The last couple of years have truly transformed the working environment as we know it. Sudden global events have disrupted the nature of work, technology has impacted processes in a more notable way, and the workforce is now largely made up of younger generations. As a result of these factors, new trends are beginning to emerge in this space, and more effective workforce management strategies are now needed for meeting the unique needs of these novel tendencies. To that end, here are some of the most important trends shaping the present and the future of workforce management:
What was once only reserved for freelancers and more creative professions has suddenly become the new normal. The coronavirus outbreak forced most companies to quickly adapt to a drastically different work model – remote work. To prevent being left behind, businesses had to alter their operations, adopt remote work, and find new solutions for tracking employee performance and overall productivity, such as using workforce management systems.
As it turns out, working from home was quite beneficial for many employees, reducing stress levels, supporting a better work-life balance through flexibility, and even boosting efficiency. It seems like fully adopting remote work is the only way to future-proof a business, and should be considered if it isn’t implemented already.
Remote work combined with advanced, more sophisticated technology also gave businesses a number of new opportunities. Today, it’s easier than ever before to access a global talent pool, and many companies are taking advantage of this fact. By expanding their talent pool to a global workforce, organizations can get access to more skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable workers, often reducing labor costs in the process as well.
Of course, working with international employees does come with its own challenges, mainly compliance, payroll solutions, and practical setbacks such as different time zones. But by using efficient workforce management software, working with a global Employer of Record, and embracing flexibility, all of these issues can easily be overcome.
In countries like the UK, workforce management trends are rapidly changing. Local authorities have updated the legislation known as IR35, meaning that all medium and large companies that use ‘off-payroll workers’ now have to determine whether those employees are outside or inside IR35 to ensure compliance.
This can be quite a difficult and complex process, which is why local businesses often hire an experienced consultant for IR35 compliance to determine whether the new rules apply to them or not. This helps companies to establish compliance, prevent audits, and maintain a good reputation in the industry, which is why IR35 consultants will likely continue rising in popularity in the future.
Across US states, on the other hand, diversity and inclusion are becoming the most important workforce trends. Recent global events and changing social climates have forced local companies to focus more of their attention on these important aspects. However, it turns out that inclusion and diversity are great for business as well.
Historically, more diverse and inclusive businesses have shown higher innovation, higher revenue, and better overall performance compared to their non-inclusive counterparts. What’s more, inclusion and diversity are now also demanded by the workforce, with a significant percentage of employees showing higher loyalty and satisfaction levels in workplaces that include a wide range of demographics and different perspectives.
More often than not, the best employees are those who remain satisfied with their job and engaged with their work throughout their careers. Engagement involves the level of a worker’s passion for their work, their commitment to the business, and the overall effort they put into their job. As companies begin realizing the importance of engagement for smooth operations, reaching objectives, and accessing new growth and success opportunities, new methods for boosting employee engagement appear.
These generally include the supply of necessary tools and software, providing personal and professional growth possibilities, listening to workers, giving and accepting constructive feedback, celebrating a job well done, and more.
Another crucial workforce trend to keep in mind is employee well-being. After the COVID-19 pandemic, employees expected companies to prioritize their health when moving back to the office by maintaining clean and safe work environments.
While this aspect was largely adhered to, many companies took employee well-being a step further by promoting fitness and implementing other wellness programs that encourage workers to lead healthier lifestyles. Of course, a good work-life balance is still as important as ever, especially after so many businesses shifted to remote work. Employees now have higher control and greater flexibility over their schedules, while benefits such as paid leave and personal time off are starting to increase.
As the world of business continues to evolve, workforce trends continue to change with it. Staying on top of the important trends mentioned above is crucial for companies to support a productive workforce, prepare themselves for the future of work, and ensure long-term success.