The modern workforce has undergone tremendous changes over the years, and one of the most crucial changes affects the employer-employee relationship. The relationship forms when the worker agrees to deliver the employer’s tasks in exchange for a monetary compensation. The employer has traditionally defined certain elements, like where to work, when to work, and how to get things done.
However, modern developments have phased out some notions of the employer-employee agreement designed in the 19th-century industrial revolution. Working conditions back then were extremely bad, mainly because the technology was underdeveloped and prone to breaking. Economic reasons were also to blame: business owners were not legally regulated and lacked the financial motivation to protect their workers.
As humanity advanced technologically and new employment models emerged, employers began realizing the need to also change the kinds of relationships they form with their workforce. The modern-day employee no longer follows what their peers in the 19th century did. Today’s employees talk more about work-life balance and the ability to complete assigned tasks from anywhere.
Here is a look at the various ways the traditional employer-employee relationship continues to change:
The 9 to 5 working model is a thing of the past
Most modern employees detest the 9 to 5 working model and believe that they should work when they feel the most productive.
The dislike for the 9 to 5 approach to working comes for a good reason. To start with, it destroys a person’s most important asset — time. There is no amount of monetary compensation you can give an individual to make up for their time. Remember that time is not a renewable resource.
Apart from forcing individuals to work when they are probably less productive, the 9 to 5 working model kills creativity. Due to the restricted time, employees are forced to constantly worry about how they will sort out other non-employment related personal work — e.g. a lot missed deliveries. It is hard to remain creative when you have so much to worry about.
Even if you have the best working conditions in your office, sometimes you may still have to give into remote working. Under certain circumstances, the problem is not your office; it lies in the commute.
A study by Hubble found that 79% of respondents preferred working from home (WFH) due to the lack of commute. A close examination of the rise in WFH signals a direct relationship between employee’s commute time and preference for working from home.
Employees appreciate the extra time and money that they get to save after avoiding commuting to work. In return, they show their appreciation through increased productivity and willingness to go out of their way to meet project deliverables. And don’t forget the other important impact — reduced pollution.
The modern employee cares less about dress codes and appreciates flexible dressing that does not negatively affect their productivity. In most cases, employees’ perception of office casual, business casual, or smart casual may not align with how you interpret it.
Organizations need to establish flexible dressing rules that let people feel at their best. Whether one has to occasionally come to the office or is working from home with the webcam turned on, their dressing must not be restrictive to a point where they can no longer give their best performance.
For a long time, employers have focused on the job-based model of compensation. Many businesses have used the model because of its simplicity and execution. However, what they fail to realize is the impact it has on their employees.
The job-based compensation model undoubtedly discourages employees in that they feel less valued, especially when they have more skills to offer.
Enter skill-based pay. With this approach, employees receive compensation as per the skills they offer and not just mere titles. These employees earn depending on the skills they can potentially deliver instead of the jobs they perform.
Skill-based pay encourages continued self-development and forms an essential part of Industry 4.0.
Companies are selling globally, and employees are keen to replicate this trend in their professional lives by also working internationally. Thanks to advancements in technology and access to remote working tools, you no longer need a flight out of your country and lengthy immigration process to work for a global company.
Since as freelance consultants do not face any legal restrictions on the number of jobs they can simultaneously hold, we note an increasing desire to work for more than one employer at a go. That makes a lot of sense, especially when the employers are looking to pay premium for outcomes and not for times spent in the office. As long as one position does not negatively impact the ability to deliver on the other, most employees would gladly accept the extra coin that comes with working multiple jobs.
Traditionally, employers often define the benefits to extend to their staff. However, that’s a thing of the past, and it’s about time to let employees choose the benefits extended to them. This kind of customization works for the good of both the employer and employee.
Permitting customization of benefits means employees get what they desire while employers only pay for what is required. For instance, instead of collectively paying for vision benefits, only those that wear glasses explore this benefit while others look into what applies to them.
Giving your employees the power to define their benefits translates to happier employees who would register higher productivity, decreased absenteeism, and low turnover. Additionally, it makes them feel valued in the workplace and gives clarity to your benefits plan.
Some of the employment laws that have been in place for more than 100 years are no longer fit for the modern workforce. For instance, governments need to rethink their approach to taxation to motivate the productivity and well-being of employees. A new report by IFS researchers established that the existing tax systems are not fit for purpose.
Today’s world is more diverse and more connected. It’s also less prejudiced. Modern workers appreciate their individuality and do not want to fit a standard cubicle. We believe that they are already breaking the mould and are forcing the employers and government to rethink the conventional wisdom. Companies like Uber, Lyft, Upwork, Fiverr and others have demonstrated that the world is your oyster, and there are limitless opportunities for those who are hungry for it.