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Michelle V. Rafter from SecondAct blog wrote a great article about workplace trends to watch and we would like to share it with you. So here it is…
The old saying that the only constant is change aptly describes the American workplace in 2012.
You may be in the same position at the same place you’ve worked for years. But the economy, technology and demographics are transforming how you get your job done.
In: telecommuting, more flexible hours and using your own laptop or smartphone for work. Out: commuting, 9-to-5 schedules and standard-issue office computers.
Here’s more on those and other changes that could be coming to your workplace:
1. Mobile devices.
More employees are using their own iPhones, iPads and other portable electronics for work instead of company-issued computers or laptops, a trend sometimes called “bring your own device” or BYOD. Some companies worry about how they’ll keep confidential information safe and workers on task and not on Facebook or playing Words With Friends. But that won’t stop the move toward fewer restrictions, not just on what devices employees use but also on how, when and where they use them, according to workplace experts.
Companies are offering telecommuting as a way to give employees more flexible schedules and in some cases make up for not offering bigger raises, but also to curb office space expenses. Among the biggest telecommuting advocates are boomers, says Kate Lister, a telecommuting researcher at the San Diego-based Telework Research Network. “The majority of boomers are at or near the highest rung of the corporate ladder they’re likely to achieve,” she says. “The raises, promotions and accolades that once motivated them have been replaced with thoughts of retirement, aging parents, mortality and ‘What do I really want out of life?’ AARP research shows 70 percent want to continue to work, but they want to do it on their terms.”
3. Open office spaces.
With fewer employees coming into the office, companies are reconfiguring floor plans to devote more square footage to communal areas and less to traditional, walled work spaces. Some have remodeled entire floors to include shared workstations and group areas for impromptu brainstorming or conference sessions. Employees who aren’t around every day may get lockers to stash personal items during office hours.
4. Instant communication.
Employees increasingly view email as an inefficient form of communication that moves at a snail’s pace compared to text messages, social networks and other alternatives. “Email is quickly going the way of the fax machine,” says Robin Richards, CEO and chairman of TweetMyJobs, a Twitter-based job service. “Just watch your [city’s] mayor. I’m watching every week, and more and more mayors are beginning to communicate via social networks and texting. It’s the only way their employees communicate with each other.”
5. Online collaboration tools.
More companies are using web-based software, rather than email, to communicate with telecommuters and mobile workers. Some companies now use programs such as Yammer, Chatter and Jive to create private, Facebook-style networks that managers and employees can use to exchange messages or documents. Video- and web-based conferencing is here to stay too, workplace experts say. Employees need to know how to use it all, regardless of where they work. Continue reading