Growth is a part of the human process and necessary for our survival in future conditions, and the same goes for workplaces. For a workplace to grow and survive in the future, it will have to focus on the concept of transparency and the technologies that help achieve it. This transparency is the future of work and mainly concerns the carbon impact made by the company, the working conditions it offers, and what efforts the organisation makes to improve initiatives for DEI.
Transparency is the mantra that is shaping the future of work. Investors, employees, and even customers are demanding and expecting transparent and honest information from employers and brands. This information ranges from the company’s carbon impact to conditions at the office and how the organisation is ensuring an improvement in diversity at the workplace. In order to meet these demands, companies are ready to invest in technology that is specialised to provide solutions which allow them to monitor their progress and growth on these vital issues and be transparent with customers, employees and stakeholders alike.
Due to this, transparency and technology have become intertwined as organisations and employers explore new ways to determine, gauge and communicate the efforts they are making. Reduction in carbon emissions, healthier and happiness-inducing work environments and inclusivity are a top priority for organisations keeping in mind that a global pandemic and crisis of physical and mental health is still ongoing. In the coming years, transparency may be a driving factor in employee retainment and satisfaction.
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Future of work: Transparency about air quality
In the last few years, employees have developed an interest in knowing and understanding the environmental circumstances at the workplace. A recent study conducted by Honeywell showed that more than 3/4th of the workforce around the globe is very concerned about air quality and the impact that poor air conditions can have on human health. They seek more transparency and information about “indoor air quality” (IAQ) in their office buildings. The study also found that more than half of the employees are willing to quit work if their organisation does not take steps to maintain or build a healthy work environment indoors. Workers have stated that updates about office IAQ are infrequent, and they would instead prefer continuous updates.
The research suggests that the workforce is aware of IAQ and its impact on their health and well-being. There is also an expectation from employers to make more efforts in improving the indoor air quality and keeping the employees well informed. Disease transmission increases in poor IAQ conditions, and can also result in a decrease in cognitive function as well as productivity. Sick building syndrome may be quickly developed in such situations, leading to health conditions that are chronic and linked to the air quality in the building.
If companies start demonstrating efforts to build a healthy office environment, it will go a long way when trying to retain and attract employees. Companies must focus on upgrading the HVAC systems so that ventilation and filtration are improved, which will improve overall indoor air quality. IAQ sensors are now available that can monitor CO2 and IAQ levels and can detect pollutants that are present indoors. A variety of dashboards and applications are also on offer now so that employers can share information about air quality with stakeholders and employees so they can work at the office comfortably and confidently.
Transparency about carbon footprint of the company
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, popularly known as IPCC, published a report recently that showed how climate change has been causing widespread disruption, which is extremely dangerous to nature and the Earth’s population. This research has created a frenzy in the companies to ensure changes are made to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Transparency about carbon footprint is becoming essential when recruiting or retaining employees, especially with the growing public concern about greenhouse gas emissions and the role they play in climate change. Technology has played an essential role in aiding companies to reduce environmental impact and measure their efforts. Energy management systems (EMSs) are now being set up in most office buildings to reduce energy usage and improve efficiency with the help of sensors that can detect if a room in the office is empty. If a conference room, for example, is unoccupied, the EMS automatically turns off lights, draws curtains and makes adjustments to the thermostat. Technology solutions like this that help sustain energy provide companies with the ability to achieve carbon emission goals created by them and share progress about the same with stakeholders and employees.
GHG reporting is optional in many companies, but a company’s attitude about reporting it can impact how the bottom line looks. Companies that have not made the effort to inform or only bother about minimum reporting are being left behind in the market which is now exceptionally environmentally conscious. Corporate sustainability is the future of work and must be prioritised, while transparency should be the new mantra between employers and employees to ensure and prove that the organisation is taking essential steps to future-proof its success.
Future of work: Transparency about DEI
Companies that inculcate gender diversity, especially in executive teams, have a higher chance of experiencing profitability that is above average. Even with that information, very few companies include DEI as a measure when designing executive incentives. Transparency shown by the company about its efforts in maintaining DEI has become an essential factor when hiring employees.
A number of companies have begun using artificial intelligence and data to develop retention and recruitment activities so that an inclusive and diverse workplace can be built and improve ROI. The use of artificial intelligence can help avoid human bias when recruiting and develop equal opportunities for compensation as well as promotions. AI can also narrow down on warning signs that may cause long hiring processes and cycles, as well as spot wearing and burnout of employees while giving HR professionals the power to put together data about diversity and measure its progress towards the company’s DEI goals.
A robust program for DEI does not only offer more profitability, but it can also attract and retain a diverse workforce, improve company culture and ensure customers remain loyal. A diverse workforce also provides the opportunity for creative and new ideas, which is an incentive to the company making DEI vital for business growth and necessary for competing with other organisations.
Employers must now focus on exploring technologies that can help provide transparency and get more employees to return to the office after a long work-from-home situation. Informing employees about the air quality in their office, use of sustainable energy and technology measures to reduce carbon footprint, and hiring a diverse workforce will not just make an organisation transparent but also set it on a successful path to profitability and relevant as far as future of work is concerned.
Reference: The Future of Work will be Built on Transparency |Toolbox HR | Jason Clifford | May 23, 2022
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