5 Top Workforce Trends for 2017

There is no doubt 2016 saw some dynamic change to how work is done, and things are set to evolve even more in 2017. Remote workers, the gig economy, the Internet of Things – all these workforce trends and developments will be influencing how employees are recruited and managed this year.

Here are five of the top workforce trends for 2017:

1. Agility will be paramount
If 2016 was the year flexible working arrangements started to become normalized, 2017 is the year they’re really going to take off. The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated named the need for agility as one of the top workplace trends of the new year. With political and economic upheavals happening around the world and labor laws going through transformation, organizations and their HR departments will have to be quick on their feet as well as flexible to accommodate these changes to prevent their bottom line taking a hit or their employee engagement and productivity suffering.

2. Data will lead to more informed management decisions
Advancements in big data and the Internet of Things mean that employers will have more information at their fingertips to make decisions in 2017 than ever before. These insights will be particularly helpful for managing a remote workforce with employees dotted around the globe, as IBM noted. The company gave the example of easily accessible, real-time traffic and weather data which can be used by organizations to better plan meetings and conferences and improve scheduling for a more productive mobile workforce.

3. Virtual reality will be used in recruitment 
Virtual reality is already being used in video games – and it will also be used in recruitment and training. IDC estimated that worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality market will increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to upward of $162 billion in 2020, according to Dynasource. The technology can be used to not only develop a more exciting recruitment process, as companies like Deloitte and Google have done, but could also be used to build a stronger, more dynamic brand connection with job applicants and remote workers overseas.

4. Traditional benefits will make a comeback

Everyone’s heard of how Silicon Valley companies boast perks like free fruit, ping pong tables and nap stations. But experts are anticipating that 2017 will be the year traditional benefits make a comeback. Researchers at Glassdoor found that these trendy perks don’t increase employee satisfaction as much as traditional ones like health insurance, Fast Company reported. 

5. Remote and flexible work becomes even more popular
Though nontraditional working arrangements received a lot of attention in 2016, remote working is only set to become even more prevalent. EnterpriseAppsTech estimates that there will be a record number of organizations permitting flexible work arrangements in 2017, accounting for more than 50 percent of companies. More than 70 percent of companies are anticipated to offer flexible working options in 2020. The site attributes a large part of this shift to an influx of mobile tech-savvy Generation Z millennials expected to join the workforce in the coming year.