What’s on the cards for 2018?

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So, 2018 – what’s on the cards:  Workplace Trends for 2018?

Looking at all the predictions for this year, what can we expect for the Workplace Trends for 2018?

There are some common trends that keep recurring which we’ve summarised below, having looked at some of the recent surveys and many of seem to interlink. But it feels like there is a big shift on the horizon due to many factors that impact the working landscape.


There are a few continuing trends from 2017 set to follow us into 2018, most significantly, the shortage of quality skilled candidates,  the increasing importance of Workplace Perks and Diversity, Age and of course the Gender Pay Gap.

But here we focus on the newer ‘entries’ to the trend charts!

1. ‘Returnships’
Due to several factors, the socio-economic landscape is changing in the UK, one being the improved health of older workers. It makes sense to take advantage of their experience and knowledge and use is it to our advantage – it could help plug the skills shortage gap?

What is a Returnship?
‘Returnships’ are higher-level internships which act as a bridge back to senior roles for experienced professionals who have taken an extended career break. They are professionally-paid short-term employment contracts, typically of 3-6 months, with a strong possibility of an ongoing role at the end of the programme. (Womenreturners)

2. Back to basics, more interaction
As much as we love and embrace technology some companies are seeing the downside to relying on it so much. Although it has opened up the option of remote working for most companies, no technology can replace the power of ‘old skool’ personal interaction such as face-t0-face chit chats, a phone call and in-person meetings.

Researchers Mahdi Roghanizad and Vanessa K. Bohns determine, “that one face-to-face conversation is the equivalent to thirty-four emails. ” (forbes)

With statistics like these it’s not surprising that some companies are actually turning away from remote working and turning back to basics. There seems to be a focus on creating communal staff spaces and cafes to encourage face-to-face, cross-departmental interactions. Interaction = happy staff. Creativity and relationship building can only be good for productivity and staff morale.

Virtual environments cannot replace the spark from face to face contact.

Overall, we can say that remote working works better in some roles than others, and is more justified. Although some companies are focussing on face-to-face, it makes more economic sense for some workers to have more time at home, saving time and money!

So on the flip side!

3. Increased flexibility for workers
CV-Library data revealed that two-thirds of the nation’s workers are losing up to 16 days a year commuting. Currently, only 27.3% of UK professionals have the opportunity to work from home when they want to. CV library

The average UK worker (36.7%) puts in over 13 extra working days a year. What’s more, two thirds (64%) admit that they often work more than their contracted hours.


4. Alternative learning/Qualifications
To stand out from the crowd when seeking work or to excel within a company education is key. There is an abundance now of online distance learning and courses available – which with some investment means we can pretty much choose to do whatever we like!

5. Upskilling & retaining staff
“In our current economy, change is happening faster than ever before and the half-life of a learned skill is a mere five years.” (Forbes)

So, what does that mean exactly? According to Denning and Brown, the authors of A New Culture of Learning, “The half-life a learned skill is 5-years” – this means that much of what you learned 10 years ago is obsolete and half of what you learned 5 years ago is irrelevant.

Now this is scary stuff! Workers need to stay on their game!

In the US, the lack of skilled candidates means employers are experiencing unfilled vacancies for over 12 weeks –leading to lost productivity and ultimately revenue. One way to combat this is to focus on upskilling current staff ensuring you retain your best talent, and don’t let them walk out the door.
Another scary statistic is that “Almost half of all tasks people are paid to do every day are at risk of being automated and multiple studies show that total headcount will be decreased by between 12% and 50%.  (Forbes)

And in addition to this, we need to bear in mind, as Generation Z enters the workplace, they will face an even greater skills gap where 65% of the jobs they will need to fill don’t even exist yet!

6. Transient job market
CV-Library’s research found that three quarters (74.3%) of the nation’s workers believe that job-hopping has become more acceptable over the years. Their study found that nearly half (46.8%) of workers believe it’s acceptable to leave a job after less than a year” the figure is higher for 18-24-year-olds. (CV library)

This is a tricky trend for employers as there needs to be some trust and commitment when recruiting new talent. Historically, changing jobs too frequently has raised alarm bells – perhaps 2018 will see a changing attitude to fluidity.

7. Artificial Intelligence replacing roles
This is demonstrated by the rise of the chatbot. A great example of this is at the company Overstock,
“they have a chatbot for HR called Mila, that lets managers know when employees are sick and at Intel, they use an HR virtual assistant that answers questions about pay and benefits.”

Also more locally, AFC Bournemouth has introduced their very own chatbot, the ‘cherrybot’ to interact with fans during matches!

8. Power of the Brand
Remembering the importance of the brand –a recent survey has shown that even a candidate’s experience when applying to a company can impact their purchasing decisions afterwards. If your company leaves them with a negative view and experience this can lead to a losing a customer, and the lifetime value of this could be substantial depending on the brand. From candidate through to customer service at the other end, companies need to create a seamless and positive brand experience from all angles.

Right ….to work!

Sources:
Women Returners
CV Library
Marketing Week
Forbes

Workplace Trends for 2018

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