2015 has been a great year for office trends. Many ditched behemoth leather chairs for standing desks (and scored chiseled leg muscles along the way), waved goodbye to real pants in favor of athleisure, and kicked off super-interesting side hustles. Now that we’re right on the verge of 2016, there’s even more to look forward to.
Some of the internet’s favorite career experts chimed in on the changes we can expect to see in the workplace throughout the next 365 days—and honestly? We’re pretty excited about what’s to come:
A SHIFT TO HEALTH-CONSCIOUS OFFICES
Companies know their employees are starting to focus on healthier lifestyles, and they plan on helping with that. “Through group wellness challenges, the workplace is becoming a bigger part of everyone’s plan to get healthy. In the coming year, employers are going to find more ways to encourage and facilitate their employees’ fitness, be it through healthier snacks in the break room or sanctioned exercise breaks,” says Heather R. Ruhman, founder and president of Come Recommended.
A GREATER USE OF TECHNOLOGY TO WORK REMOTELY
Three cheers for working from home! In 2016, being able to do your job outside the office will become even more of a norm, and technology is to thank. “I think we’re going to see a greater adoption of video technology that allows us to work more remotely. In a recent study, the use of video conferencing and project management on apps is really low. In order for flexibility for increased remote work to happen, we have to adopt that technology,” says Cali Yost, CEO and founder of Flex + Strategy Group.
According to Yost, right now employers and their employees are mostly using email, work documents, and Excel spreadsheets to update each other, but the problem is they’re not saving those documents on a Cloud-based, easily accessible platform.
“With this inconsistency, it’s hard to collaborate. If we change the types of platforms we’re using, the way we’re communicating with each other, and the way we store our data so it’s easily accessible, remote work will succeed.”
Kimra Luna, a personal branding and online business strategist, agrees.
“Employees who work virtually is becoming even more popular—especially among startups—because it’s lower overhead and you don’t need to rent out an actual office space until the startup begins to grow,” she says.
AN INCREASE IN WORK PERKS
Employers are starting to realize if they don’t make their employees happy, someone else will. Because of this, companies continue adding offers that are hard to pass up, like unlimited vacation days and in-office happy hours. Not to mention casual workspaces that allow you to not only get your work done, but ramp up your ping pong skills. Instead of feeling like work, offices are starting to feel more like home.
A RISE IN FREELANCING
As working remotely increases, freelancing will become even more popular in 2016 amongst twenty-somethings as well. Instead of having someone else in control, the power is shifting to the individual to make money and advance their career on their own time. “Young professionals who freelance gain more freedom and flexibility around when and where they do work—and they can protect themselves from only having one employer who could drop them in an instant,” says Dan Schawbel, Millennial career and workplace expert, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author.
A WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY TAKEOVER
With the Apple Watch and other wearable technologies at the top of everyone’s shopping list this year, it might be harder to find work-life balance in 2016. Since it’s becoming easier and easier to stay constantly connected—whether you’re on your lunch break or trying to fall asleep at night—completely shutting off could become more of a challenge. One bonus, though? With the advanced technology comes more freedom, so even if you have to take a call or respond to an email at 9 p.m., at least you won’t be sitting in a cubicle doing it.
AN INCREASE IN EMPLOYER BRANDING
Instead of cookie-cutter offices, employers are looking for ways to show talent their workplace is a great place to be. “One of the easiest ways to do this is through office designs that are unique and show more of the company culture. We’ll see fewer white walls with beige carpet, and more workplaces that are customized to what an individual company does and that are a reflection of their core mission and values,” says Ruhman.
A FOCUS ON GIVING BACK
Workplaces are amping up their power to give back, and employees get to come along for the ride. More companies will show their humanitarianism side by promoting feel-good challenges to raise money for charities. In fact, many will take things to the next level and adopt small non-profits of their own, creating a partnership that allows them to use their workspace as they grow.
Content in partnership with LEVO.