Unlock new possibilities and expand your skillset with Eduta’s free courses.

HomeWorkplaceWhat is workplace?
What is Workplace

What is workplace?

Loading

The workplace is the beating heart of industries, where ideas meet reality, goals meet their realization, ambitions are pursued and dreams are built. It is beyond merely a physical space but a hub of creativity, culture, and collaboration.

Traditionally, the workplace contains merely an ornate hall, aesthetically developed walls, and elegant spaces for workers. It serves as a place for doing work and rendering services required by an organization.

However, global dynamics in the corporate sector have been evolving since the Industrial Revolution. Pervasive changes and altercations have evolved over time, like everything else, pertaining to the workplace. It is no longer merely a building containing gadgets inside it.

Certainly, the workplace contains pleasing and orderly well-shaped areas in the 21st century amidst the colossal transformation of technology, but the concept of the workplace in this quarter of the 21st century is exceptionally altered.

Now, the workplace is a place where organizations shape ideas, share thoughts, and bring cohorts for the attainment of those ideas and goals for an organization. Now, a workplace is a technology-driven place that inert the ideas, debates, and discussions are carried out and innovations are initiated.

Thus, the workplace is a place where organizations achieve their ends through the means of workers’ collaboration and cooperation. It is a place where employees are valued. Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors aptly argues that the workplace is an environment that fosters an omen of speaking for employees where their ideas are valued.

Greatly, the global COVID-19 pandemic shifted the axis of the workplace and its essentials; it impacted the workplace to an extent that brought the work to what is now called as new normal. From office buildings to online and hybrid existence of workplace have been the nomenclature of the workplace among professionals nowadays. Ergo, this perusal aims to present the workplace, its historical evolution, and post-pandemic workplace essentials. It will also discuss how companies thrive using these modes differently.

However, it is required to note that there are three main types of workplaces. A traditional workplace with an office in the building and equipment necessary for performing tasks. Secondly, coworking spaces are digitally driven, and thirdly, it is remote or hybrid which are purely modern forms of workplaces.

Historical Shifts in Work Environments

The workplace has evolved profoundly- from the monotonous, rigid, and stringent place of yesterday to the dynamic, flexible, and technologically driven workplace of today. The monotonous nature of the workplace and pulpable division between management and employees at the workplace were the core concepts of old-age workplaces.

After the Industrial Revolution, Charles Dickens described the workplace as cogs in a machine aptly described in the article explaining the details of workplaces during and after the Industrial Revolution. Charles Dickens analyzed centuries-old workplaces mere an antagonizing tool that utilized humans for the process of production and manufacturing.

There was an acute dearth of humane characteristics in a work environment at the workplace.  The aesthetic stock yet belligerent portrayal of pictures present the old-century nature of the workplace where people had to work more in groups but relied on individual agony of tasks to be performed.

In the mid-19th century, machines were developed, infrastructure built, and human was inculcated with skills. This brought the need for yet another ambiance of the workplace. It incepted a well-structured and disciplined workplace where employees and workers attended the workplace and escaped after performing their tasks. It was a raw form of what actually developed in the early 20th and 21st centuries.

However, there was a drastic revolution in the workplace and its environment after prominent scientist Maslow introduced his famous Hierarchy of Needs Theory. After the inception of this theory, there was an impressive consideration of a well-structured workplace with rules of games for workers at the workplace.

The workers were supposed to be the catalyst of achieving goals for organisations and welfare was made as motivation against their significant contribution. Additionally, welfare workplaces emerged owing to the scourging needs of organizations for a skilled labor force. The skilled workers were considered as the cells of the organizations.

Strategically, the workplace transformed during the start of the 20th century and mid-21st century.  This happened due to the incessant flow of globalization. The globalization of markets increased the needs and demands of consumers that eventually paved the way for restructuring the workplace environments, obviously, empowering the workers and structuring the workplace as per the needs of modern times.

