The ways in which companies do business and manage employees are constantly changing and evolving. Various trends seem to come and go. What about 2016? What type of trends can you expect to become more commonplace this year? From a mobile workforce to an increased dependence on independent contractors, this should be an interesting year for innovative workplace concepts and trends.
You can see this for yourself, with this list of the top 10 work trends for 2016.
#1 – A Major Focus on Employee Morale
Almost all of the trends that you discover below are connected to this top trend – boosting employee morale. The United States has one of the hardest-working workforces. The average work week consists of 47-hours, much higher than the average in other developed countries, yet American businesses provide the least amount of paid time off and other benefits.
With businesses looking to remain competitive and attract fickle millennials, you will naturally see businesses realizing the importance of employee morale.
#2 – More Employee Perks
As more businesses expand the benefits provided to employees, such as paid time off and parental leave, it becomes increasingly important for other businesses to follow suit – or risk losing staff to competitors.
Another reason for additional employee perks is that the latest generation to enter the workforce is showing very little interest in company loyalty. They will quickly switch jobs, roles, or businesses, if they come across a better offer. With employment numbers declining, it is up to the businesses to attract top talent.
For these reasons, you can definitely rely on businesses to place more of an emphasis on employee well-being. An increase of paid time off, parental leave, and benefits should continue to be a top trend in 2016.
#3 – A Mobile Workforce
It has never been easier to keep track of employee hours and manage tasks, thanks to modern time tracking and employee attendance software. Advance Systems are one of the leading developers of time tracking solutions, including mobile software. With more employees working from home or working while they commute to work, having a mobile option from Advance Systems for tracking employee attendance gives businesses increased flexibility.
#4 – Open Floor Plans
When cubicles and partitions became the standard practice for office floor plans, businesses believed that this would keep employees focused and productive. Studies have shown that cubicles actually decrease employee morale, which can have a tremendous effect on productivity.
Having an open floor plan promotes creativity, sharing of ideas, and boosts overall productivity. It is hard to slack off when your co-workers are able to see you browsing your Facebook page or taking a short nap. In the previous year, about 70 percent of offices in the United States had open office plans, with low or no partitions.
#5 – Increased Flexibility for Work Hours
Having a set schedule is becoming less important for the management of a business, especially in an office setting. With electronic employee attendance software, such as those provided by Advance Systems, businesses find it easier to provide flexible work hours. Workplace flexibility is a top topic in the business world, as the demand for a 50-hour work week has taken its toll on the general workforce.
More employers will begin instituting policies that allow employees to have a more flexible schedule, which may include working from home for some shifts or allowing a more fluid schedule. You can thank the millennials for this. This latest generation is going to require increased flexibility, as businesses prepare for the next baby boom.
#6 – Self-Organization and a Redefinition of Job Roles
Another significant trend to pay attention to is self-organization and the removal of job roles. Major companies have been eliminating past hierarchies to create a more communal workforce. You can use Zappos as an example of this trend.
Several years ago, Zappos eliminated many of their job titles and restructured their entire idea of job roles and management. They believe that a self-organized workforce is more productive, enjoy their job more, and become more willing to collaborate and share ideas.
#7 – Fewer Full-Time Positions
Due to a combination of increased health care costs, the rising minimum wage, and other factors, many businesses will be forced to find ways to cut costs. There is already a trend that is taking shape across the country – eliminating full-time positions.
This keeps businesses from having to supply health insurance to their entire workforce and prevents them from having to guarantee a certain number of hours in the work week.
#8 – Concierge Services
What are concierge services and why are they such a big trend? Concierge services refer to in-house perks that help keep employee morale high. This can include cafeterias, salons and massage services, transportation, and any other service that helps keep employees satisfied with their workplace.
#9 – Freelancing and Independent Contractor Jobs
Businesses and individuals with a specific talent can both benefit from freelance contracts. Acting as an independent contractor gives flexibility to workers and can help cut business costs.
When you hire a freelancer or independent contractor to complete a job, you do not have to deal with paying benefits, worrying about sick leave, or the other chores that come with managing an in-house staff. Almost a third of the workforce in the United States is comprised of freelancers and independent contractors and you can expect this trend to continue in 2016.
#10 – Pet Insurance
This final trend could fall into the category of “more employee perks”, but it does deserve its own attention. While there has been an increase in employee benefits, one major trend is an increase in available pet insurance. This is something that would have been unheard of a decade or so ago.
Again, once a business realizes that a new policy helps attract and keep top talent, other businesses follow suit. This is the case with pet insurance. If it is important to employees, it begins to become important for businesses.
These are some of the top work trends for 2016. While they may not all be suitable for all business models, they each have their strengths and benefits. If you are looking for a way to streamline your business, cut costs, or increase revenue, you may want to explore some of these trends a little further.