By: Sara Kotarski
A new year is upon us, and with it comes new technologies, business themes, and trends around the workplace. An article entitled “10 Workplace Trends You’ll See in 2017” by Dan Schawbel (http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2016/11/01/workplace-trends-2017/#6cc455273457) gives a well-researched and well-presented outlook of some of the workplace trends you can expect to see in the year 2017. Here’s a brief summary of Schawbel’s findings:
- Companies focus on improving their candidate and employee experience –
Walls are coming down between HR departments and both job candidates and employees in order to increase loyalty and employee retention. In one study, it was discovered that 83% of HR said that “employee experience” is either important or very important to their organizations success, and in order to enhance the experience, they are investing more in training, improving their work space, and giving more rewards to employees.
- The blended workforce is on the rise –
The rise of freelance workers is among one of the top five biggest employment trends this year. Companies are able to cut costs with freelancers, by removing the need for healthcare coverage and other employee benefits. It is predicted by The Freelancer’s Union that at least 40% of the workforce will be freelancers in the next few years, saving companies money and giving employees greater work flexibility.
- Annual performance reviews evolve into more continuous reviews –
Companies today are opting out of annual performance reviews and instead choosing to have more frequent, less formal reviews. This behavior has been adopted because of Millennials and Gen Z’s need for instant feedback and gratification. In his article, Schawbel states “Younger generations are especially impatient and are unwilling to wait a whole year to learn about their strengths and areas of improvement.” This trend has shown great promise in increasing employee productivity and satisfaction.
- Millennials meet Generation Z in the workplace –
2017 marks the first full year that Gen Z has been settled in the workplace. Much like Millennials, Gen Z continues to strive for rich company culture by putting pressure on companies to embrace flexibility, reward employees, and align the companies’ interests with a cause.
- Augmented and virtual reality revolutionize recruiting and training –
New technologies being introduced in 2017 will no doubt start to affect the technologies being implemented in the workplace. Virtual reality equipment and software have already been applied in the recruitment process for the British Army. Other companies are using this technology to give virtual tours to students at career fairs or out-of-state job candidates to allow them to see the office environment.
- The war for talent heats up as the employers and employee contract continues to evolve –
Studies show that millennials only stay with a company for two years before moving onto the next job opportunity. So how are companies fighting this statistic to increase employee retention? They’re simply focusing on employee satisfaction through corporate culture and values. This helps to make employees feel appreciated and included as part of the team.
- Organizations restructure to focus on team over individual performance
This is a workplace trend that I’m sure you’ve all heard about already. The teamwork vs. individual work trend continues to rise into 2017. Companies are restructuring into more team-based organizations because of the increase in Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace.
- Workplace wellness, and well-being, become critical employee benefits for attracting top talent –
Companies today are now acknowledging that stress is one of the biggest work-related health issues. We are now seeing companies investing in more relaxing and healthier environments for their employees. Investing in these types of spaces and having better wellness programs helps to lower absenteeism, attract talent, and save the company on healthcare costs.
- Companies get creative with their employee benefit packages and perks –
Changes in employee benefit packages are another example of a recent workplace trend. Besides salary and healthcare coverage, work flexibility is the highest desired benefit in employees. Employees are looking for positions that offer flexible hours and the ability to work from home or another remote location. Other employee perks we are seeing around the workplace are student loan assistance programs, exercise classes or gym reimbursement, and daily, monetary credits for food.
- Office attire and workplace culture becomes more casual –
With the introduction of a younger generation into the workforce and the increase in employees working remotely, it is no surprise that business formal attire is at an all-time low. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least one-third of American employees do some or all of their work from home, so why not lounge around in your pajamas or throw on some jeans and head to your local coffee shop?
Richard Branson, a blog writer on Virgin.com says “Making people wear suits and ties at any time of year makes very little sense. It’s an antiquated tradition we have somehow clung onto, despite very few people enjoying it.” Agreed, Richard. Agreed.
So which of these trends have you noticed in your workplace? Leave a comment and let us know!