Limited access to technology was a core characteristic of the workplace during this time.  However, it is noteworthy that millennials have started the concept of the modern form of workplace. Millennials of the 1980s and 1990s worked structurally at workplaces and conceptualized that the workplace is an effective place to work in an organization.

This eventually empowered and increased the grace of workers.  Workplace during the generation millennials brought significant contributions as discussed by Nocerino citing that the modern form of workplace is refined and reshaped from the workplace adapted and developed in the early 1980s and 1990s.

However, as it is believed that globalization is an irreversible process, so is the workplace. The workplace has shifted, reorganized, restructured, and evolved over time, but it never stood stagnant or nonproductive. This refers to the fact that adaptability is core for the successful realization of goals by organizations and corporate companies across the globe.

The perennial and persistent phase of the 21st century has changed the contours of the workplace and its distinctions. Characteristics of the workplace are more obvious and goal-oriented. The workplace in today’s time is structurally efficient compared to past experiences. The evolution of the workplace to its current form is dynamic, result-oriented, and technological-driven. Workplaces are now considered an abode of ideas, learning, coworking, and efficiency. Moreover, the smart workplace is a term coherently linked with a modern workplace where workers are more prone to rely on technology and tend to be socially responsible gentry.

The modern-day workplace is driven by millennials and Generation Z which holds the contours and efficiency of the workplace to its core. A dynamic and evolved workplace is more than just a building having cozy desks and gadgets rather it is a smart and well-structured system of employee and management interaction. Communication, efficiency, smart working, and tech-oriented results are now a form of workplace.  It has now turned comparatively more flexible than that rigid in old times.

This form of workplace has taken yet another shape, the post-pandemic workplace. This evolution has effectively altered the concept of a decades-old workplace that had only a few gadgets and workers to finish specific tasks. However, the workplace is the hub of idea sharing, debates, and discussions. It is a place of learning and delivering. Training and tutorials are carried out for employees for their efficiency. This evolution is only a characteristic of today’s workplace.

What are the characteristics of an efficient workplace?

Technologically-adapted workplace:

An effective and efficient workplace is a space where employees are more effective and efficient in their roles and responsibilities. Technology has become an inevitable adaptive tool that is needed by every organization in the modern-day organizational requirements. This factor carries yet another focus of the skilled labor force. When technology emerges, it is the skilled labor force that gets the benefit of the developments.  Therefore, it can be argued that the technologically adapted workplace is inexorable in modern times to perform organizational tasks. A workplace equipped with modern technology increases manifold activity. According to a recent Forbes Report 2023, technology at workplaces has increased 5 percent increase in productivity of employees. This increase in productivity brings dynamic results for an organization.

Health and safety-oriented workplace:

According to the International Labour Organisation, nearly three million people die related to workplace-related accidents and accidents every year. A recent poll in April 2024 reveals that 70 percent of professionals are concerned about health safety at workplaces. An ideal workplace is equipped with health and safety measures. It goes beyond the traditional workplace. It must be a labor safety-certified workplace so that employees feel secure working in an environment. This is essential in modern times organizations and corporate companies. Many workplaces faced unprecedented health and safety problems at workplace in the corporate sector, making it increase of 5 percent from 2015.

This scourging toll underscores the persistent challenges in safeguarding the health and safety of workers across the corporate world. Circulatory diseases, malignant neoplasms, and respiratory diseases are among the top menaces caused by poor workplaces of companies and industries. Health and safety at the workplace are considered a priority of employees in the developed world. However, the same trend is lacking in developing countries as a result of rising unemployment, inflation, and poverty. Therefore, this appalling state of an insecure workplace needs to be made secure and employee-friendly.

Eco-friendly workplace:

An eco-friendly workplace is needed for an hour. It must be paperless, and provide green commuting for employees at the workplace. Sustainable procurement and supply chain are inexorable parts of an eco-friendly workplace. Corporations even involved in manufacturing need to create eco-friendly workplaces so that employees and subsequent productivity increases are ensured. Essentially, Green Workplace Certification norms are part of an efficient workplace in modern times. This propels the dynamic and productive culture of the workplace that eventually benefits the attainment of the goals of an organization.

