Workplace Predictions for 2020

Trends and what lies beyond

The modern workplace is always evolving. With it, the way we hire and retain top talent is facing a slew of era-defining changes. Besides, the work environment is under siege by economic changes, technological developments, automation, and globalization. To keep up with these changes, business leaders must rise to the occasion and show a deep understanding of the latest workplace trends.

In this article, we’ll discuss the modern workplace trends to help you understand the initiatives that are shifting the workplace. We’ll deliver insights that will empower you to redefine your workplace ethos and create a positive, flexible, and collaborative culture tailored to the needs of the modern worker.

Here are some workplace trends you should keep an eye on:

1. Gen Z entering the modern workforce

Over the years, we’ve had many era-defining demographic shifts. We’ve smoothly transitioned from baby boomers to Gen x to Millennials with minimal fuzz. There is no denying each of these generations has had its unique approaches to the workplace. Besides, the generations showed relatable work habits and attitudes; hence, it was easy for employers to adjust to suit their demands.

Now, there is a new cohort entering the fold.

Gen Z is the newest entrant in the modern workforce, and this generation is approaching things differently. Born between 1997 and early 2010, the oldest member of this group is 23 years old. It’s predicted that by 2020, Gen Z will account for up to 36% of the global workforce (shrm.org).

The main idiosyncrasies of this generation are nothing similar to what we’ve seen in the previous groups. Gen Zs are technology mavens, born and raised entirely in a fastpaced and internet-centric environment. The peculiarities of Gen Zers make them such a difficult group to deal with. For example, since Gen Zs are digital natives, they expect the modern workplace to be teeming with digital collaboration software tools. They also tend to be pragmatic in the way they approach their careers as well as education.

This is only the start, and we expect Gen Z to take over the global workforce in the coming years. Because of this, small businesses need to explore the mindsets and skills that this generation brings to the table. It’s time to adjust common office practices, as well as training, to get the most out of the new generation.

2. Remote work the new catchword

It’s 2019, and already the dominance of traditional office-centric working is under serious threat by remote working. The substantial advancement of multiple facets of workplace technology has given remote work an upper hand. Besides, the rise of new generations is impelling firms to redefine the modalities of work, and the odds are clearly in favour of remote working.

Moreover, the adoption of robust time management, communication software, and employee productivity software tools points to a burgeoning prominence of remote work. There is also a shift in the perception of employees towards remote working. Modern employees love the newfound freedom and flexibility that comes with remote working.

Besides, working remotely allows both the professional and personal aspects to coexists harmoniously. For example, today’s mothers can tend to their parental duties and handle professional roles in the comfort of their homes. With these benefits in mind, it’s no surprise then that 90% of remote workers plan to work remotely for the rest of their careers (Buffer.com).

The Biggest Benefits to Working Remotely

The nature of remote work is rapidly morphing, propelled by the entry of digital nomads and the proliferation of workforce innovations. Remote work will become more prevalent as the global workforce transitions to the new norm. While this trend is still in its novelty phase, its future is mesmerizing to behold. One study found that 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028 (Upwork, 2018).

3. Innate liking for flexible work schedules

The 9-to-5 work schedule has for long been second nature for the working class. However, with modern employees gravitating towards the ability to work anywhere, anytime, this schedule is facing extinction. Besides, the lives of employees have become busier and the work environment has become global.

These changes, coupled with the disruptive forces of technology, point to a tilting landscape. Today, workers have developed an innate liking for a more flexible work schedule. And there are many reasons to believe the change of work schedule is long overdue. For example, 71% of workers say rigid work schedules impact their personal life negatively (Kronos).

The liking for palatable work schedules is so deep that some employees say they would rather have a flexible schedule than healthcare coverage. One firm in New Zealand sought to examine the suitability of a 4-day workweek. After two months of trial, the company found that with such a schedule employee work-life balanced increased by 24%, engagement rose by 20%, and stress levels dropped by 7% (CNN Business)

The study seemed to have given employees a glimmer of hope. Today, many companies have followed suit, and we see the introduction of flexible work schedules. For example, eBay has introduced the eBay@Home program for customer service representatives (Fortune). Besides, agencies have risen to the occasion too. The UK labour union is advocating for a 4-day workweek. On the other hand, the Japanese government is giving employees Monday morning offs via the “Shining Monday” initiative (Telegraph).

What do these trends mean to businesses?

Each year businesses face new ideas and trends that disrupt the way they operate and conduct activities. Nearly, every aspect of businesses is prone to some changes, and the workplace is no exception. This is the reason why we highlighted the key workplace trends to help you stay on top of what employees value and even societal changes.

The nature of work is constantly changing, multiple generations are collaborating in the modern workforce, and the software we use is evolving by the day. Employee perception about the perfect employer is shifting, and employers are proactively prioritizing upskilling and training.

All these trends lean towards the evolving employee landscape and embrace the fine lines between employee’s personal and professional lives. Whether you are getting started in business or are a long-time business owner, you need to watch how these trends will evolve in the coming years.

The onus is on both the employee and the employer. Employees should be self educators and advocates to meet rapidly changing work demands. On the other hand, as an employer, you should continuously expand your skillsets and remain open-minded to new employees’ demands and experiences. Besides, you should implement the best solutions like employee monitoring software to remain competitive in 2019 and beyond.

Originally posted on Finances Online