In 2015 there have been a significant number of new and revisited trends within the business world. These trends are particularly focused around how businesses are structured, how employees approach employment and the business environment. Here is a list and brief outline of nine prominent trends that have seen growth this year:
1) There has been a larger number of Australian’s participating in some form of freelance work than ever before. This work may be on top of their normal nine to five or it may be making the shift to contracting or business ownership. This trend is not only occurring in the younger generation of workers (Gen Y) but also among the Baby Boomers. The Gen Y workers are not finding fulfilling employment opportunities or stable contracts so they undertake freelance employment as a means to improve their work situation. The Baby Boomers on the other hand are tending to freelance for flexibility, to reduce stress and to offer them more control over their lifestyle.
Self Directed Professional Development
2) The issue of skills shortage and a lack of employee training opportunities has been around for a long time however lately more employees are being forced to look for development opportunities themselves. Professional development should be a priority for both individual employees and across the whole company. The ideal workplace would have staff looking to further develop their skills who would be supported by their employers to achieve those development goals.
Dynamic Working Environments
3) The modern business is no longer based in the nine-five, office environment mentality. With the advent of budget national airway carriers and the technological advances in communication (Skype, whatsapp, cloud based programs) the modern office is one that is constantly moving. Employees are now flying in and out of offices, Skyping into work, working remotely from home, working while on the road or while visiting clients due to the connectivity and mobility available to them. This has made the workplace a dynamic and fluid environment that isn’t constrained to one location or a certain time. Flexibility is the buzz word of most modern work environments.
The Young Upstarts (Youth Management)
4) Young people are more often feeling driven to enter into management roles earlier in their careers. Long gone are the days where employees would wait for an opportunity later in their career. Twenty something’s and those in their early thirties with the increasing costs of living and competitive working environment are looking to take on more responsibility faster. This drive to be a “boss” is a contributing factor to the large increase in freelancing in particular from younger employees.
5) The business world has pivoted even more so towards internships in recent years. More and more businesses are offering positions to fresh graduates or currently studying individuals either paid or unpaid. This trend has occurred due to a convergence of factors such as; the approaching retirement of the baby boomer generation, the need for more technically adept employees and the financial benefits interns can provide for a business. Internships will continue to grow in the year and years to come, particularly within the technology, financial and consulting services (though they have been a staple of those industries already for years).
Hiring: Social Media As A Tool
6)More people are beginning to realise that using social media to research both potential employees and employers is a must. Countless individuals and companies don’t realise how much of their personal life, personality and nature is available online to anyone. While social media searches can help employers narrow their hiring candidates it can also help job hunters see what they are getting into. With that in mind more and more companies are developing specific strategies and procedures for their social media for both the company and employees. Look for more directed and targeted policies that look to attract potential employees in the coming months and years.
The Open, Bright And Collegiate Workplace
7) The dominance of the traditional office environment is almost certainly coming to an end. More and more prospective employees are looking for businesses to work for that offer comfortable, modern and collaborative working environments. Companies such as Google, Acuity, Lego, Fujitsu, Facebook and others are leading the way with working environments that are designed to embrace modernity and foster collaborative working relationships. The days of the cubicle or shut in office are almost gone, say hello to the colourful, engaging open plan or pod styled offices of tomorrow.
8) In today’s business environment people sacrificing their already limited free time seems to be unlikely however recent trends are actually proving this to be false. Employees are becoming more and more involved and excited by opportunities to volunteer their skills or time to charitable works and programs. Offering these opportunities to employees has a two fold impact, firstly it provides your employees with a way to feel good about their work by having a positive and selfless impact and secondly it gives the company greater exposure in the wider community. Businesses can undertake volunteering or charity programs through pro bono work, donations or through participation in events for charity such as completing Walk For Life, Seven Bridges Walk or even the more challenging Tough Mudder.
Not So Fancy
9) The idea of casual Fridays has been around for a long time but today, it’s not so much casual Friday that is becoming more prevalent but more like casual Monday – Friday. Businesses are finding that employees who are more comfortable at work produce better results. For smaller businesses allowing your employees more comfort in the workplace while maintaining a professionalism that suits your industry is a balance you must try on. It isn’t just technology companies that are moving towards the casual wear offices and workplaces, get on board before your ties, tie your hands and you are forced to change!