Which of these workplace trends will affect you in the year ahead?
It may be the season to be jolly, but the end of the year is traditionally also a time to reflect and plan for a fresh start. So, what will the working world look like this year? Denholm’s crystal ball predicts four of the biggest trends ahead.
Companies move from static organisations to networks of individuals
According to Kingston University, there are an estimated 1.88m freelancers currently working in the UK, a number that has steadily increased over the past five years. While not a new idea, the use of specialised consultants in parallel with full-time staff will become more mainstream, as the need to control gives way to the benefits of collaboration. Buying in knowledge to speed project completion or bridge a skills gap will help larger companies stay competitive and smaller entities grow.
Similarly, companies will reconsider their attitude to ‘boomerang’ employees, (those who’ve worked for an organisation before and are hired back at a later stage). Once believed to be a sign of disloyalty, forward-thinking employers now recognize that rehiring ex-staff makes business sense and may even encourage staying in touch via LinkedIn pages and Facebook groups.
Work-life balance will be revisited
As the workforce changes, so will expectations. The 40 hour work week has been replaced by an ‘always on’ mobile culture and employers will have to find new ways to balance the flexible lifestyle we all crave.
Netflix recently announced unlimited parental leave (on full pay) during the first year of a child's life, after which parents can return to work on a full-time, part-time or temporary basis. Virgin already lets employees take as much holiday as they want, whenever they feel they need it, to boost morale and productivity. And even countries are testing alternatives, as Sweden introduced 6-hour work day, providing a fresh insight into what’s possible, in the pursuit of happier personnel.
New leadership will change company culture
Traditionally, those with most experience and tenure staffed senior company roles. As Millenials (born early 1980’s to early 2000’s) take over from baby boomers (1946 – 1964), expect to see companies replace the C-suite with a new breed of leaders, who are entrepreneurial in their thinking and share responsibilities rather than build hierarchies.
Employer branding will grow in importance
Employers now recognize that to attract and retain the best talent, they need to build their company brand. The transparency of social media and sites like Glassdoor, help potential employees to self-educate ahead of any application and to share their experience with the world when they part company – reputation is everything.
As storytelling and the customer experience continue to increase in importance, even areas such as HR and IT will have to think about design and the way they are perceived. From the application process, through onboarding and beyond, well-designed systems, procedures and tools will provide the competitive edge.
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