Future Trends in the Workplace

Emerging Technology, globalization and demographic changes continue to have a significant impact on our workplace.

In a recent article in the Baltimore Sun, John A. Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago outplacement firm identifies some workplace trends of the future that could transform office culture.  He begins by saying, “Teleconferencing could end business travel.”  Audio, video and Web conferencing continues to grow significantly as these tools become less expensive and more available.  Soaring energy costs will also have an impact on reducing business travel and the potential for increased productivity with less time spent travelling.

“No health benefits.”  Not a surprise to anyone.  On a positive note, employers are introducing health and fitness programs.

“A four day work week in the office becomes standard.”  It will help in dealing with soaring gas prices and who doesn’t want a three day weekend?

“Globalization will lead to an exodus of specialized workers to job-rich areas.”  Not to mention the effects of skills and talent shortages.

Challenger goes on to forecast further trends including, the evolution of cubicle life to open spaces and common areas, free agents representing 40% of the U.S. work force by 2012 and no more corporate offices.  The emerging workplace flexibility and the need for companies to save costs on real estate are key factors.

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