From the rise of the sharing economy to the flexibility of remote work new technology provides, the workplace landscape as we know it is evolving faster than it ever has before. Some changes are subtle and others are great, but all will impact the way you hire, fire and manage in the years to come.
Ten entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share their predictions for what emerging trends will shape our workforce for the better in 2016.
1. There will be more flexibility for employees.
A continuing concern for employees in 2016 is the increased need for flexibility. Employees are working longer than before and are often expected to be reachable outside of office hours. With the availability of technology, remote offices and telecommunications, there is no reason why employees cannot be offered flexibility by employers.--Thomas Smale, FE International
2. There will be more consultants than employees.
With more and more people wanting to live the remote employee lifestyle, they're actually willing to take the chance and do their own thing instead of getting a traditional 9-5 job. With more and more employees going this route, businesses have more high quality consultant options than ever before, which can be a better option than rushing into hiring someone full time.--Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
3. The office will be more like a home.
Companies will push to make their workplaces more like a home, with the kitchen as the center of the space rather than as an afterthought. Studies have shown that employees that break bread together make better collaborators, and workspaces will reflect this. Gone will be the days of dingy breakrooms tucked away in the back. Flex spaces and work cafes will become ubiquitous.--Sean Kelly, SnackNation
4. Workplaces will become less formal, and more fun.
Workplaces are going to become more fun and less formal. As Millennials move into decision-making positions and companies compete for emerging talent, businesses are going to have to follow the likes of Google and Facebook and make their offices "living workplaces." --Christopher Kelly, Convene
5. There will be a shift towards on-demand services.
Aligned with the success of more cashless, on-demand and self-service companies, expect this type of service model to play a huge role next year in the workplace. You should also expect to see more administrative, accounting and supportive roles replaced by Uber-for-hire services, which will produce in-house employee rosters that are lean and more highly-skilled than ever before.--Zach Binder, Ranklab
6. More businesses will outsource their work.
As data-driven tools continue to improve an employer's ability to intelligently meet business growth and seasonal labor challenges, more businesses will see the benefits of outsourcing many different jobs and functions. Managers want the right person doing the right job at the right price. The ability to scale theirworkforce up and down quickly and confidently is part of the future of work.--Eddie Lou, Shiftgig
7. There will be more fluid and transparent ways to engage stakeholders.
Business leaders will continue to understand that they must find new and innovative ways to engage stakeholders in a way that provides value for all parties involved. Organizations that find ways to crowdsource their decision-making in a fluid and transparent way will begin to pull ahead of the pack in 2016.--Chris Cancialosi, gothamCulture
8. UX thinking will be applied internally.
I think more companies will apply UX thinking internally in 2016. We recently rearranged our office to align to our customer lifecycle, so that each hand-off point is reflected in where people sit. It keeps the right teams talking. As companies are becoming more hyper-focused on getting the most out of their teams, you'll see an uptick in internal changes like this.--Simon Berg, Ceros
9. There will be more opportunities for remote work.
Due to the advancements in mobile devices and collaboration tools, employees' attendance at a company office for a stipulated period of time will no longer be required. Thus, working remotely will increase because communication technology now allows employees the ability to access more company data and tools from outside the office, and correspond more effectively with each other than ever before.--Luigi Wewege, Vivier Group
10. There will be more ways to interface.
Others will likely see 2016 as the year of the remote office; for many of us in technical-based businesses, we saw this movement start to gain momentum a couple of years ago. We see 2016 as the year of reconnecting that remote office in better, more interesting ways, and bringing together teams using more meaningful methods than the traditional chat and video conferencing applications.--Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker