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10 IT workplace predictions for 2016

Sharon Florentine | Jan. 21, 2016
2016 is the year of talent -- how to find it, retain it, engage it and motivate it are at the top of organizations' to-do-lists. Here, workforce management experts share their predictions for the coming year.

8. There will be a reconfiguration of the traditional office space

Traditional office space will be reworked to serve multiple functions and accommodate a diverse, mobile workforce, according to the Index. Nearly half of employees surveyed say they would like more attention paid to office design, and they think a well-designed office would improve creativity, interest in their work, and their work ethic. In addition, 31 percent say a well-designed office would improve the amount of work they do.

As the physical workspace needs to accommodate an increasingly diverse, mobile workforce, a reconfiguration of the physical office will become a need, not just a want. It's not just workspace, but "break" space that will need to adjust, according to Ringel, "Nearly half of employees feel they cannot get up from their desk to take a break, 45 percent eat lunch at their desks, and 53 percent are burnt-out.

To combat this, employers should encourage employees to take break times to refresh and recharge so they come back to their desks ready to tackle their work. The onus is also on employers to provide a well-stocked breakroom where employees can relax and disconnect. Employers should ensure the breakroom is stocked with healthy snacks and beverages as well as comfortable furniture to allow employees to unwind," he says.

9. Employers will begin to leverage sustainability as a recruitment tool

Sustainability will be a major factor in employers' employee value proposition in 2016, rather than just a corporate social responsibility (CSR) and reputation management initiative, says Ringel.

"While CSR and reputation are the biggest drivers of sustainability efforts today, it's likely they will be front and center in recruitment strategies. When making an employment decision, half of millennials say an eco-friendly company is important, so we'll see employers leverage sustainability more this year as a tool to recruit and retain top talent," he says.

10. Continued investment in mobile technology

As millennials continue to gain ground and power in the workplace, so does the technology that powers an increasingly mobile workforce. The majority of telecommuters say that remote work improves work-life balance, work productivity and their overall happiness, according to the Index. As more and more employees work outside the physical office, and nearly two-third of employees attribute poorly performing technology to decreased productivity, employers will need to ensure they have the right technology in place to maximize ROI and enable a more flexible work model.

"Empowering workers with the right technology is also very important to promote work-life flexibility. The majority of millennials say increased flexibility will improve their happiness and productivity, so it's no surprise that we see more businesses offering more flexible work options, whether it's flexible hours or technology enabling them to telecommute," Ringel says.


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