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Future of Work 2021

How to create an attractive workplace

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Vadym Pastukh

Mary Connaughton

Director, CIPD Ireland

While the pandemic has propelled much of the workforce into remote and hybrid working, other significant changes in the workplace have also been happening, including the role of technology and the strengthening of the employee voice.

The pace of technology adoption has escalated during the past two years. Pandemic safety measures and remote working have driven most companies to significantly increase the use of digital tools. This change has been most significant among the people profession. The CIPD People Profession Report 2021 UK and Ireland showed that digital and technological transformation is the top factor generating change.

Communications, meetings, wellbeing, recruitment, learning, office management all moved online, alongside so many operational processes and have laid the foundation for virtual working that is here to stay. 

Importance of employee voices

Uncertain times gave rise to an increase in employee consultation, surveys and online forums, which all served to strengthen the employee voice and influence. Employee empowerment has grown and employees now seek to have greater control over the way they work, as well as a strong connection to the purpose of their work.

Employees now seek to have greater control over the way they work, as well as a strong connection to the purpose of their work.

From our engagement with CIPD members, we know the “great resignation” is a reality today. Individuals are making decisions to work in a way that better reflects their life path. This trend towards personalisation of the employment relationship will continue, as employees construct their personal way of working, intertwined with their life. This pressure has led many employers to formalise hybrid working for the future.

Collaboration and innovation will increasingly be the focus of time spent physically together, as gaps emerged during the pandemic around these. Onsite meetings and team collaboration all have to be planned so the right people are on site together. Allowing time for social connection and the random encounters while walking around or grabbing a coffee will be increasing critical for embedding the culture and building innovation.

Tackling barriers and inequalities 

The pressure to build real inclusion will grow. We hear how frequently its importance is raised by applicants as they evaluate joining a company. Our CIPD HR Practices in Ireland 2021 research found 62% of organisations are working to create an inclusive culture, but more needs to be done. Inequalities and barriers to access remain too high and a growing number of employees are willing to call this out.Getting the balance between business and customer requirements and individual expectations takes a lot of consultation at team and individual level.

CIPD is the professional body for the people profession, with a mission to champion better working lives. Visit our website cipd.ie

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