Workplace Trends & Predictions for 2016
“Future: That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.” – Ambrose Bierce
Welcome to 2016. The year of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio De Janeiro, U.S. Presidential Election and when Kobe Bryant finally retires from basketball. But aside from those oh-so-minor happenings, what else does the future hold for us in 2016? Here are a few of our favorite trends/predictions for the workplace.
- Workplace flexibility becomes the biggest topic of conversation. In study after study, and interview after interview, the topic that just keeps coming up is workplace flexibility. It’s such a big topic that it even relates to the other trends on this list and affects us all in some way, shape or form. First, we work 47 hours per week now, and there is no longer such a thing as a 40 hour workweek. Second, another study we did found that 64% of managers expect their employees to be reachable outside of the office on their personal time. As a result, another study we did found that more than half of workers feel burned out. Third, more employees are willing to either switch employers or stay at their current employer, based on their flexibility programs. With the rise of telecommuting, co-working spaces, globalization and new technology tools, workers are demanding flexibility. In the next few years, nearly every company will have a policy, especially because we are getting ready for the next “baby boom” when 80 million millennials have children.
- Generation Z, born between 1994 and 2010, will enter the workforce starting next May. This generation is jaded from the recession, suffers from student loans and has learned a lot being the children of Gen X. Compared to millennials, our research shows that members of Gen. Z are even more entrepreneurial, loyal, flexible and realistic in their approach to careers and purchasing. They choose opportunities for growth and work-life balance over salary when selecting what company to work for. Like millennials, they will seek mentors and supporters because they are first starting out in their careers, and they will be even more connected through technology. About a third desire to become managers in the next five years already, and 45% believe working with boomers will be challenging.
- There will be more consultants than employees. With more and more people wanting to live the remote employee lifestyle, they’re actually willing to take the chance and do their own thing instead of getting a traditional 9-5 job. With more and more employees going this route, businesses have more high quality consultant options than ever before, which can be a better option than rushing into hiring someone full time.–Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
- Workplaces will become less formal, and more fun. Workplaces are going to become more fun and less formal. As Millennials move into decision-making positions and companies compete for emerging talent, businesses are going to have to follow the likes of Google and Facebook and make their offices “living workplaces.” —Christopher Kelly, Convene
- There will be more fluid and transparent ways to engage stakeholders. Business leaders will continue to understand that they must find new and innovative ways to engage stakeholders in a way that provides value for all parties involved. Organizations that find ways to crowdsource their decision-making in a fluid and transparent way will begin to pull ahead of the pack in 2016.–Chris Cancialosi, gothamCulture