Certainly, an efficient workplace in modern times accelerates organizational productivity and engrains ownership among employees of an organization. These characteristics of an efficient workplace need to be adapted by modern-day companies so that the rise in productivity of employees becomes fate. This needful efficiency also augments the world’s focus on generating employees equipped with skills necessary for the market.

Privacy and workspace at the workplace:

Privacy has turned out to be a priority to be accepted by professionals in the workplace. The privacy of credentials and communication at the workplace are the characteristics of an efficient workplace. Privacy is often considered as a matter of fact where employees are given a sense of security. Similarly, workspace matters the most in the workplace. The employee’s demand at a comfortable corner of a workplace must be ensured. This shows how much an organization values its employees at the workplace. More often, employees are efficient in considering this segment and are reluctant to work at the particular workplace where their workspace is not according to their needs and demands. This is often a psychological trend that the comfort zone at the workplace is essentially important so that employees feel easy while working at the workplace. Therefore, considering this matter of workspace is dynamically unavoidable.

Workplace and Employee wellbeing

Profound and inevitable utilization of technology has ushered in a dynamic culture of the workplace. A smart workplace is a place where employees’ needs are a priority as efficient employees are now turned from cells to brain cells. Modern organizational structures espouse the employees working at workplaces. Employees often link their well-being to working at the workplace where employees more often find themselves safe and secure professionally and socially. The toxic and lucid workplace is hated as this brings no success to employees and organizations as well. In addition to it, it is linked coherently that the employees are efficient when there is consideration of their social welfare. Of course, their space at the workplace and privacy are also part of the core concerns of employees at the workplace.

Workplace Revolution: From Workplace to Workspace

In her book Remote Work Revolution Tsedal Neeley aptly argues that the modern-day workplace has shifted from workplace to workspace. The pandemic of COVID-19 has ushered in an era of technology-driven life, where classes turned to Zoom classes, meetings, and workplaces shifted to workspaces and this episode in human history revolutionized communication and the modernization of the workplace.  The term new normal was used for this shift of organizations.  However, this opened an avenue for ease and a cost-efficient system. It is essential to note that the workspaces collaterally benefited the environment extensively owing to less consumption of transport. In the meantime, smart workplaces remain historically efficient as well.  Modern-day workplaces are more employee-friendly where peace of mind is a priority. It is believed as mentioned in the book, that Robert Glazer signifies that organizations and employees can thrive equally and at the same time. This is mainly because the employees are now the brain cells of organizations.  This further explores that employees who are motivated by providing a better and more efficient workplace are more productive and remote employees need to be engaged regularly for better and goal-oriented results.

Workplace for Millennials and Generation Z

People born in the 1980s and 1990s are millennials, while those born after 2020 are Generation Z. These two generations have collaborated considerably to augment and later the concept of the workplace in modern times. The workplace is now more of a place where employees feel honored and are protected through various forms of constructs and security. Millennials and Generation Z often opt for an effective and efficient workplace and workspace. They are empowered to work at their ease if their skills match an organizational demand. According To a recent survey, 96 percent of persons of G-Z state that it is important for them to be included, valued, and honored in the workplace.

However, the early persons had nothing to do with these norms and cultures of demanding values and honors. They were simply used to work in any circumstances. The same survey reveals that 80 percent of employees state to work at a workplace that adds skills and inculcates them with learning. This is one of the finest characteristics among Generation Z that expects to increase learning. The stagnant learning of old ages has vanished from the surface at the workplace in modern times. This fundamental, definitely, sheds the core concept of creativity, collaboration, and ideas for innovation for an organization at the workplace.

Moreover, Gen-Z and Millennials want to change and always strive and augur the change and are pragmatic about the successful outcomes of their services for organizations. This is where Generation Z and Millennials are different generations from those of their peers in the workplace. Similarly, these employees are more concerned about their jobs and financial security. There exists no randomness among them and this is coherently linked with their increased learning and occupation with skill set dynamically.

