Adjusting our relationship to Work
If you haven’t seen HP’s new Work Relationship Index, go read it. Now. It’s a massive survey of over 15,000 knowledge workers, IT decision-makers, and business leaders across 12 countries. The primary conclusion is a tad bleak: “The world’s relationship with work is unhealthy.”
It is not without hope.
Many of HP’s six core drivers that fuel a healthy relationship to work are challenges employers have faced for decades. Here’s the list:
- Fulfillment: Purpose, meaning and empowerment at work
- Leadership: Empathy and emotional connection from those in charge
- People-centricity: Decision-making with people at the heart
- Skills: Confidence-building by tapping into the enthusiasm employees have for learning new skills
- Tools: The right technology to drive employee engagement
- Workspace: Flexibility and trust in where employees work, enabled by seamless transitions
These are hardly new challenges in the workplace.
That’s not a fault of HP’s study. And let’s be clear: the study does an extraordinary job of breaking down attitudes towards work across a dozen countries and the primary generations currently in the workplace, from Gen-Z through the Boomers. Example: “93% of Gen Z and 89% of Millennial knowledge workers” were willing to take a salary cut for a better work environment, with Gen-Z willing to take close to a 20% cut to work when they want and a bit less to work where they want.
Note: the healthiest relationships to work are found in emerging economies.
And before you start bagging on the Gen Z folks that ‘don’t want to work,’ try on the idea that 66% of all knowledge workers would take a pay cut “to work somewhere with emotionally intelligent leadership.” That’s a strong sign that the leadership at many companies might need to make meaningful changes, especially if they plan on retaining younger employees.
There’s a wealth of knowledge and ideas packed into this report. From an AV perspective, once you’ve taken away the leadership ideas (or found some cold comfort in knowing that you are very much not alone with your frustrations in the office), the look at tools employees use should be the most helpful section. Tools are defined as “the right technology to drive employee engagement.
Very few folks working in AV will be surprised to hear that 70% of the knowledge workers surveyed said, “it’s important to have access to technology that allows everybody to be seen and heard regardless of where they are.” Or that 72% want “an organization that provides technology and tools based on employee needs and feedback.”
Fortunately, the entire AV industry, hardware and software, is bending towards making it easier to hear and see every person in a conference room.
The latest machine learning and AI built into conference room systems can put every face at the table up on a screen like you’re looking at a high school yearbook. All the group facing toward remote users instead of the classic side view/back of the heads/tiny person at the end of the conference room that defines most single camera PTZ systems today.
Most of us would like our organization to be standardized on a quality headset with mics that consistently pick up the user’s voice. If a remote worker always has issues being heard, it’s frustrating for them – and – everyone else in the meeting. It wastes a tremendous amount of time. Cheap gear is a false commodity.
Can AV ‘healthy up’ our relationship to work? It can certainly help. If you haven’t seen it, definitely take a look at HP’s new Work Relationship Index, and make sure you download the full report. It’s free; you don’t even have to provide an email address. And hurry, we’ve got a lot of work to do.