The modern workplace is evolving with economic changes, technological progression, automation, and globalization.
Business leaders must demonstrate an understanding of the latest workplace trends to create a positive, flexible and collaborative environment to encourage the modern workers. Generation Z, the latest advanced generation, is now entering the workforce and will have a significant role in shaping the workplace in 2020.
Workplace trends to keep an eye on
To create and manage a workplace that suits all employees, you must keep an eye on the modern trend predictions for the work environment. Let’s take a look at 10 trends sure to be at the forefront of your 2020 business and hiring strategy.
1. Increase inclusion of artificial intelligence
There is a rise of artificial intelligence and the propagation of big data as a driver for business decisions. Companies are increasingly including technologies that allow them to streamline repetitive tasks. Tech giants and industry leaders are rolling out artificial intelligence to handle the early stages of employee recruitment, answer mundane HR questions, or personalize learning experiences.
As machines are taking over the industry, employers and customers expect more complex, creative and varied functions from their people. According to research, more than 22% of generation Z expect a response within 10 minutes of reaching out to a consumer brand or their employer internally when they need mentoring. A digital reception helps them to manage customers efficiently. They can easily answer FAQ’s and aid customers when they need assistance.
2. Adjust work practices for Gen Z employees
Previous generations may have adjusted to work life more easily than Generation Z, the latest to join the workforce. This may be because gen Zers are technologically inclined, raised entirely in a fast paced and internet-centric world.
Since Gen Zers are digitally more active, they expect the modern workplace to be growing with digital collaboration software tools to deal with customers. Businesses need to explore the mindsets and skills that this generation brings along. It’s time to adjust work practices for the Gen Z workforce and scale your business with ease.
3. Get in on the remote work trend
The dominance of traditional office-centric working is being overtaken by remote working. The substantial advancement of workplace technology has brought everyone technologically under one roof. What's more, the rise of the new generation in workplaces is compelling companies to redefine work modalities and think outside of the cubicle.
To keep in line with the remote work trend, there has been a significant rise in the adoption of robust time management, communication software, and visitor management systems (i.e. front desk management).
Many businesses are more openly adopting remote work as an option for employees, whether it's once weekly or at their leisure. Modern employees favor freedom and flexibility that comes with remote working. Plus, working remotely encourages professional and personal aspects of one's life to coexist harmoniously. While this trend is still in its budding phase, it will become more prevalent as the global workforce adjusts to the new generation.
RELATED: Discover how the marketing team at G2 handled #WorkFromHomeWeek, where all team members were encouraged to work remotely for an entire week to discover the benefits and identify any pitfalls in the remote work trend.
4. Provide in-office therapy sessions for mental health wellness
· Mental health continues to become a growing concern, with the newer generations. Many employees have lost their jobs due to mental health issues. Yet, the seriousness of companies towards the mental health of employees has not shown prominent results. Nearly half of workers say that the growing pressure of their work has a negative impact on their overall mental health. As a result of the intensifying mental health problems, companies are hiring therapists and are creating health centers to support employees.
As an example, Google has a job titled Mental Health Program Manager whose responsibilities include managing onsite therapists. JP Morgan has hired therapists in multiple cities including New York, Chicago, and London. Goldman Sachs is training dozens of UK staff to aid their employees mentally. There will be a rise in companies to create or support mental health programs and therapists will be part of many of the packages.
5. Offer flexible working hours
The 9-to-5 work schedule has long been a part of the working class. However, with the introduction of modern employees advocating the ability to work anywhere, anytime, this schedule is facing extinction. Employee lives have become busier, and the work environment has become global. Thanks to technological advancements, employees have developed a natural liking for a more flexible work schedule.
Plus, 71% of workers say rigid work schedules impact their personal life negatively. For example, a firm in New Zealand attempted to examine the suitability of a four-day workweek. After two months of trialing the shortened workweek, the company found that employee work-life balance increased by 24%, engagement rose by 20%, and stress levels dropped by 7%. These figures alone indicate the benefits an improved work-life balance can bring to employees locally and globally.
