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5 Trends changing the work environment


Companies have started realizing that the workplace is more than a work environment — it’s where most employees spend the majority of their waking hours throughout the week. In other words, office spaces aren’t just somewhere to get work done. The workplace is a pivotal tool for obtaining the best employees, recruiting top candidates, and creating a positive atmosphere for workers.

The work industry is vastly different than it was a decade ago — and not because of the global recession. Electronic advances and presumptions from new generations of workers have shifted the way we produce and collaborate, transforming the work environment and with it, our lives.

1. Strict office hours are no longer a thing

The U.S. Labor Statistics reports that more than 20 million working Americans actively prefer part-time work to secure a good work-life balance and gain flexible work hours. Technology also makes this possible for businesses to eliminate the traditional 9-5 work schedule. Business leaders have begun creating work environments that give employees more flexibility over their schedules, by using technology to allow people to work when and where it works best for them.

2. The workplace environment has become more casual

About seven years ago, Virgin founder Richard Branson was on the cover of a Forbes Magazine with scissors cutting off his tie, as a symbol of the ending of business formal attire. With the rise of younger generations, and more employees starting to work remotely, there’s no doubt that the work environment is increasingly casual. As a matter of fact, these aspects of the professional world are quickly being changed by mobile apps. To put it another way, if you haven’t seen this trend yet, you’re bound to see it sometime this year since more employees are demanding to drop their suits and ties in exchange for denim jeans and t-shirts. Today, it is believed that 50 percent of managers say that their employees wear less formal clothing than they did 10 years ago.

Statistics also show that about one-third of employees do some or all their work right from home, and as someone who’s worked from home before, employees don’t wake up and put on a suit to log onto the computer.

3. Organizations focus on teamwork over individual performance

Perhaps one of the most fascinating trends out there is the emphasis of group work, regardless of employment situation. While individual employees still have their own career goals, companies are now structured by groups since high performing teams will allow them to compete for the future. The rise of teamwork structures can also be attributed to the millennial and generation Z workforce, who grew up playing in team sports and carry those same expectations and values into the office environment. About 92 percent of all companies rate organizational design as their top priority, and three-fourths said that they are all well-prepared to work effectively in teams.

Believe it or not, Cisco was one of the first companies to embrace this new trend, creating a system called “TeamSpace,” a platform that delivers information on how teams can work together. Following this trend, companies from all over have now been able to conduct global recruitment, selecting from internal and external applicants. So, whether you’re trying to start a business or buy a home for the first-time with your partner (a form of teamwork), there’s a way you can make that possible through collaboration. 

4. Nontraditional benefits will become the next big thing

Voluntary benefits are now becoming standard inclusions in employee benefits solutions, and people are seeing an increase in the offering of non-traditional voluntary benefits. These offerings include different programs that take a holistic approach to employee wellness to attract young job seekers and retain current employees.

By doing this, employees are becoming interested in overall wellness, taking the time to understand that their health is dependent on multiple aspects, that include work environment and lifestyle. So far, organizations are taking the relationship between employee health, satisfaction and engagement into account when trying to determine which non-traditional packages might be best for their employee’s needs, while at the same time, benefiting their business.

5. Technology is shifting businesses away from brick & mortar

Baby boomers started most of the business foundations we see today. There are, however, few components that are shifting the business landscape. Technology is one of them, and it’s becoming easier to use. Items you once could only find at specialty shops are now easily accessible for users online and Baby Boomers are now entering retirement. These shifts, along with the economic recovery in the recent years has made business sales more prominent.

As Baby Boomers seek retirement in the next few years, don’t be surprised if you start seeing businesses being sold, taken apart, and reworked for consumer needs. In addition to this, some Baby Boomers might try and get ahead of their competition by selling their businesses within the next couple years, before the marketing becomes too competitive and the buyouts decrease.

As a final point, a workplace design and strategy can play a pivotal role in helping to maximize the comfort and performance of occupants. In other words, engaging with employees on how the work environment can best support them is a great way to start the transformation process.

What are other trends do you see becoming increasingly popular throughout the work force? Feel free to leave comments below.

About Herman Davis

H. Davis loves taking advantage of the sunny weather outside. If you can’t catch him online, you might be able to catch him out playing football with friends or cheering on the Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at @Davis241. Thanks!

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