Executive Education

5 Fast-Growing Workplace Trends in 20205 min read

January 29, 2020 5 min read


5 Fast-Growing Workplace Trends in 20205 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Now that you’re officially plunged into a new decade, you may find yourself evaluating your workplace and career more than ever before. Questions might circle in your head and prompt you to examine new trends, behaviors and changes. Have you been ignoring an obvious bottleneck in your company’s workflow? Do you need to be more tech-savvy? Are you leading your team effectively?

The truth is, a lot is changing in the workplace – whether or not you’re already experiencing it. Workplace trends are like any major part of our culture: they morph and evolve over time. If you know and embrace these changes, you might find that new opportunities come your way.

Here are five fast-growing workplace trends for 2020 that are impacting business, employment and the nature of work. Are you ready to embrace all of them?

Remote work as a practical setup

The rise of the digital nomad in association with remote work has cast a certain light on those who prefer to work out-of-office. In reality, remote workers aren’t sipping pina coladas on the beach as they tend to spreadsheets and emails (well, not all of them, at least). 

As outlined in Buffer’s exhaustive study, remote work has become a viable and practical setup for companies large and small, around the globe. 99 percent of survey respondents mentioned that they would like to work remotely at some point in their career. 

Forward-thinking businesses are viewing this as an opportunity to attract top talent independent of geographical location. According to Buffer, 31 percent of responding companies have adopted fully remote teams. 40 percent are comprised of a partially remote workforce. Hiring remote not only benefits companies in the HR department, but it does so in the area of employment budget. The cost of hiring a growth manager in Berlin will be less, for example, than the cost of hiring the same in New York City. 

Company culture that stands against sexual harassment

Despite major strides forward with movements such as #metoo and #timesup, women still face huge hurdles in the workplace when it comes to equality and support. In short, accountability for sexual harassment in the workplace remains an ongoing issue. Leaders of tomorrow’s great companies must take into account the many ways in which company structure can support and elevate women.

One approach cited by the New York Times to help build a culture of allies in the workplace is to personalize each other’s involvement in the conversation instead of pointing general fingers. After all, these conversations ultimately serve to include, not exclude. 

In 2020, when it comes to women’s inclusion in the workplace, it’s time to hold everyone accountable for producing positive results and reinforcing support. 

Artificial Intelligence as a supplementary tool

You already know that AI has crept into just about every aspect of business, from customer service chatbots to predictive financial reports. What you may not know, however, is that there is a growing area of expertise that serves to blend the power of AI with real human capabilities in the workplace.

To understand this, it may help to think of AI not as Artificial Intelligence, but as Augmented Intelligence. This means that automation technology is introduced into organizations in order to aid the existing human workforce – not replace it. One example would be how chatbots automate answers to the most common customer FAQs, which frees up time for customer service reps to give more personal answers to complex issues. Another is how employees can use a dedicated office app to book parking spaces, meals and conference rooms with the touch of a button. 

In order to implement complex technologies or AI-driven strategies that bring lasting benefits, companies require leadership with tech know-how. If this responsibility piques your interest, you can explore options for an executive education course that will give you a well-rounded approach to technology implementation in the workplace. 

Conscious and ethical business

Companies today have to compete to win over millennial talent, who simply aren’t impressed by ping pong tables and a fridge stocked with beer. “But what about your company mission?”, they ask. Companies who don’t have a clear and conscious mission risk falling behind not only in sales, but also in the HR department.

Knowing this fact, purpose-driven leadership is an in-demand skill for 2020 workplaces. Sustainability leadership, for example, is when executive management leads with long-term environmental or societal consequences in mind. Not only is this important for the planet, but it is also helpful in establishing viable foundations for companies as they grow and evolve in our current climate. 

If you are looking to lead consciously and effectively, consider an executive education course in leadership from a top accredited university. 

Autonomous teams

Gone are the days of the menacing manager peering like a hawk over the shoulders of his subordinate. If this image does exist today, we’re pretty certain the team isn’t getting very far. Management has (thankfully) evolved into more empowered forms. In order to avoid these bad apple managers, more workplaces are calling for leaders who “lead” by setting others free.

Autonomous teams are truly employee-driven, and their functionality stems from their high degree of responsibility. Instead of relying on confirmation from higher-ups, they make key decisions on their own. Might you be one of these team members with leadership qualities? Could you be someone who trains autonomous teams? Perhaps you envision yourself in the C-suite of a company who adopts this view on leadership?

As we dive further into 2020, will you be ready to meet these trends head-on? The best thing you can do is be prepared for opportunities when they do come your way. Executive education can get you there. Start your knowledge journey right here.

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