7 workplace trends to watch out for in 2019
As 2018 winds down and we wait for the dawn of 2019, it is time to retrospect on the workplace trends that redefined the nature jobs last year. A few of them are likely to spill on to 2019 as well.
Therefore, a lot of companies will concur with the fact that 2018 was a year of novel workspace experiments. An insurance firm in New Zealand conducted a successful trial of a 4-day work week. A Dutch business group shattered tiers of workplace hierarchy to go completely agile.
Consequently, many HR experts have already given their predictions on innovations that may trend and transform the nature of work in the coming year. We shall take a look at some of these changes.
#1. Retention of high-value employees
As more companies are restructuring to work in agile ways, there is an increased tendency for employers to reply upon freelancers. Moreover, many millennials adopt a non-conformist approach to progress in their careers.
Above all, a few of these early-career professionals drop out to start their own ventures or join the pool of outworkers. With the average job stay hovering around just 2.9 years, seems like the retention of high-value employees has gained significant importance.
Therefore, the onus now lies upon employers to double down their retention strategy. As a result, employers need to create happy work experiences for freshers and simultaneously engage its loyal employees in a meaningful way.
#2. Managing a talent pool of many generations
In the past year, many companies realized the importance of accommodating various generations to work together in collaborative set-ups. Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z employees are all part of diverse workforces today.
By 2020, 36% of the workforce will comprise of employees born after the baby boomer generation. This means the coming year will see employees from 4-5 generations working together.
Therefore, handling their varied idiosyncrasies to avoid collision of generational ideas at workplaces is crucial.
#3. Work-life balance
Better work-life balance is likely to be deliberated and delved upon in 2019 as well. The New Zealand firm Perpetual Guardian has set a new precedent in this regard.
It's employees who worked just 4-days a week recorded reduced stress accompanied with better work-life balance. Now many labor unions in U.K. are striving to adopt a similar policy. Above all, the Japanese government has allowed its employees (who suffer from overwork) to take Monday mornings off through its ‘Shining Monday’ initiative.
Therefore, greater flexibility in work hours, relaxing offices with designated break-out areas are all innovations that employers may continue to embrace in the coming year.
#4. Gendering workspaces
The ADP Research Institute analyzed aggregated payroll data from the third quarter of 2010 in the United States.
In its study titled ‘Rethinking Gender Pay Inequity in a More Transparent World,’ it found out how women are paid 17 percent less (on an average) in base salary than men. So, apart from base salary, disparities in incentives and bonuses between men and women is also a well-recorded phenomenon.
As a result, many companies are on the path to adopt more inclusive, gender-sensitive workplace policies. However, more concrete measures, especially in terms of breaking the glass ceiling, monitoring sexual harassment still need to be employed to guarantee ‘gendered’ workspaces.
#5. Wellness and sustainability
The need to redesign workspaces according to changing sensibilities of new age employees is gaining momentum. Open-floor plans with better access to natural light is what many employees have termed as the ‘need of the hour’.
Therefore, employers are keen to prioritize on sustainable workplaces with biophilia themes and quiet, relaxing pods for their millennial employees.
As a result, it would be interesting to note how more companies adopt these measures in 2019.
#6. Nanodegrees and hot skills
With a rapidly evolving work culture, the pressure on employees to keep upgrading their skills is real. Somehow, skyrocketed tuition fees, lack of hyper-specific learning modules at the University level have been a hindrance.
Hence, this is the reason why many students/prospective employees prefer nano degrees to conventional gradations. Nanodegrees are short-term courses (mostly virtual) or certifications that offer specialization in advanced tech-based skills.
Udemy, a leading nano degree institution listed the top six fastest-growing tech skills in the workplace 2019. These are Ethereum, Microsoft Power BI, Kubernetes, Amazon AWS, Informatica and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
#7. The future of work
With automation swiftly replacing routine jobs, the future of work remains hotly debated. Udemy surveyed 400 Learning and Development (L&D) leaders on how they were prepping for this sweeping transformation.
As per the data they collated, 31 percent of organizations were ready with a formal future of work plan. Moreover, another 30% percent of organizations had an informal plan in place. This, therefore, only reiterates how seriously employers are getting ready to embrace new age technological advancements like digitization, the democratization of data, Augmented Reality (AR), AI etc.
New skills like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and programs like Chatbots are set to retrench more jobs in 2019 too.
So, one has to wait to see how and to what extent these trends reform contemporary workspaces. How will robots and human beings work together? What new job profiles will be created? How will these roles impact the future of work? We hope 2019 has answers to more such pressing questions.