Top workplace trends for the new year

AUSTRALIAN workplaces are changing. How we work is changing. Expert 360, an online platform that matches freelancers with short-term business projects, has looked into its crystal ball for 2015 to predict the top 10 workplace trends for this year.

Continuous job searching

The days of staying at one company for 30 years and receiving a cheap watch on your last day are over. Employees are constantly on the lookout for the next job. Networking is the new norm and the ever-present FOMO (fear of missing out) keeps everyone engaged. Smart businesses recognise this and nurture this desire to excel, realising that hoarding employees will hurt the business in the long run.

More millennials stepping up as boss

It's easy to judge millennials as lazy, over-educated know-it-alls and the social-loafers of society. But beneath this façade is a generation of young individuals who crave the opportunity to take on leadership positions. A recent study revealed 72% of millennials would like to be their own boss. They have grown up amid the GFC and high youth unemployment - as well as the rise of start-ups and billion dollar valuations. The rise of young guns such as Zuckerberg shows that there is a place for young people to lead.

Casual Wear

Women on the street are now wearing LuluLemon and Lorna Jane with no intention of going to the gym. Yoga pants are now acceptable work attire. Casual Fridays now extend across the working week. Ties on men are in permanent hibernation. Underlying this trend is a need to express individuality at work. Google is a star in this space, with their casual work attire, zen zones and free food. Ultimately this leads to increased productivity and innovation.

Internships

By 2020, 40% of the total working population will be millennials and internships are crucial in giving them that first taste of the working world. The majority of businesses are recognising the unique characteristics of this generation - entrepreneurial, risk-taking and flexible - leveraging these qualities to add value to the business. Emerging trends in internships have seen the rise of virtual internships within the financial and consulting industries. Recent legislation in Australia and abroad reflects the importance of internships as a legitimate form of employment.

Working remotely

Gone are the days of being chained to your desk from 9-5. With the advent of technology and more flexible working arrangements, workers are online at all hours of the day. In our super connected world, the bricks and mortar of workplaces aren't required for employees to properly do their jobs.

Fast talent turnaround

Remember the days where you circled an ad in the Saturday paper, sent your CV to the company by post and waited a few weeks for them to write back? We don't either. Companies want to connect with the right candidate and hire much faster than ever before. It won't be long until the Tinder for recruitment disrupts the market!

Work is deeply personal

Work-life integration is a phrase we will definitely be hearing more about. Instead of trying to balance the two separate spheres in our lives, work is now deeply personal. Our professional and personal lives are inextricably linked - where we want to see value of what we do.

Cultural fit - hiring for cultural reasons

Cultural fit and character are now taking the front seat as top employer considerations when assessing potential candidates, with many adopting the "hire character, train skill" approach. The importance of cultural fit is part of our multi-generational workforce of today. With Millennials and baby boomers working alongside each other, making sure there is alignment on the values and vision of the company is critical in bridging that age gap.

Talent development key to retention

Corporate loyalty is a thing of the past and one way employers are responding in order to retain their star employees is through talent development programs. While these were previously reserved for those at the top of the pyramid, we are seeing career development programs and skill workshops at every level of the corporate hierarchy.

The rise of the freelancer

Thirty per cent of Australians are now undertaking some form of flexible freelance work. If we follow US trends, by 2020, this number is expected to rise to 50%. Technology has been one of the main drivers behind this trend, making it easy for businesses to connect to talent on demand.


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