Caring, sharing firms preferred

SIOBHAN DOWNES
Last updated 17:52 30/07/2014

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People are increasingly choosing to work for employers who are caring, have a strong social and environmental conscience, and ethical values, a new report has found.

The report, commissioned by PwC, is based on a survey of 10,000 people throughout the world, including Australia and New Zealand.

Respondents gave their views on how they thought the workplace would evolve and how it might impact their employment prospects and future working lives.

Three "worlds" of work, separated into green, blue and orange, were likely by 2022, the report found.

The type of employers most respondents wanted to work for were those in the "green world", or companies that had a green sense of responsibility.

The report found 65 per cent of people wanted to work for an organisation with a powerful social conscience, and 53 per cent saw green companies as their ideal employer.

Employers at these companies were committed to supporting and developing their employees and local communities and having a positive impact on society and the environment, the report said.

They would also "take a responsible attitude to looking after their employees' health and wellbeing".

Those were all things that were important to Angela Barnett, 44, who began working at Auckland company All Good Organics three months ago.

The company has twice been named among the world's most ethical companies and last month won the international Fairest Fair Trader Award.

Barnett, a part-time marketing guru for All Good product Karma Cola, said a passion for Africa had attracted her to the company, which supports cola nut farmers in Sierra Leone.

She gave up her job at Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington in 2003 to travel to Africa, where she set up her own charities.

"I always thought that was something I'd have to do for nothing on the side, and make a living working for businesses," she said.

"It was like finally my two worlds have combined – it's actually possible to work for a company that thinks about their impact in the world and what they do in making a change."

The report found the least popular option was the "blue world", representing a more traditional model of business.

While employees in this world enjoyed job security and rewards such as pensions, health and other benefits, only 10 per cent of respondents saw this as their ideal employer.

In the future, employees in these firms would likely have to undergo real-time health screening to help increase productivity, reduce sick leave and enable staff to work for more years before needing to retire, the report found.

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Employees could even be monitored in their private lives, which 70 per cent of respondents were against.

The final style of working identified in the report was the "orange world", which was a contract employment model making the most of technology. Rather than traditional employers, people would have their own "brands", and contract out their skills as it suited them.

People would be more likely to see themselves as a member of a particular skill or professional network than an employee of a specific company, the report found.

Out of the survey respondents, 33 per cent said this was their ideal employer.

PwC partner Debbie Francis said new technologies, data analytics and social networks were having a huge impact on how people communicated, collaborated and worked. Many jobs of the future had not even been created yet.

Work forces would become more diverse as generations collided, with people working longer in their careers and traditional career paths set to become a thing of the past, she said.

"Whatever path you follow, work is going to look very different for everyone in 2022."


- Stuff

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