On the 1st of December in 1913, Henry Ford installed the first moving assembly line, resulting in the complete production of an automobile from 12 hours to just 2 hours and 30 minutes. Ford was able to meet the growing demand for motor cars, efficiently to the extent of rolling out the 10th millionth Model T off the Highland Park Assembly line close to a decade later on the 24th of June. Along with the affordability, the Ford Model T became the most significant car of the automotive age.
Ford had implemented in his workforce, the 5 day, 40 hour work week. And establishing the $5 per day wage in 1914, doubling the average pay. Ford has created a trend and template for the work model in the industrial era.
How the workplace of 1917 looked like
Comparing the ideal working trend a century ago, you’ll find that it mirrors traditional modern working trends where a “regular job” means being at a desk from 9 to 5, five days a week.
Truth is, the archaic model of the “regular 9 to 5” which drew parallels to the assembly line a century ago would be wearing out its usefulness, going from walking stick to crutch in time to come.
The 8 hour workday when put in the context of the industrial age struck the perfect balance for industrial, factory based work. Someone had to be physically present and working on a specific task to be passed on to the next person. However in the digital age, hours at work do not necessarily equate to work done. American labour statistics show an average of 8.8 hours of work, yet studies show that the optimal ratio for productivity, lies is cycles of 52 minutes of work to 17 minutes of rest.
Coworking helps strike the balance to usher in a better, more productive work culture. With half the world connected online since 2015, and a quarter of the world’s population on social media, the way we interact and communicate with the world and the means for the workforce to work remotely will soon be a norm.
Demographic trends regarding the workforce show a clear passing of the torch, where half of the workforce will be comprised of millennials by 2020. An insightful and comprehensive survey by Kelly Services explains very well the changing landscape and dynamics of the working place as millennials begin to hold the mantle and become the majority of the workforce in the near future.
Work flexibility translating to work productivity
With millennials placing more importance on factors such as a company’s CSR, incentives, and room for growth, along with the growing prevalence of the digital economy, we are seeing a paradigm shift where attitudes and technical capabilities are changing how work is seen, approached, and done.
The draw of remote working and flexibility that millennials are looking for present an immediate challenge for companies and businesses that want to be relevant. Even with bigger, more established companies, changing the traditional work environment to a coworking environment has proven to be a good investment for both their financial and human resources.
Moving forward, is coworking here to stay and how relevant will it be as businesses and markets get more competitive? As we explore alternative models of work that organisations have taken and we feel that coworking will grow beyond being a trend, and become a mainstay to the modern workforce.
Coworking is the future of work.