With 2016 quickly coming to a close, companies are looking ahead to 2017 and how the latest, greatest trends in the workplace that will shape their futures.
2016 has been full of trends in the workplace that moved businesses away from the idea of a traditional office. From advancements in the modern office to executives taking a hard look at employee engagement, organizations across the board have been more welcoming to the idea of change. So what's in store for 2017?
We expect 2017 to continue on this trend as a new generation, Generation Z, prepares to enter the workforce. As the shift towards a more flexible office takes shape, technology, remote work, and employee benefits are expected to be a prevalent force.
These trends in the workplace have already been around, but not at a significant level. This coming year calls for a large increase in these trends as new hires are doing more research than ever before about their prospective places of work. The pressure will be on for companies to stand out from their competition, and they'll need to be aware of these trends in the workplace if they want to get ahead.
Watch For these 5 Workplace Trends in 2017
1. Attention to Employee Engagement Reaches an All-Time High
During 2016 it was released that only one-third of employees across the nation are engaged. This caused businesses to begin to look at the levels of happiness employees felt while they were at work and see what kind of changes they could make to impact employee happiness moving forward. In 2017, we expect to see this become more important to more businesses. Those who have already been looking at their stats will be more inclined to implement changes to their day-to-day practices to help bridge the gap between employees and executives.
Companies will be more interested in improving the employee experience by making an effort to bring on new hires who match the company culture. Having employees that are a better fit with your culture allows for engagement levels and productivity to rise.
Higher engagement levels mean employees will feel more inclined to stay in their position longer, which will lessen the stress on HR to increase employee retention rates. We predict that in 2017, companies will place a higher importance on enhancing the employee experience as a key to building synergy at all levels and the company moving in the right direction.
2. The Use of Technology Will Grow
New apps to streamline work and communication in the office are released every day. With the slew of technology available to businesses, more and more workplaces are adapting their daily tasks around new platforms to keep their offices moving forward. Virtual reality technology is primed to explode in 2017. Many businesses will consider implementing this futuristic tech into their training and onboarding programs.
One fourth of Generation Z and Millennials would like their companies to start including virtual reality technology into the workplace. With the high amount of interest, we expect companies to take this on to help boost employee engagement.
The unique experience allows for employee training to not only be more engaging, but also less expensive. Big companies like GE and General Mills are already using virtual reality technology to help prospective new hires get a feel for their offices and equipment without having to make a trip.
3. Offices May Become A Thing of the Past
One of the bigger workplace trends for 2017 is more offices might throw away the cubicle and completely disappear. Remote work will become more popular in the new year as companies hire younger individuals who place a higher value on their work-life balance than older generations. Plus, it allows for great talent to be hired no matter where they are physically located.
Knocking off an expensive real estate bill can also make a big impact for companies, and allow them to spend the money saved on more important things like employee engagement. New technology allows for employees to be able to communicate better and faster, workflow tools enable projects to be accessed from anywhere with a login, and there's even tools that create virtual meetings.
Without the extreme need for employees to be physically present at the office every day, [employers are finding that their engagement and even production levels start to rise] when they allow for remote work.
4. Say Goodbye to Work Emails Flooding Your Inbox
Sticking with the trend of the technology takeover, tools like Slack have made the use for workplace emails to essentially become a thing of the past. Without having to wait for someone to check their inbox, workplaces are seeing a rise in productivity because employees are having their questions answered faster. Using instant messaging tools also eliminates the time people have to chisel out just to read and respond to emails.
It's a more efficient way of communicating within the office, and many companies are calling for the end of email. We expect to see more companies picking up on this trend and calling for the adoption of instant messaging tools in the new year. With more Millennials joining the workforce every month, companies will feel the pressure to add more advanced technology tools.
These tech-savvy new hires are creating a heavy influence on executives to adapt their workplaces to the ways of the younger population, and we expect to see this trend become widespread in 2017.
5. Benefits and Perks Will Step Outside the Box
Having perks where you work is always an added bonus to your job, but they haven't always been expected. The rise in awareness of employee engagement levels and a younger, more diverse workforce means benefits and perks have become more important to new hires.
Companies have been adopting new programs in recent years to help boost their employees' happiness, but in 2017 we expect to see this go one step further. Executives will be more open to more creative and unique benefits that will not only boost their employees' engagement, but help their company stand out to new hires.
Rewards programs like those offered by viperks are exactly what organization will be searching for in the new year. Other creative offerings like exercise classes, more work flexibility and student loan repayment programs will also see an increase due to new hires expecting more from their employers than just a paycheck.