Some of the major trends for next year include healthcare in light of Obamacare penalties increasing to the maximum in 2016, the flexible yet modernized office space and the first group of Gen Zs starting work in May. As with every year, there are some significant obstacles such as workplace planning, the war for talent, adapting to change and training the next generations of workers. While these might be challenges, there are also great opportunities for companies to automate, modernize and lead in 2016.
1. The leadership gap will start being filled as boomers retire in numbers.
Next year, over 3.6 million baby boomers are set to retire and more than a fourth of millennial workers will become managers. Succession planning, and next generation leadership development, will start to be prioritized next year. In order to cope with the loss of boomers, companies will be hiring some back as consultants and advisors to current executives as well as new or upcoming leaders. Based on our global study, we found that companies need to offer regular feedback instead of annual performance reviews, and virtual learning instead of printed manuals. In a follow up study, we examined the strengths and leadership styles of millennials and found that they are transformation leaders, which is different than boomers who are autocratic leaders. 91% of millennials aspire to leadership positions and their biggest weaknesses are having technical expertise and influence. This new generation will fill the leadership gap by flattening corporate hierarchies, empowering others to succeed and forcing companies to make an impact on society, not just money.
2. Workplace flexibility becomes the biggest topic of conversation in the workplace.
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 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 eighty million millennials have children.
3. Companies get serious about office design and use it as a way to increase collaboration and attract top talent.
With the rise of collaborative technologies, generational preferences, globalization and an employee’s desire for work life balance, the office is becoming more decentralized and space is shrinking. By 2020, the average amount of space per employee will drop to 150 square feet, down from 400 in 1985. Furthermore, 60% of more employees aren’t even using their assigned spaces, more employee are working remote and companies benefit from shrinking their offices in order to save millions of dollars. Companies will move away from open offices and create multi-facet office spaces that give employees options. Some employees work better in a cubicle and others work better in a lounge or cafeteria. Based on our research, employees want flexible furniture, a distraction free environment and lounge areas. Companies will have to pay close attention to their office environment and invest in improving it so that employees can be more productive and happier at work.
4. Companies figure out how to automate more jobs and modernize their workplaces, at the cost of employees.
There are a lot of factors that have led us to believe that automation is going to be a major force next year in our economy. The contributing factors include: minimum wage increases, companies striving to create more business value with fewer expenses, the rising costs of healthcare, pressure to be modernized and advances in robotics. It is predicted that machines might be able to do half of our jobs within the next two decades. Automation is impacting all types of jobs from bank tellers to cashiers to receptionists to mail carriers and even telemarketers. Employers benefit by creating a more efficient production line and lowering the cost of talent, while workers have fewer jobs, and more pressure to produce or be replaced. While automation is still in its early phases, more global companies are experimenting with it, and when it workers, there will be widespread adoption. For instance, McDonald’s Europe installed seven thousand touch-screen computers that take your order and track food items. While many people think that automation is bad for workers, like in ever era, old jobs will be lost and new jobs will be created.
5. The first group of Generation Z graduates from college and enters the workforce.
Generation Z, born between 1994 and 2010, will enter the workforce starting next May. This generation is jaded from the recession, suffering from student loans, and has learned a lot from watching their elders and being the children of Gen X. Compared to millennials, our research shows that they are 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 since 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.
Read the full article by Dan Schawbel – a millennial expert and workplace futurist, keynote speaker and The New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0.
Workspring is a premiere meeting experience. We know work and have used this knowledge to create an offsite for individuals and teams to do their best work ever. Whether the work is in strategic planning sessions, trainings, or creative brainstorm meetings, Workspring delivers a seamless and customizable experience designed for you and your team to Be Accomplished. Call us today to discuss how Workspring can help your team achieve great outcome. 800 605 9092.