6. Emphasize employee experience
Millennial and Gen Z employees look for more than job stability, competitive salaries, flexibility, and benefits to be committed and stay loyal to a company. They are driven by a sense of shared purpose in a work environment with meaningful purpose. They need to have a strong sense of contribution to the ‘bigger picture’ to give their best effort to the workplace. Although businesses were mostly focused on satisfying consumer needs, the latest trends also focus on the importance of employee experience for company success.
This is evident in a number of industry giants like Google, Facebook, SAP, Tumblr, Intuit, and others. They build their business structure and ethos around the experience of their employees. Exceptional office campuses, flexible working hours, fast-paced technology and resting rooms are some of the methods to keep their employees loyal and their experience great.
All of these attractions are becoming the norm in response to today’s workplace trends. It makes the work environment more dynamic, purpose-driven, and versatile, thus increasing employee productivity.
RELATED: Make sure your employees are fully satisfied by asking them the right questions to gauge their engagement!
7. Highlight the importance of upskilling and training
Companies are creating innovative hiring and retention strategies. With the number of employees increasing for the available jobs, learning, upskilling, reskilling, and training have become a top agenda for businesses. It helps to nurture and maintain high performance across employees. Furthermore, it stimulates personal development and retains top talent in the companies.
8. Promote gender equality
Gender equality has held its position in campaigns for a long time now. People have been struggling to ensure more women hold top leadership positions. With top companies and countries getting involved, change is on the horizon. Allowing women to run businesses has been proven beneficial.
With women in charge, businesses increase profit by up to fifteen percent. Increased profitability is just one aspect of multiple benefits it brings along. Diversity in thought is another benefit of gender equality. Plus, including women in male-dominated industries allows for innovative ideas and thought processes. Gender equality is less of a "trend" and more of a necessity in modern workplaces, and is rapidly growing to the point where equality is a given rather than "wishful thinking".
RELATED: Learn more about gender bias in tech and why it's harmful, as well as how to stop making business decisions without gender equality in mind.
9. Centralize communication channels
Business communication has evolved immensely over the past few years. Today businesses do not rely on phones and emails to carry out conversations. Technology has given birth to many innovations that have revolutionized business communication. Instant messaging, chat apps, video conference software, visitor management software, and others have swooped in, making communication fast and efficient. While technology has driven business communication effectively it comes with its own challenges.
Although these modern forms of communication can boost efficiency, it also puts employees under immense pressure to answer messages constantly. In fact, business communication software tools have evolved to solve the challenges faced by companies prior to their innovation.
There is an overload of unending conversation threads caused by the massive availability of communication channels. This has given rise to the need for a more streamlined and centralized means of communication, meaning businesses should choose internal communication software solutions that consolidate vital communication and tie conversations around the ultimate organization goal.
10. Focus on developing soft skills
With emerging digitalization, some job roles have become endangered while others have become extinct. Many hard skills have become obsolete, meaning the focus is shifting to soft skills.
With technology under the spotlight, soft skills like leadership, verbal and written communication, analytical skills etc are important for the employees and employers in a company. It helps facilitate human connection and build relationships which creates an opportunity for advancement.
Businesses are finding it challenging to effectively cater to the changing requirements of the newer generations. They expect a more dynamic, fluid, digital environment in the workplace. These key trends for 2020 will help you understand what employees value and keep you updated about the changes in society.
With multiple generations of collaborating, alterations in workplace habits are bound to occur. Gen Z is fast-paced and inclined to work online. They encourage upskilling and training facilities which not only develop them professionally, but also personally. Business models are drastically adjusting to the latest trends, this will help them gain employee loyalty and commitment.
Once you ensure you're on track to follow these trends in 2020, make sure you're keeping an eye on your employees' happiness via employee monitoring software!
Chanakya Kyatham is a Senior Digital Marketing Manager at ParamInfo Computer Services Pvt Ltd and piLOBI. He is passionate about topics such as SaaS, productivity, Android and iOS, general technology, and business.