In a pre-pandemic interview, co-working expert Michael Moonesinghe sat down with workplace transformation expert Parthajeet Sarma to discuss the future of work and the evolving dynamics of the workforce. As they delved into the conversation, it became clear that the workplace landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, driven primarily by the rise of the millennial and Generation Z workforce.
Moonesinghe expressed his concern about the impending shift, stating, “By the year 2025, my generation would have retired, and that 75% of the workforce will be millennials, Generation Z, or later. That’s quite scary. We can have a millennial with their finger on the button.” However, Sarma brought a lighthearted perspective, remarking that it might be less scary than the current situation.
Drawing from his background in human resources, Sarma recognized Moonesinghe as the right person to shed light on how people will work in the future. Moonsinghe shared insights on the current co-working landscape, emphasizing the need for people to enjoy working differently. He highlighted the changing expectations of the younger generation who prioritize work-life balance and pursue portfolio careers.
“The millennials and Generation Z have a different approach to work. They don’t want to be tied down to crazy hours or stay with one company for decades. They seek flexibility, social connections, and an environment where they can thrive,” Moonesinghe explained.
The conversation then turned to the impact of co-working spaces on work culture. Moonsinghe pointed out that co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular, providing a flexible environment for freelancers and independent workers. With technological advancements, many jobs can now be done remotely, making location-independent work a reality.
Sarma added that this shift also affects corporate real estate requirements. As more people work remotely or from co-working spaces, the need for traditional office spaces decreases. They discussed how even traditionally rigid industries like banking are adopting agile working practices, recognizing the benefits of a more efficient and flexible workforce.
The experts highlighted the importance of creating work environments where employees genuinely want to be. Sarma mentioned instances where companies embrace co-working spaces within their premises to foster innovation and collaboration. Moonsinghe emphasized that companies need to adapt and create workplaces that resonate with the millennial workforce, as they will soon dominate management positions.
“The smart companies are those that understand the changing aspirations of the younger workforce. They realize that attracting and retaining talent goes beyond salary and benefits. It’s about offering a lifestyle that aligns with their employees’ values and aspirations,” Moonesinghe explained.
Both experts agreed that understanding and catering to the evolving needs of employees is crucial. Sarma emphasized the significance of treating employees as customers, ensuring their voices are heard and creating an inclusive and productive work environment.
As the conversation came to a close, it became evident that the future of work lies in embracing change and adapting to new work styles. The rise of co-working spaces and the increasing preference for flexible work arrangements signal a fundamental shift in how people approach their careers. Companies that fail to recognize this shift and adapt their practices risk becoming outdated.
The experts concluded that the future belongs to those companies willing to embrace flexibility, innovation, and a holistic understanding of their employees’ needs. By doing so, they can create work environments that attract and retain top talent and foster productivity, thereby staying ahead in an ever-changing business landscape.