4 Major Workforce Trends Coming in 2020
Studies show that around half the current workforce is now made up of millennials, with more and more of previous generations retiring. Just as one decade has finished as a new one begins, the shrinking of the old guard is being matched by the surge of new blood. Seasoned professionals are stepping down, taking their mentalities and methodologies with them as ambitious entrepreneurs are taking center stage, eager to explore exciting ideas and brave new concepts.
Companies are going to have to adjust both their business models and internal practices if they want to not only stay relevant to current consumers, but also attractive to the current workforce. Remember, even if a company has years of success under its belt and strong popularity in the market, it will eventually wither and die from within if it can’t meet the needs of modern employees.
I can’t say for sure which changes will last and which ones will fail, nor can I tell you precisely how long until the changes occur and in what order they’ll come to pass, but I can tell you four major aspects to watch out for.
The traditional 9 to 5 workday is gradually becoming obsolete, as multiple business models and connectivity tools are enabling employees to perform their duties on their own time and at their own choice of location. That’s not to say we’ll all be working from home, there are plenty of positions that still require people performing them both onsite and on a certain schedule in order for them to succeed, but the number of positions unbound by such restrictions will experience huge growth over the decade. Modern employees place a high value on their work-life balance, so offering remote positions and shorter workweeks with schedules they can set for themselves is a great way to attract talent and earn their loyalty.
Every generation has been afraid of losing their jobs to automation, and to a certain extent, they should. From factory laborers to fast food workers, more and more positions are slowly being replaced by robots, with algorithms and Artificial Intelligence on the horizon as well. Unskilled labor will never be a secure field, but even positions requiring human insight and experience are beginning to be threatened. It will hopefully be a while before we’re all replaced by robots, but while machines are steadily taking over many positions, new areas of employment blooming in their place. Those with the skills to build, operate, and maintain the ever-updating hardware and software will be in high demand, so your company needs to quickly identify what sort of experts you’ll need and what sort of perks you can offer them.
Health and Wellness
People are living longer than ever before, and with the current advances of medical science and entertainment options, people want to live their long lives to the fullest. The worries and woes that plagued previous generations still exist, people will always need to worry about being healthy and having fun, but a company that does not help to alleviate those worries will not last long in the new decade. Failing to offer perks like mental health days or parental leave is a surefire way to alienate a workforce who holds such benefits in high regard, just like how a lack of clear feedback or recognition will leave your workers looking for a new job where they will feel appreciated.
Forward-Thinking Work Environments
Previous generations of employees would often spend their entire lives working at the same company, either because they didn’t have the means to find a job elsewhere or their current position offered them everything they needed and had no reason to consider leaving. Companies knew they had their employees against the ropes, and thus were resistant to making any changes or improvements when the status quo seemed so sufficient. This is no longer the case, as the vast variety of employment opportunities and available benefits means modern workers have more power to choose where they want to build their futures, and where they don’t. If companies want to appeal to the modern workforce, they need to see to it that they satisfy their employees’ interests. Having a diverse workforce, utilizing renewable energy, and acting in an environmentally conscious way are all fantastic means of not only fostering employee pride, but also helping to make the world a better place.
The winds of change are coming, and if you don’t prepare yourself to catch it, you’ll just get blown away.