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Change is the only constant - which is why we're witnessing an evolution in the professional behavior and preferences of the workforce in several industries. This article gets to the root of the 'why' behind this paradigm shift in the global work culture.

We are entering the 'Age of Aquarius'. This means the population as a whole will go through a new, and prolonged stage of 'individuality'. 

Before, we worked primarily as a community, but that is changing. From the products we buy to the content we consume online, things are already getting tweaked to fit our niche needs. There was a point in time when a single product fit to the needs of the masses, but now with a higher purchasing power, and reinvented lifestyles, people are seeking more in all aspects of life and work isn't an exception!

So, what are the new concepts and practices that are stepping into the work culture worldwide? Let's find out. 

1) Individualism

More than a decade ago, the corporate world carried a set of rules and regulations which had to be strictly followed. Most of it used to function like a football team, where each employee had a specific number of responsibilities, stern duties, and a boss who has an ultimate say in it. In such a set-up, the employees put effort and aim to aid the overall success of the team. But with the appearance of individualism in the corporate space, things are taking a turn. Employees, by intending to fulfill their personal goals, are indirectly catering to and empowering the entire organization. 

Individualism upholds the rights, beliefs, and responsibilities of each person. It bestows the employees with the liberty to find their own ways to meet the deliverables. There is no room for micro-management or scrutinous eyes here!

In the online world, the algorithm is being altered according to our individualistic behavior patterns online. You might have come across ads and video recommendations on various platforms which are exactly what you were looking for. Why is this happening? Why are companies focusing not on collectivism but rather taking a different road?

It is happening because companies are aware of the shift that is taking place in our personalities as a whole, and this shift can be noticed also in the office-space and working atmospheres of different industries. 

People often assume that such freedom at work leads to a disorganized, and messy atmosphere without a proper focus point, but the truth is that the promotion of individuality in workplaces boosts creativity, leads to better collaborations, personalizations, and high-performance level. 

2) Decline In The 9-5 Pattern

Ever wondered about why 60% of millennials are quitting their jobs in less than 3 years? Long gone are the days when people used to stick to their respective companies for almost half of their lives. 87% of companies are reporting a loss of $15,000 or $25,000 with the loss of each employee. 

The 9-5 structure isn't working out well anymore. According to the Millenial Branding report, 45% of millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay. The money doesn't matter when it comes to personal freedom. It's important for workers nowadays to have a balanced life, and to do that, they require flexibility. 

The productivity and output depend on the employee's happiness, and to make them happy, companies are coming up with new working structures in which the employees can choose the hours that they work. They aren't tied to a fixed schedule but do need to keep up with the tasks, in their own time. 

This is why we're witnessing a hike in the gig and temporary form of working. The 9-5 structure doesn't fit all personalities, some people have their respective space and pace to do things, which often results in high efficiency. There's a burnout epidemic now, as more and more people are getting frustrated because of the stern structure at their workplaces. 

 3) Off-site working

Human beings are questioning and challenging the current ways of working. We have stuck to one form of working since the 1800s, behind a desk, routinely, Monday to Friday, and even Saturdays aren't spared in some companies. 

The problem with on-site working is that it is now being exploited and technology has stretched the workdays. It was found by a Gallup study that full-time workers in the U.S work 50 hours per week on average instead of 47-hours like they're supposed to. People have started to stay at the office overnight, on weekends and sometimes they work even on vacations. And they don't get compensated for the extra effort and hours that they put in. 

Off-site work, on the other hand, permits employees to work in their comfort zones, and it sort of helps them to control their work and not let work control them. 

4) Goodbye, Hierarchy

Research indicates that flat structures reap more success. The presence of a clear hierarchy often creates conflict as employees tend to turn on each other when there's an external threat. 

Lindred Greer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business believes that effective teamwork against issues does not need hierarchy but egalitarianism, which means that the power isn't consolidated in one place, it isn't centralized. It is a culture in which all the voices count, irrespective of experience, or age. 

We can see transparency and equality being practiced by most start-ups or young organizations, that's because they realize that the presence of hierarchy will only hinder the workflow, creative process, and create a lot of unhealthy competition that would eventually add up to the lack of productivity. 

When the atmosphere is open and communication is easy to carry out, employees don't tip-toe around in their workplaces and they are more vocal about their distress, likes dislikes, opinions, and beliefs. 

In a nutshell...

Understanding your employees and giving them a non-toxic environment will help them bloom and become the best version of themselves. Some of the trends mentioned above are already mainstream, whereas, the others are still on their way to become so. But this fresh work culture will take care of a lot of inter-personal struggles that churn up within organizations, and perhaps it will design an evolved, self-reliant and stronger workforce.

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