When Baby Boomers were just hitting their stride, and Gen X was entering the workforce, eight-hour workdays in colorless cubicles and once-per-year performance reviews ruled the day.
Today’s workplace is a more fluid, collaborative environment. Rather than rooms full of cubicles, companies have adopted open-concept office space. There are opportunities to telecommute, and decision-making is often collaborative, rather than hierarchical.
For Baby Boomers who joined the workforce decades ago, the workplace landscape couldn’t look any more different – and the evolution doesn’t end with such trends as summer hours, office retreats, and wellness programs.
Catering to a New Generation
Changes in the workplace and the way we think about “work” will continue to evolve, especially since Millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. In order to attract and retain top talent, employers will have to continue to rethink the workplace. In the future, employers should be prepared to see:
- Internal communications carried out via social networks such as Yammer.
- An increase in telecommuting.
- The end of 9-5 workdays.
- The “gamification” of performance reviews.
- Work-life “flexibility” replacing work-life balance as a priority.
- Social media literacy required at all levels.
- Hiring based on reputation (social media, digital profiles).
- A democratization of leadership – employees will “elect” leaders.
- A personalized approach to offering employee benefits.
- Greater HR focus on developing and attracting new talent.
- Technological proficiency required for almost all jobs.
- Smartphones and tablets replace desktop and laptop computers
- Companies hiring entire teams to work on projects, rather than hiring individuals and assembling teams later.
What the Future Holds
By 2020, the workplace will be far more social than it is even today. Employers will have to adjust their management style to handle diverse employees with vastly different interests, preferences, and life experiences. As companies prepare for these changes, there will be growing pains, and managers will have to learn to adapt their style to support all three generations under one roof.