workspace that supports “right now,” because we know that these changes are continuing. One of the findings of our research here was that a surprisingly high number of employees want to work for digitally mature companies, and a surprisingly high number of employees are dissatisfied with their current organization’s response to digital technologies. Does that result surprise you? That finding isn’t really surprising to me; it resonates with some of what we know from our own research. Today’s workforce, and in particular Millennials and the generations that are early in their careers, are interested in having choice and control over when and how they work. They tend to see great value in working for organizations that provide them with a variety of workplace settings, and tools that support different types of work: individual or collaborative, really focused intense work or more social interactions and casual work, and even the opportunity to work in a variety of different postures throughout the day. That could even be, in some places, working outdoors on a company campus. It could include work that happens in the office, but also at home, or in a coffee shop outside of traditional timeframes. Employers who can accommodate this new way of working are finding it easier to attract and to retain digital-savvy employees. How is technology changing the way people behave in the workplace? Employees and people in general are no longer tethered by technology to a specific place. You don’t need to be at your desk with your computer. This has given people much more license to create their own workday and to utilize a series of physical spaces and environments to access different people, to go out and find what they need at the moment they need it, to create the right kind of work experience. At the same time, as we’ve all gotten up and moved, it’s made it increasingly hard for us to make the social connections with one another that are still a big part of how work happens. We will often put ourselves through an experience to gain further understanding, and this was no exception. Our former corporate cafeteria was in a basement level. It was dark and not a very inviting place. People would often go grab lunch and take it back to their workplace because they didn’t want to be in the cafeteria.
- Fall '15
- Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan Management Review, MIT Sloan Management Review