If you think your workplace trends, practices, expectations, and the technology you use in your organization are up to date, you may want to think again as it’s probably time for some updates. That’s because new generations and technologies will transform the workplace by 2020.
According to Forrester, more than 47% of executives interviewed believe that by 2020, technology will have an impact on more than half of their sales as well as the future workplace trends.
Today, many companies are undergoing a digital transformation. Artificial intelligence, cloud and mobile, and increased automation have given them the ability to transform every aspect of their business. The use of technology and digitization of every sector of business will have a fundamental impact on 2020 workplace trends.
Even though there are massive changes being witnessed in our lives from technology, the workplace trends have been static. Many people still work in big offices, cubicles, and at the same desk and computer every single day.
Furthermore, many people still think that a proper professional career is one where you wake up in the morning and report to work. But that might no longer be the case.
Death of the Office – Dream or Reality?
The global workplace by 2020 is going to be less centralized, extremely mobile and more flexible. In the future, you will easily work from the comfort of your own home without having to report physically to your office.
Surveys show that telecommuting is already on the rise. So, the future workplace will be more virtual, and there will be tools to monitor whether employees are actually working or not.
Technologies and tools like Dropbox, and other file-sharing platforms are already making life easier. In the future, these tools are going to enable you to work with anyone, anytime, and anywhere.
As the world is approaching the death of the office, the 2020 workplace trends are going to be accelerated by faster uptake of mobile technology, and the office won’t need to be at a fixed location. As freelancers are the fastest growing segment of the economy, companies will rely on outsourced labor for both high and low skilled jobs.
Furthermore, extremely low skilled personnel will be replaced by robots.
Succession Planning for Future Generations
The economic volatility of the future will create a global war on top talent. It is going to be a knowledge economy where information will become currency. Those who have the skills and information will be in high demand by companies and HR firms.
Therefore, to survive and keep your job, you will need to constantly work on your skills and proactively seek training opportunities. Firms will need to start paying close attention to the development of effective succession planning programs that would ensure leadership continuity in critical positions.
Succession planning will also help to identify and develop leaders for these key positions.
The future workplace trends will be characterized by Millennial and Generation Z employees. These generations need autonomy and flexibility, which will define the future workplace trends. What this means is that workplace culture will become just as important as salary and benefits.
Moreover, management will increasingly turn their attention to the millennial generation, whose attitudes will profoundly reshape society. When compared to older generations, who simply want job stability, younger workers want to have engaging jobs, a purposeful life, an active community, and financial stability.
As businesses become more digital, the same should be said of forward-looking HR departments which will have to transform in order to deliver a human-centered, personalized, compelling, and memorable employee experiences.
Being digital and employee-centered will require a belief in the power of leveraging the latest consumer technologies inside HR. To prepare for the future, the following is what you, as an HR professional, can do:
1. Focus on creating a great employee experience
Employee experience is the ability to see the world through the eyes of the employees, staying connected and being aware of their milestones. You will have to develop an employee experience, which considers the physical environment employees work in as well as the technologies and tools that will enable productivity.
This is because employee experience is extremely important to the success of a company. Making the workplace an experience will allow you to embed your culture and values into the job, and use it to recruit and retain top talent.
2. Use an Agile Approach to Recruit and Develop Employees
An agile approach is mostly used in software development to help companies operate with speed, and be able to manage unpredictability, but it equally applies to recruiting and developing employees and their skills.
In the workplace of 2020, you will have to use this approach to recruit and develop your employees. You should make it easy for employees to find, rate, tag and consume learning in every aspect of the business.
3. Create Spaces That Promote Culture
Most workspaces have been majorly designed for extroverts and their need for lots of stimulations. However, it is important to ask yourself how you can accommodate both introverts and extroverts in the workplace, to ensure that the needs of both styles are met.
Apart from coming up with mobile and flexible workspaces, you should ensure full adaptability for retaining top talent.
A report by Steelcase indicates that employees who have control over where and how they work, and are free to choose a workspace that fits their task at hand, either collaborative or focused, are more than 88% more engaged at work.
4. Apply a consumer marketing lens to HR
As job candidates and employees have the tools to provide instant feedback to employers, employees are able to rate a company’s culture and management. You will need a range of consumer marketing tools such as design thinking and sentiment analysis to create a compelling employee experience. This is where big data comes into play.
In today’s digital age, almost every interaction we have with tools, customers, or even team members, generates data. Future workplace trends will become all about collecting, assimilating, rationalizing, and analyzing data.
You will then need to take steps to act on the resulting analysis. Use your findings to tweak or revamp your strategies to make them more effective.
5. Pilot Chatbots in HR
According to IDC, Artificial intelligence is a huge market that will surge from $8 billion this year to $47 billion by 2020. You will have to create bots designed to deliver personalized conversational experiences online. Chatbots will be able to handle many tasks in recruiting such as suggesting interview questions or finding similar candidates on LinkedIn.
Automation will seep into more aspects of work and personal lives. Therefore, it will be hard to differentiate what is being done by a person or a machine. The fundamental nature of how people work will be completely transformed, and you will have to work smarter to deliver effective solutions rapidly and accurately.
6. Prepare for New Roles in HR
There are going to be fundamental changes in HR by the year 2020. You will have to create a more personalized employee experience powered by artificial intelligence. A number of HR roles will become more specialized and technical.
7. Focus on Team Development and not just Individual Development
Even though HR departments have traditionally focused on individual employees, in 2020, developing teams that can work together effectively will become the greatest priority for most organizations. Great accomplishments will be delivered through teams and not just through individuals working alone.
For 2020 HR dynamics, the goal will be to educate people on how to effectively collaborate with their team members, and learn to contribute to projects by making group as opposed to individual contributions.
Gazing Into The Future
You can decide to either be fearful or excited about the 2020 HR trends, but there are will be new opportunities for change and improvements.
To help organizations move toward the workplace trends of the future, it will be important to determine company’s strengths and weaknesses, look for opportunities to integrate technology, and have clearly defined goals and objectives.
Originally published on: 31 Jul 2017