The new world at work

Individuals need to feel trusted and empowered – and that demands a radical rethink of working models.

As our workforces expand to include Generation Z business models must evolve to accommodate our younger generations unique preferences and expectations. Within the workplace they want to feel motivated and empowered to make a difference, unconstrained by current organisational structures. ACS understands that if businesses are to attract the top talent, leaders need to incorporate the kinds of working practices that younger generations have come to expect.

ACS and You Gov teamed up to gain an insight into agile working practices to provide us with insightful advice that can help your business adapt to the new wave of workers entering the market by focusing on four major areas within the workplace.

Flexible Working

We already know the modern work paradigm has shifted; sitting at a desk in an office from 9 to 5 is no longer the default, and the rise of flexible working is gaining more attention. Flexible working is no longer just a special condition afforded to a minority of people in work with three-fifths or 60% of companies offering their employees flexitime.

Essentially, it’s offering a way of working that suits the needs of employees of all kinds. This could mean for example starting and leaving the office earlier or working from home a few days a week. Flexible working has a profound knock-on effect on recruitment, with over 75% of candidates considering flexible hours as important when considering new job.

Employers who are open-minded about their approach to flexible working going forward can make a powerful difference to their ability to attract the best talent, with many new hires won and lost over this very issue. There is a push towards respecting the work-life balance across society at large and those companies that push back, risk losing out on some of the best and brightest. This is especially true regarding working parents and Millennials for whom workplace culture, of which this plays a part, is often more important than traditional status indicators, like salary.

Where we Work

Choosing the right location matters if you want to attract the right skills at the right price. If you are looking for particular skillsets, some locations are potentially more suitable than others due to related industries in that area, unemployment rates or competitors.

When we asked questions about “where we work” there was a lukewarm response with many even splits across people and which camp they sit in. Therefore, suggesting that work environment comes down to personal preference, for example whether someone is a town mouse or country mouse is not a trend but down to personality.


Before you can develop your high performing teams, you first must bring the right people together and building that dream team does not happen overnight. Finding and attracting the right people, for the right roles takes time, energy and effort. In many industries, the top talent is always highly sought after, making it ever harder for businesses to not only attract the best talent but also retain it.

Of the surveyed respondents, only 10% of workers feel highly valued and a third don’t feel valued at all. With the average respondent having between seven or eight jobs in their lifetime, it is clear more can be done to keep the talent that is worth keeping.


Technology has certainly been a catalyst for innovation across all aspects of business, from the emergence of Word processing applications to modern video calling and collaboration software that enables those halfway across the world to work together instantly. As the less tech-savvy generations move into retirement, those that have grown up in a digital world are uniquely positioned to provide the feedback required to evolve the next wave of business focused tech.

Business must do more however with 29% of respondents advised that they are dissatisfied with their technology in the workplace. Primarily the subject of data protection and privacy was the source of most frustration though poor hardware devices, mobiles and laptops respectively, also featuring in the top three “pain” points. New technological advancements like collaborative tools and 5G may help technology satisfaction levels but businesses will have to take a hard look at their own data protection and security practices to address the major concern.

There is a clear correlation between workplace satisfaction and employee engagement. Those who have control over their work experience, as well as their physical workplace, are the most engaged and productive. Of course, salary is still important, but what these findings have shone a light on is that staff consider the wider work-experience as an important factor in choosing a job, rather than simply finding the highest salary.

22% of workers said they were not satisfied with their workplace, which is a considerable percentage and should prompt leaders to consider what can be done to enrich their staff’s work experience and in so doing, could well find their new-found satisfaction improve productivity across the business.

The statistics and insights included are a select few of the many included in ACS’s full Agile Working Report.

To request a copy call 01604 704000, email or visit today