By Luis De Souza, CEO of NFS Technology Group
In 2017, it’s unlikely, or against the odds, for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series a second year in a row especially after a 100 year hiatus. And I’m also not betting on Elvis impersonators disappearing from the Las Vegas strip anytime soon.
But the most unlikely things have been happening since 2016, so I’d better add ‘probably’ to both of those statements…
In the world of workspace predictions, though, I’m thankfully on more certain ground. I’ve identified 5 important trends that will make a real impact on workplaces over the next 12 months – and could see us celebrating togetherness like never before.
1. The growth of the blended workforce – Forbes estimates that 40% of workers will be freelancers in a few years time, working hand-in-hand with full time and part time staff.
“With many freelancers working at remote offices, the ability to manage without borders is going to become a critical skills globally,” the magazine says.
This trend will create growing demand for workplace booking and scheduling software that allows workers to see and book available workspace.
2. Peer collaboration as a job perk – Peer involvement always rate high in surveys as a reason people enjoy their job, but in 2016 employees reported not feeling very connected to their coworkers.
Workplace technology that encourages peer-to-peer collaboration – for example, making it easy to use videoconferencing – will play a big part in creating happy working environments that encourage talent to stay in 2017.
3. Automation – It was predicted that it will cost jobs, but a new report says less than 5% of jobs can be fully automated by adapting currently demonstrated technology.
Instead, automation will take the grind out of mundane tasks and free up more time for staff to work together. For instance, co-ordinating meetings across multi-locations is far easier now, with software notifying delegates automatically if time or venue changes.
4. Here comes Generation Z – This is the first year young people born after the mid-Nineties will enter the workplace.
Digital-savvy millennials have already had a real impact on workplaces with their taste for flexible working.
Generation Z will be even more demanding – they’re the first generation to care more about flexible working than healthcare coverage. For them, mobile access to workplace facilities such as booking desks and collaborative space is beyond important.
5. Co-working. London now plays host to more co-working spaces than anywhere else in Europe, and shared space will continue to grow there and in the US as well.
Managing such a fluid environment will see office organizers and schedulers reaching for the latest technologies to make sure their expensive real estate is well-used and easily accessible.
So what does 2017 look like in the workplace? Less packed with mundane tasks, for sure, with lots more opportunity for collaboration, peer integration and easy flexible working.
That’s not a bad picture when it comes to staff satisfaction, retention and productivity.
And who knows? The Chicago Cubs might even roar again – but not counting on Elvis impersonators deserting Las Vegas anytime soon.