Future of Workplace

As discussed in his book, Leading From Anywhere, David Burkus argues aptly that the future of the workplace is going to be smarter and sustained. It explains that like every other form of change, the change in the workplace is also inevitable.  People might shift towards hybrid or remote working, for more efficient and effective outcomes for an organization.

However, the physical space of the workplace cannot be replaced. It is reported that Gen-Z comprises more than 25 percent of employees at the workplace, and it also augurs an increase in the same trend. Therefore, change is permanent in the workplace. The future of the workplace might be smarter and driven electronically but workplace dynamics would remain pervasive as in early in the 21st century.

Its modes and forms can be different but characteristics would remain the same.  Certainly, it will turn out to be more flexible, dynamic, and technologically driven in times to come. As Jacob Morgan, author of “The Future of Work”: summarises it the best The future of work is about embracing flexibility, where success is no longer about conforming to fixed norms but about adapting to ever-changing global dynamics.

Frequently Asked Questions About Workplace

1. What is a workplace?

A workplace is any location or environment where people perform tasks related to their job. This can be a physical space like an office or factory, or a virtual space when working remotely.

2. How important is workplace culture?

Very important! Workplace culture affects everything from job satisfaction and employee morale to productivity and overall company performance. A positive culture fosters teamwork, growth, and success.

3. What are common types of workplace layouts?

Common layouts include cubicles, open spaces, private offices, and co-working spaces. Each has its benefits and challenges, and the choice often depends on the company’s work style and needs.

4. Can I request flexible working hours?

Yes, many companies are open to flexible working hours, especially if they help you be more productive. It’s best to discuss your needs with your manager and see if you can arrange a schedule that works for both you and your employer.

5. What is a virtual workplace?

A virtual workplace is where employees can work from anywhere outside a traditional office setting, often using technology like video calls, messaging apps, and cloud services to stay connected and complete tasks.

6. How can I improve my workspace to increase productivity?

Organize your space, ensure you have good lighting, minimize noise if possible, and invest in comfortable furniture. Personal touches like plants or photos can also make your workspace more pleasant and motivating.

7. What should I do if I experience harassment in the workplace?

It’s important to report harassment to your HR department or a trusted manager. Most companies have policies in place to handle these situations confidentially and effectively.

8. How does remote work affect team dynamics?

Remote work can challenge communication and cohesion within a team, but regular video meetings, clear communication, and digital collaboration tools can help maintain strong team dynamics.

9. What are some tips for maintaining work-life balance?

Set clear boundaries for work hours, take regular breaks, prioritize tasks, and ensure you have downtime. It’s also important to communicate your schedule to your colleagues and manager.

10. What are ergonomics and why are they important in the workplace?

Ergonomics involves designing or arranging workplaces, products, and systems so that they fit the people who use them. Good ergonomics can prevent injuries and improve comfort and efficiency at work.

    6 Comments

  1. Dr Laiba
    May 1, 2024
    Reply

    This is really a wonderful blog. The way you have given references accurately is excellent way.

    The way you have linked Generation Z and Millennials is a unique idea. I have seen this unique thing only here. Great

  2. Advocate Reha
    May 2, 2024
    Reply

    Very right that our generation needs flexible work hours and this generation Z is concerned about better workplace as you discussed in survey quotation. Thanks for good read.

  3. Alex
    May 3, 2024
    Reply

    Very positive. Impressive thoughts with data validation. I want to add that people from marginalised community face utter agony at workplace. You have put all aspects at one place.

    Thumbs up from United States,
    Alex Wren, Intern at Amnesty International

  4. Maria
    May 9, 2024
    Reply

    Gen Z has changed workplace and its nature. You are right. Thanks for good piece of writing.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Office jobs are not apparently risky but they can be. Workplace risks and injuries are a reality, in fact, the...
Working in some professional settings has its own demands and expectations. The workplace has behavioral expectations. An office setting demands...
Your workplace ethics define your company’s success. This is the prime responsibility of leaders and employees of a company to...