The Ever-Changing Workplace

Jan Wright, Publisher, iBi

For nearly 30 years, iBi has been Greater Peoria’s premier business magazine—and I can recount every one of those years. We’ve experienced a great deal of change, both within our own walls and in working with other area companies. Not a single advertiser featured in our very first issue back in August 1989, for example, exists under the same name today.

We’ve seen growth and contraction; startups and closures; mergers and acquisitions; new leaders come and gone; plans implemented and plans cast aside. All the while, we’ve continued to move forward, adapting to change as best we can with limited resources.

This month we delve into the continuously changing workplace, highlighting a range of issues from organizational culture and alternative work arrangements to lighting technologies and the open-office layout. The workplace is a composite of all these things and more—each element a contributing factor to promoting employee productivity and successful client interactions.

In an age in which 95 percent of net new jobs are nontraditional (such as remote and contingent workers, freelancers and independent contractors), it’s harder than ever to rally around a shared purpose. Both company and employee loyalty have gone the way of the landline telephone. And for all the talk of millennials over the last decade, an even younger generation is beginning to enter the workforce on their heels—and they are unique on their own terms.

Amidst the never-ending war for talent, we see companies and organizations exploring many different ideas to attract and retain the workforce they need to keep their businesses thriving. We find that the “secrets” of a great workplace are different wherever you look, but at its heart are people.

At Peoria Magazines, we are fortunate to have a whole lot of talent amongst our very small staff. People often ask how we do everything that we do with so few people, and that is the answer. While it’s sometimes challenging to keep up, we’ve never missed a deadline—and that’s because of their hard work.

What will the workplace look like in another ten years? It’s impossible to say, but it will certainly look different from today. What we do know (all talk of robots and automation notwithstanding) is that people—with all their unique talents and idiosyncrasies—will always be the most important factor. iBi

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