As we speed through the second month of 2018, it’s not to late to review Forbes’ workplace trend predictions for 2018. Below, we’ve have highlighted a few of the top trends we see influencing our clients (and ourselves) in 2018.
- There will be a desire for more human interaction and company leaders should encourage this communication method. A recent research study from Western University found a request made face to face is 34 times more successful than an email!
- Companies will refocus on providing needed skills to current employees with the goal of retaining talent as the majority of employers find it difficult to fill open positions. In a survey conducted by IBM, 84% of employees in Best Performing Organization are receiving the training they need compared with just 16% in the worst performing companies.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality will continue to flood the workplace and impact the workforce. It is predicted that every new device and service will incorporate AI in some manner over the next few years.
- Companies will prioritize supporting employees’ overall well-being (including financial and mental wellness). The stress of work, finances and mental wellness are affecting employee burnout, productivity and job satisfaction.
We anticipate these trends and several others to advance workplaces in exciting new ways in 2018 and beyond.
Our clients frequently ask how to integrate wellness into the work environment. A number of systems are in place to help measure how effectively a workplace enhances employee health and productivity. A newcomer – Fitwel – launched to the public in March and aims to create a “cost effective, high impact, building certification standard.”
The new certification system. Fitwel is a simple, web-based scorecard that consists of 60+ benchmarks looking at 12 overarching strategies: location, building access, outdoor spaces, entrances + ground floor, stairwells, indoor environments, workspaces, shared spaces, water supply, cafeterias + prepared food retail, vending machine + snack bars, and emergency procedures.
The CDC and GSA led the development of Fitwel, gathering input from over 3,000 scientific studies. The Center for Active Design is the operator of Fitwel.
The scorecard. Each criterion is associated with a unique point value based on the strategy’s impact in each of the 7 Health Impact Categories (see below) and the strength of the evidence for that impact. This flexible system allows any of the criteria to be linked to multiple categories to receive more points and allows the value of any strategy to change over time as scientific evidence evolves.
Fitwel focuses on incremental improvements, and the rating system considers all strategies voluntary with no required prerequisites. However, there are minimum thresholds of points for a project to achieve a FitWel star in a three-tier rating system.
Worldwide, co-working spaces have increased by almost 700% since 2011 and have expanded from startup companies and hackerspace adventures to attract more traditional users as well as large corporations. So what is co-working and how have companies adopted these spaces?
Co-working is a spectrum.
Most co-working spaces offer a range of space options from the freedom of hot desking in a common area to a dedicated desk within a shared space to a fully furnished private office. Membership costs are based on type of workspace as well as location, and member benefits can include access to conference rooms, well-stocked office amenities and private events.
Co-working builds a community of members.
Co-working spaces provide the ability to connect with member networks. Increasingly, established companies are looking to leverage those networks by providing memberships for employees to operate from a co-working space. Some large organizations have started satellite offices within co-working spaces to enable employees to collaborate and interact with external organizations.
Co-working realizes business benefits.
One prominent study found benefits that include improved collaboration, productivity and overall job satisfaction. Co-working embraces communal benefits and allows knowledge-sharing, which appeals to many early-career employees’ ideas about a comfortable and flexible workplace. As companies battle to attract talent, they are driven to provide the kinds of team-based work environments that are embodied in co-working.
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