Technology has made today’s workplace entirely different from the one employees knew just five years ago. And at the rate mobile devices and remote work capabilities are advancing, it won’t be long before the workplace completely changes again.
But it’s not just evolving technological trends like wearable devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) that companies need to account for. Legislative changes around health care and labor laws, as well as the changing generational makeup of the workforce, will also require employers to adjust their strategies going forward.
To help businesses start preparing for tomorrow’s work environment, human resources experts and business leaders weighed in on some of the most important issues that will affect or continue to affect the workplace over the next several years.
Freelance and remote workers
Thanks to nearly ubiquitous mobile devices and Wi-Fi, more and more work is being done outside the traditional office. But as companies add freelancers, independent contractors and full-time telecommuters to their workforce, they often find that managing remote workers requires a whole new approach to leadership.
“Managers need to know who they’re managing,” said Matt Poepsel, vice president of product management at business consulting firm PI Worldwide. “In a time when managers are finding themselves in charge of workers all over the globe, the act of ‘getting to know’ all of them seems nearly impossible.”
From an HR perspective, Poepsel said that successfully managing workers who aren’t physically there means learning more about the individual employees and freelancers on your staff.
“The key to making it all work is having a plan that ensures an efficient and cohesive working relationship that keeps both employees and employers happy,” Poepsel told Business News Daily. “For example, [our client] Raidious [looked at] individual team members’ motivational needs and behavioral drives. They then used that insight to assign roles and responsibilities, manage job expectations and drive the team’s performance over time.”