It is that time of year again when we begin prognosticating about what is coming down the workplace pike in the next 12 months. Every year we look for new trends that dictate what the workplace will look like across America. What we see coming in 2020 suggests this could be a defining year with ramifications that last for decades.
Much like how the workplace was transformed during the postwar 1950s, employment in America is on the cusp of another transformational change. Larger numbers of baby boomers are now reaching retirement while younger workers take their place. Those younger workers bring an entirely new mindset.
Here are what we believe are the top three workplace trends to be mindful of in the coming year:
1. Gen Z Taking Its Place
For the better part of the last decade, our culture has focused a lot of attention on millennials. That is changing. This is the year that Gen Z will be entering the workplace in earnest.
Gen Z consists of those people born between 1996 and 2010. Research from McKinsey & Company indicates that people of this generation are on a constant search for truth. They value individual expression, dialogue, and social justice. They tend to make decisions pragmatically and analytically based on their own experiences and what they have learned from previous generations.
In terms of their effect on the workplace, Gen Z employees will bring a new sense of social responsibility. They will see their work as a means of making the world a better place rather than solely a moneymaking opportunity. Their technical knowledge will enable them to excel more quickly than older employees.
2. Remote Work Will Increase
With the influx of younger workers will come a different mindset as to how and when work should be performed. Combining that mindset with technology suggests that remote work will increase. This could be the year that companies start embracing remote work after having avoided it for years.
A new focus on remote work will be enhanced by advanced time management, communication, and productivity software – all hosted in the cloud. There will be less of a need for employees to actually sit in an office because they can work from anywhere. Obviously, this particular point does not impact manufacturing facilities, healthcare facilities, the hospitality industry, etc.
3. More Flexible Work Schedules
Gen Z and millennial employees alike value a good work-life balance. They do not see work as a means to an end. Rather, they see it as a tool to put food on the table. And like any tool, younger workers are likely to view work as something that should be flexible. This portends a new focus on more flexible work schedules.
Flexible scheduling is something that employers have been dabbling in for years. 2020 could be the year when more dive in wholeheartedly. They have observed companies like VMware, Vox Media and Upwork, companies that have successfully employed flexible scheduling. And for the record, the total number of U.S. employers doing so has risen from 52% to 57% in the last four years.
With the introduction of a whole new group of employees entering the workforce, there are bound to be changes. It is inevitable. The most profound changes likely to affect the workplace for a decade or more begin this year. Is your company ready for them?
BenefitMall is a payroll and benefits administration company serving clients across the country. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business succeed in 2020, do not hesitate to contact us.