Companies have started to establish new employment frameworks based on flexibility in conjunction with the new demands of the youngest workers.
The new labour culture is no longer anchored to spaces or places, and values such as talent, efficiency and results are more important than the on-site culture. New employees, young people with a different labor view, look for companies to adapt to their needs and balance their private and professional life.
Millennials and Generation Z members flee from the concept of “one job for all of my life, at the office, with my table, my chair and my PC”. They demand the opposite.
The youngest people need to evolve continuously at the same pace as society, in other words, very fast. So much so that, according to a study elaborated by the job portal Infojobs, in September alone 57% of Millennials have tried to change their jobs. Likewise, 1 out of 3 Spanish people are aiming to do so in the next months.
That’s why working is more than ever synonymous with dynamism, and companies must understand this if they want to have a way forward. They need to abandon factors such as predetermined work hours and labour spaces, and switch from the rigid model to a liquid one.
Ana Sarmiento, specialist in Millennial Strategy and Labor Diversity, refers to them as liquid companies for their capability of flowing, adapting the new needs and their open and flexible minds.
Banco Santander is one of the pioneering companies in introducing “flexiworking”
Sarmiento collaborates with the companies to help them integrate the new generations of workers into their teams. “For this generation, the work is not a goal itself, but a means. They don’t renounce their personal life to get a job”, she states.
Working is not a goal, but a means
As the companies have the mission of adapting to the new demands of the market, the youngest worker generations have an obligation to do it. It is a duty to be done by both sides.
“In a few years, these generations will make up 75% of the labor force. A millennial does not yearn for a permanent position for life. He/she is in constant movement and the accumulated frustration deteriorates the relationship with the company and triggers seeking new labour options”, Sarmiento said.
In this way, companies have already started to introduce the new culture of the so-called “flexiworking” (flexibility at work). Based on this, they have the goal of consolidating their teams and improving their efficiency.
However, according to a study published in the magazine “Forbes”, only 13% of the Spanish companies have launched it, so there is still a long way to go. “There are companies starting to capitalize on mobility based on technology to reduce costs of operation and square meters”, she explains.
Banco Santander is one of the pioneering companies in introducing “flexiworking”. The entity started this practice in 2015 and it lets every team choose different flexible options for every employee to manage his/her timetable and activity (if objectively possible) taking into account his/her needs. Also, it has redesigned its offices in order to boost teamwork thanks to new spaces.
“A millennial looks for a goal in his/her job, autonomy to do it and a collaborative environment to carry it out. They are profiles that don’t stay stagnate, they start new challenges and many companies have to try hard to keep them loyal”, Sarmiento said.
Flexibility, telework and digital disconnection
Banco Santander lets its employees balance their professional and personal life depending on the needs. Entry and departure time, regulation of vacation, rational use of mail and meetings, even defining his/her own space to work through the so-called telework.
Another key point on labour balance is the right to digital disconnection. Technological advances are a guarantee of social prosper, but within the work framework, employees are at risk of not being capable of disconnecting when they finish their working hours. Companies must promote measures to avoid this scenario.
As Sarmiento points out, new generations disown the bad working environment and look for balance and identify with the values of the companies. “Professional growth is very important for this generation, but they are not willing to sacrifice their personal life to achieve it. Companies that propose teleworking, share their balance policies or offer flexible hours will be the most attractive”, the expertise concludes.