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Top 3 Workplace Trends for the First Half of 2015

Top 3 Workplace Trends for the First Half of 2015

As Nathaniel Branden, the late Canadian-American psychologist who specialized in self-esteem once said, “The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” Thus, in order to fully accept the changes in the workplace, one must first understand that they exist. So, what changes are existing in 2015, potentially setting the trends for the future?

Here is what some of the experts are saying…

An Increased Focus on Employee Wellbeing

RTKL, a company dedicated to providing a variety of business-based services globally, cites an increased focus on wellbeing as their #1 workplace trend in this year, as well as in the years ahead. This means that employers are spending more time making sure employees are happy as well as healthy.

According to RTKL, this approach tends to create employees who have stronger immune systems, are more creative, and more mentally involved while at work. This means that they use less sick time, are better at problem solving, and enjoy increased productivity—three factors that are as good for employers as they are for employees. How can you get on board with this trend and make the most of it?

A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being found that the main characteristics that affect workplace wellbeing include “being positive, communication, management of difficulties and conflicts, socio-emotional skills, and values.” The researchers go on to say that greater wellbeing can be achieved by implementing trainings and other activities that help support your company’s leaders.

Some of the ways other small business owners are working to achieve this wellbeing goal is by challenging workers so that they grow on a personal level, providing work spaces that contains all of the tools necessary to complete a job or project, and designing work areas to promote employee comfortability. You can also incorporate windows with outside views or waterfalls around your business if you want to help reduce workplace stress, enhancing your employees’ wellbeing even more.

Employees Are More Mobile

The interesting thing about the trend of a more mobile workforce is that theEMPLOYEEapp says that most employers are not taking advantage of it. For example, according to their statistics, 41 percent of employees can’t access work-related documents on mobile devices and 36 percent have either no access at all or limited access to these when not at work. Additionally, of the employees that do use devices to stay in touch with work, almost three-quarters do it via their own smartphones and tablets instead of company-provided electronics. How do you fix this?

Some suggestions provided by theEMPLOYEEapp include talking to your employees to get their opinions and also to find out how they currently use their own mobile devices to better do their jobs. From this information, you can come up with some type of strategy to make the most of your own mobile communications.

This may include entertaining the idea of purchasing and assigning various electronic devices that could help various employees keep in touch with work when they are out in the field. If that expense is too much, you might even consider offering a small stipend to help offset your employees’ costs for using their own devices.

The Workplace is Age Diverse

Although the Intuit 2020 Report was drafted in 2010, it pretty accurately portrays where we are today. In the workforce, we now have everyone from baby boomers who aren’t ready or can’t afford to retire to Gen Z workers just looking for jobs, which means that there is quite a spread in age ranges in some of today’s small businesses. While this presents some challenges, it also has some advantages as well.

For instance, the older workforce brings with it a level of experience that can’t be taught and can only be earned. However, the younger workers bring new eyes and new ideas to the table, which can help small businesses devise better and more efficient plans and processes. This makes all ages beneficial to small business success.

Perhaps the best way to use this diversity for the benefit of your company is to create teams with a wide age range among its members. This gives you the opportunity to tap into the strengths of each in a way that benefits everyone involved.

What kind of trends have you noticed in 2015 and how do you make them work to help your small business instead of hurt it? Share them below!

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by Christina DeBusk // Freelance writer, author, and small business consultant committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.