Towards the end of each year, the experts sound off on what they deem to be the coming trends in their industry. HR management is no different, and predictions were made for 2017. So what really is trending?
While many of these trends are real, measurable and making headway, only time will tell what trends will persists and what practices fall to the wayside. A good example of the latter was the "open office" move that was intended to foster collaboration and enhance workplace communication. Except that no one really liked working that way.
In fact, although most American workers still work in offices with open floor plans, according to the International Facilities Management Association, businesses are learning that this doesn't always enhance getting work done.
Seven HR Management and Workplace Trends Noted This Year
Here is a short list of the seven top workplace/HR management trends according to industry experts and researchers.
1. Remote Workforce
Also commonly known as "Telecommuting", working remotely is definitely a rising trend across the U.S. According to the entry in Wikipedia:
Telecommuting, also called remote work, telework, or teleworking, is a work arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel (e.g. by bus or car) to a central place of work, such as an office building, warehouse or store.
A recent survey by Randstad noted that Generation Z is the first group to care about flexible work schedules more than healthcare. A large number of Gen Z workers - those born in 1995 and later - are also choosing to work instead of taking on the debt often needed to attend university or college.
For many employees, it can be a great perk and offer needed flexibility that often means keeping that particular job. For employers, if managed properly, a remote workforce can reduce employee stress and management costs while boosting and morale.
2. Casual Workplace and Attire
With the rise of younger generations, and more employees working remotely, there’s no doubt that the workplace is becoming increasingly casual. It was Richard Branson who appeared on the cover of Forbes Magazine years ago, cutting off his tie, and making a call more informal attire in the workplace.
Another trend coinciding with this is the rise of the beard. While varying styles of facial hair have come and gone over the last few decades, the advent of the full beard in the workplace is a relatively new phenomenon. This is especially true in the boardrooms of American businesses.
3. A Blended Workforce
The U.S. workforce is becoming less homogeneous and is increasingly composed of full-time employees along with part-time employees, freelancers, consultants, independent contractors, and others. One term used to describe this dynamic is the "Gig Economy".
According to studies, conducted by Intuit, among others, indicates that the percentage of the workforce who are so-called Gig Economy Workers ranges from 15.8% to 34%. This may foreshadow a fundamental shift in how HR management and operations is implemented in the near future.
4. Smart Workplaces
A study conducted by Dell showed that 80 percent of Millennials indicated that workplace technology impacts the job they take. In addition, about half of all employees and three in five millennials surveyed, believe that technology will soon make face-to-face conversation "obsolete".
Communications and project management technology is changing the definition of the workplace. Fewer businesses will be limited to working inside cubicles surrounded by four walls. As noted in the first item in our list, the common "workplace" will be more virtual and dynamic.
5. Employee-Centric Hiring
A not-so-subtle shift has occurred among the younger job seekers over the last few years. A national survey was released last year by Future Workplace, a research firm, and Beyond, The Career Network. Among their findings:
- Bonuses and promotions are most important to job seekers when it comes to rewards and recognition, while companies viewed giving recognition in front of their peers ahead of bonuses and promotions.
- Only 50% of job seekers say that their most recent employer has helped them advance in their career Job seekers reported that employers could best help advance their careers through project assignments, promotions and leadership development programs.
- While 65% all job seekers want to work at small to medium sized companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, only 58% of Millennials want to compared to 63% of Gen Xers and 71% of Baby Boomers.
6. The Advent of Virtual Reality
A technology that is not limited to entertainment, virtual reality, or VR, is could be used by companies to provide training with virtual "hands-on" experience. Apparently some companies are already using VR technology to provide job candidates with a 360-degree perspective complete with introductions to potential co-workers and virtual workspace tours.
Maribel Lopez noted in Forbes that,
Increasingly companies are investigating augmented and virtual reality to deliver these new workplace experiences, such as improving collaboration or making hands-free data access easier. Typical examples of these workplace experiences include training, design, and field service.
7. AI and Chatbots In HR
Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming into a new phase of technology maturity a surge in the form of chatbots and the creation of digital co-workers. These are actually programs that virtually work alongside employees and participate in the day to day activities of the company.
According to an article in VentureBeat.com,
A chatbot is a service, powered by rules and artificial intelligence, which you interact with via a chat interface such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, or HipChat. Chatbots have actually been around for years, but these intelligent bots are making a comeback with the rise of A.I. (artificial intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things).
For example, there is Talla, a chat bot that handles recruiting tasks such as suggesting interview questions or finding similar candidates on LinkedIn. And now there is Jane, touted as the world's first AI chatbot. Jane can answer employee questions in real time on the Slack messaging platform.
Discover the Benefits of Outsourcing Your HR Processes
Considering alternatives such as outsourcing is increasingly becoming a cost-effective and strategic option. Accuchex can help you in managing your HR needs, payroll processes, and staying on top of compliance demands.
At some point in the growth of your company it makes sense to consider other options for maintaining and managing the vast number of tasks and functions that fall under the HR department. While newer software and automation are certainly viable and beneficial options, it can often be far more cost-effective to outsource.
If you are considering outsourcing some or all of your payroll processes, give us a call. Let Accuchex help you in managing your HR needs, payroll processes, and staying on top of compliance demands. Feel free to reach out to us at 877-422-2824.