For years, HR departments from near and far have preached the same cautionary tale to instill a sense of constant surveillance in the workforce: “You always represent the business.” These days, the reverse is also true: “Work always represents you.”
In the post-pandemic era, employers and employees crave meaningful work that leads to satisfying, tangible results. Purpose-driven organizations and their workers are redefining what traditional success looks like in a world of hybrid work.
IN a new study conducted by Lenovo, 75% of business end users want a business that is purpose-driven and positively impacts society. If given the opportunity, reported by the majority of respondents that they would like more meaningful work to create a positive impact on society. This mindset is particularly prevalent among the younger workforce, including Generation Z, many of whom value social responsibility as much as financial stability and career prospects.
This is in line with the recent social trend of people seeking employment at companies that align with their values. This increased focus on value-driven work presents a key opportunity for business leaders and employers to take a more humanistic approach to their overall business and digital transformation.
Beyond generating profits and meeting business goals, the corporate sector needs to prioritize the planet and its people, starting with its own employees. How can companies attract and retain top talent while growing? Our research at Len has proven that technology can help business leaders create purpose in their workforce, which generates social and business progress in their organizations.
Here are our two key takeaways about how technology can support employee purpose and drive business progress.
Employees bring their values to work
To explore the possibilities of this brave new world of hybrid work, Lenovo launched Work for humanity, a bold experiment that creates a technologically equipped hybrid workspace on Robinson Crusoe Island, the most remote island in the world. We invited a group of uniquely skilled workers from various industries (including animal welfare specialists, energy strategists and IT specialists) to live there and work remotely, with the help of Lenovo technology.
In addition to supporting a remote workforce, equipping the island with new technology has accelerated efforts to preserve rare habitats and endangered species. In their spare time, study participants volunteered in local community-based projects critical to the island’s ecological health, encompassing efforts as wide-ranging as marine and wildlife conservation, promoting sustainable fishing, renewable energy, and community farming.
Experience has shown that companies can inspire and motivate their values-driven workers to affect positive, lasting change for the local community by empowering them to work from anywhere, proving the power of technology for productivity, collaboration and social impact.
This confirms the social trend of a younger workforce driven by values. According to Foresight Factory Morning Consult, 62% of Gen Z and younger millennials believe they have the potential to impact the world. In order to attract and retain the best talent, companies must harness the pro-social principles of the next generation and create opportunities for employees to find purpose in their everyday jobs.
Technology supports purposeful work and drives progress
In addition to giving employees the freedom to work from anywhere, technology enables organizations to lead with a clear purpose. As business leaders, we can create incredible opportunities by combining cutting-edge yet accessible technology, connectivity and a desire to do good.
As an IT leader, I see the impact of technology on driving purposeful work every day. Technology plays a key role in every company, touches every sector and has a significant impact on employee performance, operations and ESG goals.
Actually, 83% of the IT managers we surveyed they want to see more digital transformations that contribute to the common good. To meet their own corporate ESG goals, operational leaders in this space are implementing smarter products, processes and programs that are energy efficient and sustainably produced.
CTOs are also finding creative ways to leverage sustainable technology, such as implementing IT asset disposal and recycling programs; using modes of transport that reduce the carbon footprint; increasing the energy efficiency of the office; adoption of greener technology such as repairable or energy efficient products to encourage purposeful work in IT.
On a macro level, hybrid work has changed the way people think about their jobs and the holistic social impact that individuals can make through their everyday work. Purpose forces us to think outside the box—and sometimes that much outside the box the most remote island in the world— to pilot, pursue and implement technology-based ESG initiatives.
I have no doubt that implementing smarter, more sustainable technology for all will in turn drive progress for all.
Learn more about how smart technology solutions are transforming work Lenovo.
This post is a sponsored collaboration between Lenovo and G/O Media Studios.