Since the coronavirus restrictions, we are working remotely more regularly than ever before. As a company, you have probably purchased the necessary equipment and (cloud) solutions to make this work in practice. But the Modern Workplace demands more than that. It requires, for example, different (collaborative) work agreements and new ways of managing employees. And how do you sustain a sense of belonging? In short, how do you deal with it and what kind of company do you want to be? 

That’s what this blog series about the Modern Workplace is all about. Because working from home, working remotely or working off-site (pick your favourite name) is what more of us have been doing more often over the last two years. And it looks set to continue. Figures from the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) show that working from home is now twice as common as it was before the coronavirus pandemic.

And there’s another factor at work. The latest figures from the CBS show that the labour market tightened in the first quarter of 2022: from 106 vacancies per 100 unemployed to 133 vacancies per 100 unemployed.

As an employer, you need to keep up with the times to retain your people and attract new talent. Obviously, a good salary is still important, but the other working terms and conditions will be what make you stand out. In particular, freedom of choice, work-life balance and the working environment are the most important. Digital natives (born post-1981), for example, have different expectations of working conditions. 94% of that group don’t want to go to the office full-time, according to research by software company Citrix. We are also seeing this trend increasingly among earlier generations.

Digital nomads and workcations

Working remotely offers you opportunities to attract and retain staff, as working hours and locations become flexible. What about a workcation? These are ideal for employees who would love to travel more than their vacation days allow. They can therefore do some of their work while abroad. You could even go a step further, with digital nomads who work abroad almost all the time.

Thanks to the technical facilities for remote working, as a company you are no longer restricted by geographical limits. Someone with talent on the other side of the country, or on the other side of the world, is now also a potentially valuable employee. The pond where you fish for talent just got a whole lot bigger.

HR and IT need to work together

A vision of the modern workplace demands more intensive collaboration between the HR and IT departments. On the one hand, it’s an HR issue, because the modern workplace means you have to define a new way of working, with codes of conduct and agreements that, obviously, support where you want to go as a company. This new way of working is different from the way we have been used to working in recent decades, and it can sometimes be challenging.

One of the challenges is to create and maintain a company culture and team spirit. Sometimes the work that an employee delivers from home may not be up to scratch, with the result they are called back in to work in the office for a few days. This usually has a negative effect, as an employee will see it as a vote of no confidence.

Our experience is that given the right knowledge and tools to manage remote teams, virtually any employee can perform well remotely. And maybe even better than when in the office (full-time), simply because they are happier.

Your company’s success will depend on the quality and enthusiasm with which employees do their jobs. You achieve this by having the right equipment and applications, as well as good collaboration agreements, to allow each employee to focus on their work feeling fully relaxed and supported.  In this blog series, we will talk about the Modern Workplace, including the following topics:

1. How to ensure a seamless connection between employee and workplace
2. What do you need for a good link between home and the office?
3. Make sure your digital workplace is a safe workplace
4. A carefree successful workplace