Year 2019 began with a bang, with rapid technological and economic changes continuing to shape the workplace. Here are some of the key workplace trends that are set to rule 2019.
The emergence of multi-stage careers
Since our life expectancy is increasing with medical and technological advances, experts predict we will be working well into our senior (retirement) years but this does not mean you have to become an intern (like Ben did) in that dry and unsubstantial movie called The Intern. And working for such a long period of time means we’ll be foraying into different careers, in order to stay inspired and engaged.
This trend points towards the possibility that we would be more open to having a non-conventional, multi-stage career.
We will seek opportunities that would allow us to have more flexibility and variety in our careers – whether it is by changing industries, switching jobs frequently, returning to university, or taking time out to travel the world.
That’s why business leaders will need to provide a sustainable work environment in order to retain their employees for as long as possible. Employers can achieve that by offering opportunities to relocate, switch paths, learn additional skills, and much more.
Flexible employee wellness programs
Since employees will most likely be working longer it means they will have to confront more changes in their career.
Therefore, employers and business leaders will need to be more flexible in order to allow for various life events imminent in their employees’ lives – celebrations, tragedies, family commitments, and health issues.
Employers can provide support in the form of flexible hours, remote working, sabbaticals, and employee wellness programs, to name a few. This is easier for them to do since the tax cuts in 2017 helped out all employers.
Increase in age diversity in the workplace
Since the age of retirement will increase, and younger generations will enter the workplace simultaneously, the work environment will get more diverse. Experts say that by 2020, we will see 5 generations working together with each other.
This means that employees will have to become more adaptable. For example, it’s a universal fact that younger generations prefer to use digital communication while the over-50s prefer to communicate face to face.
Therefore, younger job seekers that grew up in the age of social media will need to prove that they can also effectively communicate and succeed in an age-diverse workplace.
Employers and hiring managers will need to look out for the above soft skills in their job applicants and take appropriate steps to alleviate any generational friction within the work environment.
Artificial Intelligence will continue to evolve
AI can now automate recurring tasks across virtually every department.
HR departments are successfully using chatbots to respond to simple questions posed by their employees. Marketing departments have also been using AI for various tasks – from evaluating large dumps of data to create SEO optimized headlines for blog posts.
Customer service departments across the world have started using chatbots and virtual assistants to tackle incoming queries. But that doesn’t mean that humans are on the verge of getting replaced by robots, as what many people believe.
AI won’t destroy our roles. It will more likely transform them by freeing up our time for high-quality human tasks that are impossible to automate.
For example, a customer may be able to receive a prompt answer from an AI-based assistant but they won’t get a personalized solution to deal with more complex problems – only human beings can offer that service.
However, workers will definitely benefit from learning how to work well with this futuristic technology in 2019 and beyond.