Many office trends, such as embracing new technology and remote working, are at least familiar to most businesses, but the commitment by companies to making these changes is expected to be deeper in 2019. Here are the office trends that you’ll likely see a rise in this year.
More Staff Attending Conferences
Particularly with startups and SMEs, there is a growing interest in having relevant staff attend industry conferences. Whether these are office manager conferences 2019 or others that spark their interest, there’s a growing acceptance that attending expos and other industry events provide staff with a way to network, expand their thinking and make a greater commitment to the industry they’re working in. They also bring fresh ideas back into the organization which helps modernize it and root out outdated practices.
New companies like bevi.co who make water dispensers for offices are sending their staff off to conferences and expos because they see a benefit in seeking growth and sharing their brand. Even SMEs on a limited budget find it beneficial to send at least one co-worker to a conference that’s most relevant to their vocation.
Spending on Technology Will Continue to Grow
The budget for the technology of all kinds will continue to expand as a percentage of total annual spending for the average company. Whilst computing power increases subject to Moore’s Law (co-founder of Intel) roughly doubling in speed every couple of years, the dependence on computers for more aspects of daily working life puts unusual demands on staff and resources.
Companies using subscription-based models for software as a form of rental rather than purchasing a software license is a marked change in behaviour. Having better equipment in-house and a tech support team to ensure network and internet access are maintained avoiding downtime will become a higher priority.
Businesses cannot escape that technology – from hardware to software to communications – has become integral to how business is done. They’re forced to embrace it fully or get left behind by competitors who do what’s necessary to keep up.
Greater Acceptance of Remote Workers and More Flexible Hours
With companies less able to provide job security to employees following the repeat series of layoffs across the employment market, employees have woken up to the reality that they have to fend for themselves. There’s no ‘job for life’ anymore.
Also, the two-week vacation time limitation across most of the American workforce is becoming more of an irritation for staff that want more time away from the job even if they have to take a pay cut to get it.
The trend of digital nomadism along with people who enjoy working for a company but doing so from their home office is ongoing. It starts with one or more days a week working from home but doesn’t stop there. As it becomes more obvious that Americans work 8.8 hours but are productive perhaps for only 4 of those hours, staff who can focus with fewer distractions at home get more done in less time. The number of requests to switch from office worker to remote worker will increase as workers see colleagues less often and yearn for the same flexibility.
Companies may have to accept that seeing their employee at their computer doesn’t guarantee that they’re productive. Businesses that embrace remote workers are likely to save money on office space, utilities, and other employee-related expenses.
Software-as-a-Service and Faster Updates Is Embraced Readily by Startups & SMEs
Software-as-a-Service is likely to be accepted far more for all kinds of online activities. The subscription model is alive and well online. Many companies will make the switch not only to buying services and software this way but to convert some of their offerings to the same model to meet customer demand.
Also, for companies involved in a rapidly evolving market, the pressure to release new, slightly better versions is becoming far more the norm. It captures (or re-captures) the attention of potential customers and makes the company look modern. However, care still must be taken to not update for its own sake; releasing something akin to ‘The New Coke’ is not recommended.
Automate as the Next Logical Thing
As more companies increase their millennial workforce, they’ll see an increased push for automation in business. For the younger workers, they find using technology easier than dealing with human beings. As such, automation which is efficient from a time perspective is also a logical extension of their preferred method of operation. The confluence of smartphones, mobile apps like IFTTT, SaaS, and bots (programmable automated robots) are leading the way in this regard.
Whether companies are directly developing technological solutions like apps or desktop software or operating in a totally different field, the trend of technology’s influence is a growing one that is unavoidable. Companies that both accept and embrace that are likely to find success easier to grasp.