The workplace has come a long way since the advent of Google-style offices and hot-seating. Increasingly, organisations across the country are choosing a more thoughtful approach to work and its role in our lives. This has lead to the proliferation of new working styles (such as flexible and remote working) and the emergence of new work cultures (off the back of 2017’s honest conversations surrounding workplace sexism and inclusivity).
So what will be the key trends to rock the workplace in 2018? Here are our predictions for the coming year.
We will prioritise our mental wellbeing
In past years, increasing awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the workplace has pushed understanding of stress, anxiety and related illnesses in the right direction, but concrete action from government and organisations remain to be seen. In a study from October 2017, 84% of employers acknowledge that they have a responsibility for employee mental wellbeing, yet a lack of training and a culture of silence surrounding mental health remains.
Despite this, we predict that in 2018 we will prioritise our mental wellbeing at work in several different ways. Leaders will aim to improve employee experience by looking at their company values and culture. Workplaces – seeking to reduce employee stress and burnout – should promote a work-life balance by implementing policies which do just that (for example turning work phones off after hours and promoting flexible schedules).
We will see a pronounced shift in the generations
Baby-boomers (age 51+) are no longer the predominant workforce. Over the past few years, Millennials have entered employment in vast numbers, and will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Organisations hoping to attract Millennials and Gen Z-ers will have to make big changes to accommodate the new generation, for whom meaningful work, strong values, and a sense of purpose are all important things to consider in a potential employer.
PwC recently conducted an online survey of almost 5000 graduates on what would most attract them to an employer. Among the responses were a strong, ethical CSR presence, a supportive approach to personal development, and tangible diversity politics. As we progress beyond 2018, will the workplace become a more inclusive, charitable and wholesome place in a response to these shifting attitudes?
We’ll make more space for collaboration
If the previous two predictions have shown anything, it’s that 2018 will be the year of close collaboration. Increased focus on teamwork, peer support, and personal development will be accompanied by infrastructures that make meaningful interaction possible (think intelligent CRM systems, breakout areas, and meeting spaces). It’s not a new idea, but it is a trend that will continue to be important as more Millennials enter the workforce.
Collaborative spaces – whatever form they take – provide a casual and flexible way for staff to be creative and socialise with colleagues in an informal atmosphere. Having a space outside of the traditional desk format can inspire, encourage productivity, and gives staff mental – and literal – space to develop fresh ideas and collaborate in a meaningful way.
What are your predictions for workplace trends this year? Have you and your team benefitted from mental health initiatives or collaborative working spaces? We’d love to know, so tweet us @uopoffice!
Don’t forget, we are on hand to advise you on all your office interiors needs, whether it’s a full fit-out or a DSE assessment. We want to create spaces you’ll love to work in. Get in touch on 0845 345 0061 or visit the site for more information.