Remote (Work) Control: The Top 5 Digital Workplace Trends for 2017
It is undeniable that working remotely benefits employees as well as employers. From technology gurus to those who are writers, freelancing truly benefits everyone involved.
I have been working remotely for as long as my memory serves me, and it is one of the few things that I am extremely passionate about. Going through my day to day life, I wanted to integrate creativity into my schedule as much as I possibly could. Years ago, while I was going through school and working a day job, I made it my mission to make remote development my “real” job in any capacity that I could.
Enter the digital workplace trend: Just three years ago, a survey of business executives by Fast Company revealed that 34% of companies expected at least half of their organization to be remotely based by 2020. With only three years left until the goal’s deadline, we are seeing just how much remote work is taking over the communities around us. And as we sit in our favorite coffee shops, rented offices, and airplane seats only a few years later, we can’t help but marvel in delight at just how on track the trend would truly be.
As of 1Q 2017, the digital workforce is decidedly booming, and small businesses, corporations and a treasure trove of international freelances are now happily on board the Virtual Workforce Express. This creates more jobs for everyone, keeping them working whilst maintaining a fulfilled life. As a full time job, freelancing is an ideal for many people that want to work from home or abroad.
Through my remote business, I work for myself on the jobs that I want to add to my portfolio. I get to make the call in every possible area I can think of. With the new age of digital nomads, it makes my job so much easier to get my name out there with the internet and do what I love for a living.
As the millennial workforce grows and blends in with Generation Z, the remote trend continues to become more popular. One day soon, the scale that makes remote work the dominant type of global job style will begin to tip. From being able to choose the best of the best of clients and/or employers to making the call on what we want to work on, while we wait for remote working to take off with a roar, the trends happening now are obviously leading us in that direction. So far, we have more-and-more people integrating their contractors as well as their regular employees.
Here are a few more digital workplace trends to look for:
Top 2017 Digital Workplace Trends
- Blending Freelancer-Employee Workplaces
Cost effective and highly creative freelance professionals help the workplace to blend at a rapid rate. Today, full-time employees work side by side with contractors on marketing, customer service, and engineering teams, just to name a few. Flexible teaming, as it’s called by the SHRM human resources organization, allows companies to hire on demand to complete projects and solve complex problems, while also watching productivity skyrocket because of sourcing highly qualified members (without the need to provide benefits or provide a physical office). Contracts will continue to evolve, allowing freelancers to make an employee-level living while working for themselves.
- Improved Candidate & Employee Experience
It’s not just UX for client design anymore – now, the emphasis on experience bleeds into the realm of human resources. According to Forbes, nearly 60 percent of job seekers, both face to face as well as remote, have a poor candidate experience, which they are likely to share with their online community. Investments in candidate engagement, training, workspace improvement, and employee rewards are being made to improve companies’ images and keep top talent on the team. Workplace wellness, well-being programs, and perks such as free training and unlimited vacation policies will bolster the employee environment both for the face to face and online employees.
- Virtual Reality for Revolutionary Recruiting & Training
With the virtual workspace comes the need for effective and engaging virtual recruiting and training options. Enter virtual reality, which is currently revolutionizing the way that people in all industries work and perform digitally. Facebook recently acquired Oculus, while Apple’s patent on a 3D display system and augmented reality apps like Pokemon Go will continue to define how we develop our careers and companies in a global fashion.
- The Numbers Game & The Value of People
With advanced social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, employers have a greater ability to see the candidates and the way that they perceive themselves online. On top of what is posted on social media, 40 percent of firms are planning the future and replacing their out-dated HR systems on a global scale. In only a couple of years, every one of these employers will have a access to a phenomenal amount of employee data than they ever had before, according to Get Bridge. These programs can help see the expected employee turnover within weeks, as well as showing the most common reasons for why employees leave. What does this mean for the freelancers working for them? The freelancers will fill any space with the employees as well as give an added boost to the productivity of the company. With these programs, the ability to see the company’s productivity will be more defined. Depending on how the outcome happens when using the two, the company can decide what employees to hire in the future, whether they are contracted or hired.
- Millennials & the Freelance Boom
Millennial expectations in the virtual workforce are high. CNBC reports that many millennials are working freelance, combined with more traditional jobs, in order to gain experience. Since they grew up with the technology, they don’t look at the singularity, but focus on more than one way of doing something, even when it comes to getting a job. With so many companies hiring out employees over the Internet, this generation congregates in swarms to overtake the market. They hustle for what they want, including flexible hours. In past generations, this wasn’t as easy to come by.
In all of these ways, the new era of working has grown more remotely based, with less liability to employers and more freedom for the contracted, off-site, employees. In three years, the projected 34% rate for remote workers will be inevitable. And as technology continues to improve and take over varying jobs in society, the nomadic tech positions are increasing. This gives me added security in my personal life and productivity in my professional one.
For the remote workforce, 2017 is all about you and the beginning of a new era. Do you agree?