Every year, Dan Schawbel publishes his “Workplace Trends Forecast”, a set of the ten most important trends impacting employers for the upcoming year. These trends are based on hundreds of conversations with human resource executives and workers, a series of national and global online surveys and secondary research from more than 450 different primary and secondary research sources, including think tanks, consulting companies, non-profits, the government and trade associations. The reports are published every November 1st for the upcoming year on Forbes and have been read by nearly 800,000 people since 2013.
How Trends Are Captured
- Primary Research. We survey thousands of companies and employees annually on various HR topics, including training, diversity, recruiting, employee benefits and innovation. These studies are funded by companies such as American Express, Cisco, Konica Minolta, Kronos and Randstad.
- Secondary Research. We review third party studies from over 450 research sources, including consulting firms, associations and Universities. Some of sources include McKinsey, CareerBuilder, Harvard, SHRM, Accenture, Gallup and Pew.
- HR Conversations. We hold ongoing conversations with our Fortune 1000 member companies to learn about the trends that are most impacting their business.
Workplace Trends Forecast By Year
2018 Workplace Forecast
- Leaders encourage more human interaction.
- The next wave of learning credentials.
- Companies focus on upskilling and retraining current workers.
- Artificial intelligence becomes embedded in the workplace.
- Financial and mental wellness get prioritized.
- Employee burnout causes more turnover.
- Workforce decisions sway consumer behavior.
- Companies take diversity more seriously.
- The deregulation of labor laws.
- The aging workforce.
2017 Workplace Forecast
- Companies focus on improving their candidate and employee experiences.
- The blended workforce is on the rise.
- Annual performance reviews evolve into more continuous reviews.
- Millennials meet Generation Z in the workplace.
- Augmented and virtual reality revolutionize recruiting and training.
- The war for talent heats up as the employer and employee contract continues to evolve.
- Organizations restructure to focus on team over individual performance.
- Workplace wellness, and well-being, become critical employee benefits for attracting top talent.
- Companies get creative with their employee benefit packages and perks.
- Office attire and workplace culture becomes more casual.
2016 Workplace Forecast
- The acceptance of boomerang employees and the challenges for job seekers.
- The leadership gap will start being filled as boomers retire in numbers.
- Workplace flexibility becomes the biggest topic of conversation.
- Wearable technology is taken more seriously and disrupts business as usual.
- Companies get serious about office design and use it as a way to increase collaboration and attract top talent.
- Obamacare takes full effect, causing premiums to surge and companies to pass more costs to employees.
- Companies figure out how to automate more jobs and modernize their workplaces — at the cost of employees.
- The first group of Generation Z graduates from college and enters the workforce.
- More professionals seek gigs instead of full-time jobs as the sharing economy and freelance marketplaces expand.
- Maternity leave becomes an even bigger discussion as an important employee benefit as we enter the next baby boom.
2015 Workplace Forecast
- Companies hiring Generation Z for internships.
- More millennials are taking leadership roles.
- Honesty becomes a revered leadership trait.
- The skills gap continues to widen.
- The continuous job search picks up.
- Mobile hiring and the mobile job search explode.
- Social media posts used to attract and retain talent.
- Succession planning becomes a top priority.
- Women continue to seize power positions in the workplace.
- More people stepping out of traditional career paths.
2014 Workplace Forecast
- Healthcare’s impact on the workplace.
- Freelancing becomes a normal way of life.
- Gender pay gap starts to close.
- The economy delays career growth.
- Boomers retiring – changing demographics in the workplace.
- Employers create new ways of filtering candidates.
- More companies provide wellness programs.
- The continuous job search.
- ROI of college is looked at closer.
- Reputation become more important for both professionals and companies.
2013 Workplace Forecast
- Millennials will rise up.
- Working from home becomes mainstream.
- Emphasis on employee engagement.
- More boomers retire.
- Intrapreneurship is embraced.
- Freelance nation booms.
- The skills gap shrinks.
- Internal hiring takes off.
- Employees become social advocates.
- Women start to outpace men at work.