Technology, entrepreneurship and the increase of the gig economy have been shaping the workplace for a while. 2017 is the first year when Generation Z is fully employed, voicing new demands and expressing a fresh outlook on business.
So far, Millennials have had the biggest impact on the changes incurring in the workplace, influencing major factors such as fixed office hours or the transformation of the traditional workspace. As Millennials advance into leadership positions, and start working alongside Generation Z, other changes are to be foreseen.
1. HR to use more tech
Businesses have been smartly using data to analyse customer decisions, predict behaviour, improve customer experience and enhance happiness and satisfaction. A department that seems to have been forgotten and allowed to trod in its old ways was human resources and recruitment. According to Chamberlain, 2017 is the year when HR departments are joined by data scientists, to “make even small improvements in recruiting, hiring and engagement” which in turn will bring “huge benefits to organisations”. Such improvements, according to Broadbean, include the adoption of more integrative apps that unite systems like onboarding, employee training and performance management.
2. Gig economy slowdown
Studies by Chamberlain and EPI predict a slowdown for the gig economy in 2017. Regardless of the popularity of Uber, AirBnB and other gig-based work, EPI found that freelancing isn’t growing as much as we would have thought. Together with timetable flexibility and location independence, the demand for soft skills and creativity is on the rise, and whether the task-oriented freelancing platforms can still deliver, is questionable.
3. A melting pot of full-time employees and freelancers working together
Advantages of businesses working with freelancers don’t just resume to cost-cutting by eliminating employee benefits, but also by contracting experts to solve key problems on demand and to work alongside their more permanent staff. Studies by the Institute to The Freelancer’s Union show that up to 40% of the workforce will be composed of freelancers in the next few years, while another study found that 93% of companies already have freelancers working alongside employees in mixed teams.
4. Shape-shifting of the annual performance review
Waiting a whole year for a performance review is no longer an option, especially for the new generations of inpatient employees used to instant gratification gained through social media. Annual reviews are to be replaced with continuous feedback, which encourage more rapid changes in behaviour and performance, transparency and better communication across levels. Adobe and GE are two of the companies that have already ditched the annual reviews and who “check in” with their employees regularly, even daily.
5. Focus on Wellness
Businesses are becoming more creative with their benefit packages, focusing more on the well-being of their employees and on wellness in the workplace. Keeping up with the more health-conscious generations and supporting their healthier lifestyle choices attracts talent, increases performance and lowers healthcare costs.
Business owner or employee, following the trends and predicting the way the changes in the workplace can affect you is key to your success. If you’re uncertain or would like to discuss the impact workplace trends have on you, contact us here.