In 2017, it’s unlikely that Leicester City will win the Premier League again. And I’m not putting any money on Elvis appearing live on the roof of Buckingham Palace, either. But the most unlikely things have been happening since 2016, so I’d better add ‘probably’ to both of those events…
In the world of workspace predictions, though, I’m thankfully on more certain ground. I’ve identified 5 important trends that will make a real impact on workplaces over the next 12 months – and could see us celebrating togetherness like never before.
1) The growth of the blended workforce – Forbes estimates that 40% of workers will be freelancers in a few years time, working hand-in-hand with full time and part time staff.
“With many freelancers working at remote offices, the ability to manage without borders is going to become a critical skills globally,” the magazine says.
2) Peer collaboration as a job perk – Peer involvement always rate high in surveys as a reason people enjoy their job, but in 2016 employees reported not feeling very connected to their coworkers.
Workplace technology that encourages peer-to-peer collaboration – for example, making it easy to use videoconferencing – will play a big part in creating happy working environments that encourage talent to stay in 2017.
3) Automation – It was predicted that it will cost jobs, but a new report says less than 5% of jobs can be fully automated by adapting currently demonstrated technology.
Instead, automation will take the grind out of mundane tasks and free up more time for staff to work together. For instance, co-ordinating meetings across multi-locations is far easier now, with software notifying delegates automatically if time or venue changes.
4) Here comes Generation Z – This is the first year young people born after the mid-Nineties will enter the workplace.
Digital-savvy millennials have already had a real impact on workplaces with their taste for flexible working. Generation Z will be even more demanding – they’re the first generation to care more about flexible working than healthcare coverage. For them, mobile access to workplace facilities such as booking desks and collaborative space is beyond important.
5) Co-working – London now plays host to more co-working spaces than anywhere else in Europe, and shared space will continue to grow.
Managing such a fluid environment will see office organisers and schedulers reaching for the latest technologies to make sure their expensive real estate is well-used and easily accessible.
So what does 2017 look like in the workplace?
Less packed with mundane tasks, for sure, with lots more opportunity for collaboration, peer integration and easy flexible working. That’s not a bad picture when it comes to staff satisfaction, retention and productivity.
And who knows? The Leicester mouse might even get to roar again…sadly, I’m not holding out any hope for Elvis, though…