Trend spotting is a notoriously difficult pastime, not least when it comes to predicting things that heavily rely upon technology. The annual Digital Workplace Trends
report produced by Jane McConnell is one of the best attempts at this tricky pursuit.
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology have recently had a stab of their own. They surveyed some 8,000 industrial-organisational psychologists to unearth what they believed to be the top 10 workplace trends of 2014. Many of these will be familiar to readers of this blog, but some might be new. Check them out below and see what you think.
Workplace trends for 2014
- Big Data – No surprises to see big data holding #1 spot. The survey predicted that greater efforts will be made to make sense of the huge amount of data available to organisations. 2014 will see a demand for this to lead to meaningful business decisions.
- Greater efficiency – It’s said that the British economy hasn’t unduly suffered in terms of job losses due to falling employee productivity coupled with reasonably high inflation. As we emerge from recession however, that productivity will need to rise.
- Locating talent – It’s nice to see something dear to the heart of all open innovators so high up the list. Granted, the survey doesn’t mention open innovation specifically, but they do highlight the importance of finding rare, yet crucial, talent, which is something open innovation does particularly well.
- Better testing – This is an interesting one as it covers both recruitment and performance management. I’m inclined to think that a significant amount of work is required in this field to be truly useful, but the survey does predict a growing role for mobile testing devices.
- Gamification – Again, this probably wouldn’t be news to regular readers of this blog, but the survey suggests a growing role for gamification. This can probably sit squarely alongside the need for both greater efficiency and better testing as gamification has proven effective in both scenarios.
- Integrating technology better in the workplace – This is perhaps a bit of a no brainer, but the survey predicts greater integration of technology in the workplace. What is clear, certainly from the social business world, is that much of the existing tech spend has been done poorly, with insufficient attention given to the significant cultural aspects involved.
- Work life balance – Another topic that has cropped up regularly on this blog. The rise of mobile, social and remote working technology has made the lines between work and home increasingly blurred. This trend is only likely to continue, albeit hopefully with a greater degree of flexibility offered by employers, with the inevitable focus on outputs rather than inputs.
- Social media – This is probably a controversial entry, not for the growing role of social media in work life, but it’s growing role particularly in the recruitment field. Whilst personal branding has been around for some time now, the researching of candidates online presence is still a risky one.
- Remote working – Highly linked to #7 is that of being able to work from anywhere, and the implications that has for how organisations and teams are managed.
- Alternatives to full time – The final prediction is that organisations increasingly explore alternative employment arrangements to full time work. This should sit nicely against a re-focus on employee output, with organisations less concerned with how many hours we work, or indeed where we do them from.
So there we are. I don’t think there is anything particularly revolutionary in that list, and indeed many have been predicted for sometime already. As with most things of course, the devil is in the implementation, and many of the items on this list have seen implementation fall some way short of expectations. Maybe that would make a better entry on the list than some of those present.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.