of Work Culture
By Jaime Neely, Chief Culture Officer, Trend Hunter
safe to say that todays workplaces are incredibly
different than they were 5, 10, or 50 years ago. Within
the last few years at Trend Hunter, weve identified
many of these transformations through insights like Appified
Office 2.0, Intelligent
Workspace and Social
Hiring. Were seeing shifts in everything from
the furniture we put in our offices, to the technologies
we use, to the way we interact with colleagues and clients
and even the benefits weve come to expect from employers.
Three overarching themes can help us make sense of the changing
landscape of work culture: an evolving workforce, evolving
technology, and evolving job types.
One of the biggest shifts weve seen in the workplace
relates to demographics. Its estimated that by the
year 2020, 50% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials
and an additional 20% will be accounted for by Gen Z. With
these two generations representing 70% of workers, understanding
the unique values and work styles they bring to the table
is critical to any employers success.
Trend Hunter has
studied tens of thousands of employees across the world
in a variety of industries through our Innovation
Assessment tool. The results offer unique insights
into how each generation varies within the workplace today.
For instance, Boomers prefer to have more variety in their
projects, whereas members of Gen Z are looking to be more
focused and specialized within their roles. 40% of female
Millennials feel that their ideas are not heard the
most of any group. Gen X employees have the least amount
of faith in their organizations innovation strategy.
And quite surprisingly, 65% of boomers believe that playing
it safe will actually lead to their professional downfall.
noting that many of these results directly challenge some
of the stereotypes we have about each generation in the
workplace. By understanding and accommodating these differences
instead of making generalizations, employers can maximize
employee satisfaction and productivity regardless of age.
Technologys role in the workplace has also undergone
a drastic transformation. From the way we communicate and
share information, to how we manage our time, how we interact
with one another and even how we turn our ideas into products,
were in a seemingly constant state of change. We know
how the rise of technology like artificial intelligence
(AI), robotics and automation has impacted the consumer
experience, but how has it altered the world of the employee?
In just a few years,
organizations can expect to have access to 10 to 10,000
times more data than they do today. Data is good for innovation;
it enables employees to make more informed decisions, do
their jobs more effectively and ultimately make a bigger
impact within their roles and organizations.
When it comes to
AI, a study by McKinsey revealed that 49% of the work listed
across 800 job boards today can already be automated. While
our instinct may be to internalize this shift as a bad thing,
its actually opening up more time and energy for organizations
to focus on bigger and often more complex challenges. Google
is a great example of a company leveraging AI to make day-to-day
work more efficient for its employees. Its most recent product,
Google Hire, uses AI to take care of recruiting-related
tasks including scanning resumes and booking interviews.
The next few years will bring about a major shift in the
types of jobs available to workers. Not only are new roles
emerging, but were seeing new types of employees within
organizations. Dell estimates that 85% of future jobs dont
exist yet or are otherwise unknown to us. While that might
seem like a large number, there have been some very interesting
predictions about the types of roles that might soon emerge.
From Personal Reality Designer to Digital
Archaeologist to Robot Liaison Officer
and more, the job listings of tomorrow diverge considerably
from what were used to.
interesting future role is Freelance Relationships
Officer. Were all familiar with the gig
economy, where part-time contracting and freelancing
roles are the norm, and its only becoming more prevalent.
Studies suggest that if the current pace continues, 50%
of workers in the United States will be freelancing within
the next ten years. This makes quite a bit of sense when
we consider the benefits freelancing offers. For many young
people, the perks of flexibility, autonomy, control and
varied experience outweigh the traditional benefits of full-time
employment including steady income, paid vacation and health
benefits to employers, as well. For starters, they give
employers access to better, more specialized talent. They
are also much more affordable than bringing on full-time
employees and present less risk than committing to someone
for a permanent role. The insight Accelerating
Outsourcing shows how brands across all industries
are dipping into the growing pool of freelancers to become
more agile and enhance overall efficiencies. Utilizing freelance
workers isnt just for small companies or start-ups
either 58% of Fortune 500 companies use freelancing
services to fill temporary positions.
adapting to these changes is critical to the success of
employers and employees alike. Its also important
to gain an awareness of the generational stereotypes that
might be impacting our decisions, and to create opportunities
for them to be proven wrong. Allowing your workplace to
evolve in response to changing expectations and needs will
allow you to attract and retain better talent, enhance organizational
efficiency, and create an overall positive work environment.
The pace of change is only going to accelerate, so now is
the perfect time to get started. How can your workplace