What Can We Expect This Year?

We’ve seen lots of thought-provoking workplace predictions for the year ahead, many of which will affect you as an EA. Here’s a round-up of the most notable:

  • Your voice could be your password – after 2017 being a record year for data breaches, tech experts have realised voice data stumps fraudsters. Security questions, pins and passwords are likely to be replaced with more accurate and secure biometrics and just a few words of speech will let you verify who you are. The best tech can detect the difference between recordings and live speech so conveniently renders voiceprints useless to fraudsters trying to breach security.
  • On that note, there’ll be a growth in cyber education, coupled with testing, measuring and monitoring of staff behaviour in relation to the rising number of insider threats (malicious actions by staff or poor staff ‘cyber-hygiene’). Problems with cloud insecurity will grow too, as users put more data on the cloud without properly working out how to keep it safe – and not realising it’s their responsibility, as opposed to the cloud provider’s, to ensure security.
  • Companies will offer more remote work options, whilst live-work spaces (small businesses and professionals living and working under one roof as part of alikeminded group happy to share space and facilities) will increase, helping avoid huge commuting costs and potentially improving work/life balance.
  • There’ll be a shift from employee engagement to employee experience, with leaders examining their employee journey and optimising in the same way that customer service teams do for their client experience – expect more feedback requests, wellness apps and the latest communication and productivity tools.
  • The gig economy will continue to redefine the workplace – the rise of short-term contracts and freelance work will continue to promise lower costs whilst triggering talent wars as traditional career paths are phased out and replaced with temporary posts focused on skill. Recruiters will need to work quickly to identify projects in need of attention and source those with the necessary skills.
  • The smart workplace will really catch on with more ‘smart buildings’ equipped with innovative systems that can do everything from optimising heating and cooling to identifying floors with the most foot traffic, all with the aim of helping employees work more efficiently and safely.
  • Boomers will coach millennials in leadership roles as mid-30s millennials start to move into executive positions, bringing their culture with them – there’ll be an emphasis on career development, purposeful work, flexible working opportunities, ethical values and sustainability – plus the quarterly review process will likely be ditched for a daily review on output, timeliness and accountability.
  • Use of big data will continue – advanced HR analytics will reduce previous measurement challenges and big data will be used to monitor engagement, productivity and cultural impact on retention, helping to answer tough questions about future organisational structures.
  • Candidates will be treated like potential customers – their time will be heavily valued, communications will be timely and leaders may even have invested in training that’ll help them assess talent, recruit and maintain positive relationships when an offer isn’t made.
  • Learning and development will be daily occurrence, not a quarterly event, due to increased mainstream online learning and just-in-time experiences, from Googling questions to video-focused shared learning sites.