This blog post talks about the future of China’s work culture. It looks at how the country is changing and evolving, including what workers want in their workplace environment, what they value in an employer, and most importantly – how this will shape China’s future. The blog post was written by guest blogger Amanda Burr.
As China’s economy continues to grow, its workforce is quickly moving towards an environment that is more open and global. The formula for success in the workplace has evolved from money, to career development, to work-life balance – but it’s not that simple. Different organizations are slowly beginning to realize that in order to attract the best talent, they need be able to offer their employees more than just a salary and position.
The Chinese workforce still expects physical and tangible benefits like vacations and healthcare insurance (which is becoming increasingly important as China’s population ages), but there are also intangible benefits that matter — such as company culture, career development, and work-life balance. When asked to rank their priorities when choosing an employer, employees in China are placing a higher value on aspects like company culture (74%) and work-life balance (64%)*. As the competition for talent becomes more intense, employers need to adapt in order to increase their appeal among potential hires.
One of the most popular concepts working its way into China’s business lexicon is the “startup culture.” The startup lifestyle has become so ubiquitous that today, even some mid-sized and large organizations are trying to emulate it by implementing open plan offices with shared spaces and flexible hours. But for these larger companies, does this work?
It seems so. A study conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit found that 87% of millennials say flexible work arrangements would improve their productivity, even if it meant earning less money*. This is good news for organizations because not only does flexibility offer intangible benefits to millennial employees (such as greater happiness and worker satisfaction), but it also offers tangible benefits—more time spent at work means fewer distractions and more hours spent getting things done.
As China’s millennial workforce continues to grow, it is becoming a major force in the business landscape and will continue to push employers towards a more dynamic work environment. But this isn’t just happening in China — it has been observed in the west as well**. Now that millennials have entered the workforce, companies are starting to change their mindset from one that is centered on traditional perks and benefits towards an environment that employees actually want to spend time in.
Organizations need to more carefully consider their workplace environments. In some cases it might mean ditching company-wide traditions like the Annual Christmas Luncheon as a way of making employees feel more included, while in other cases it might mean providing new services like on-site childcare. This shift towards dynamic benefits means that employers need to be flexible with their employees and listen to what they value most.