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How does the future of work impact sustainability?

The future is now! Taking action towards sustainability can no longer be postponed. From individuals to organisations and governments, we all play a key role in assuming responsibility and igniting a positive change in the world.

The way we work has changed drastically in the last century as we transitioned from farming to factories and more recently to technology and services. Baby Boomers are being replaced in the workforce by Millennials and Generation Z. More workers are keen to seek purpose-driven decisions inside organizations and contribution in alignment with their values.

76% of millennials say that environmental ethics are a big or huge concern to them. 

Their attitudes towards organisations and employers are also heavily influenced by these beliefs: 68% of the respondents between 25-44 years old said they would be more likely to work for a company with strong environmental policy and they would “definitely, or possibly” turn down a job offer from a company with a bad environmental record.

Sustainability is meant to improve the quality of our lives by ethical decision-making that does  not compromise long term wellbeing and safety.

In order to have healthy communities, we need to take action towards social equity and preservation of natural resources. Creating and maintaining healthy and inclusive environments for the future generations is a strong desire driven by current crises.

The complex approach of sustainability includes technological, organizational, behavioural and ultimately cultural adaptation. In the recent analysis of the way businesses operate and workplaces evolve some major trends were identified:

Flexible Work-life

Work-life balance has become a priority for many workers and this coincides with the rise of telecommunication technologies generated by Covid-19 pandemics.

Offering flexible working environments might include:

  • Employee flexibility regarding location, time and commuting options
  • Emission reduction by offering work from home options
  • Offering autonomy and location independence in exchange to assuming responsibility to deliver on expectations
  • Shorter weeks that raise productivity and contribute to the reduction of travel

Digital Transformation

Technological capabilities are in an emergent growth. The internet of things, automation, AI, distributed workforces, all contribute to enabling new business models.

Technology is an important part that powers the transition towards a low-carbon economy and supports businesses in their operational endeavors.

Living Buildings

Due to Covid-19 pandemics indoor spaces needed redesigned to increase ventilation. Offering a close connection to nature helps improving productivity and through design the human experience can be refined. Upgrades in the building sector could hugely reduce carbon impacts, as more and more people work from home, offices need to become places of collaboration that are inspiring, smart and adaptable.

Conclusion 

The world is changing and we are in the midst of the change. As individuals we become more demanding to the organizations we work for regarding sustainability and flexibility. Remote

working has already become the new norm. The places we work from are also changing and transitioning towards a human centered experience. Digital advancement in technology is a huge part of the transformation, isn’t it exciting to be part of it?

Resources: https://www.unily.com/media/x5eljtve/unily-future-of-the-sustainable-workplace-guide.pdf

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