Current Workforce Trends: How to Get Ahead of the Game

The old strategy “forewarned is forearmed” has never more accurately described the workplace of tomorrow. Technology has opened up a variety of opportunities both for businesses and workforces that were not accessible before. The evolution of the workplace resulting from these opportunities has offered novel solutions for business optimization while also creating new challenges. 

That’s why it’s worth studying the latest findings on the workforce to trace emerging trends and be ready to address any workplace issues before your company encounters them. Let’s get into the world of statistics!

Top Workforce Trends

Distributed teams are the new norm

workforce statistics
The Future Workforce Report by Upwork.

This percentage is so high because companies are actively trying to address the talent shortage and ensure their teams are productive and creative without compromising their work-life balance. In addition,

  • 6 out of 7 managers believe that dynamic teams made up of distributed workforces will be the future norm
  • 90% of distributed team members intend to work remotely for the rest of their careers
  • 83% of distributed workers believe they don’t need an office to be productive
  • 70% of the workforce already work remotely at least once a week
  • Since 2005, we saw a 140% increase in the number of distributed workforces

Another win-win that a distributed workplace offers is that both workers and companies can save a good deal of money. As one research reveals, distributed team members can save up to $7,000 a year and companies up to $11,000. These savings come from various factors including rent, supplies, childcare, transportation, food, etc. 

One thing is clear: the distributed workplace and flexible workforces are here to stay. However, with new realities come new challenges, and to thrive in the Future of Work, companies should know what to expect while developing a successful distributed workforce management strategy. 

Onboarding is as crucial as never before

workforce statistics
The True Cost of a Bad Hire by Glassdoor.

When it comes to welcoming new distributed team members, the onboarding part defines everything: their ramp-up time, engagement, loyalty, level of creativity and innovation, performance issues, and so on. Unfortunately, the majority of companies still struggle to provide an effective onboarding experience.

  • 88% of companies don’t have an impactful onboarding strategy
  • 80% of new hires experience performance issues when starting a new job
  • 69% of companies contribute only one week to onboarding, leaving new hires without the necessary support
  • 28% of new hires don’t clearly know their responsibilities and business goals
  • New hires are 2x more likely to look for another job if they had a negative onboarding experience

By taking into account such disturbing figures, companies need to rethink their onboarding practices and leverage the right onboarding tools to make the experiences of new distributed hires as personalized and fulfilling as possible. Thus, at the top of your list on how to get ready for the Future of Work and easily adapt to new workplace realities, there must be a well-orchestrated onboarding strategy.

Twofold focus on company culture

workforce statistics
The 2019 State of the Digital Workspace report by Igloo.

When companies struggle with managing their distributed teams, the wrong cultural fit or poor company culture may be the cause. This usually results in low engagement, feelings of isolation, high turnover, and a lack of motivation. 

  • Only 25% of workers believe their company has a strong culture
  • Companies with an effective company culture see a 4-fold increase in revenue 
  • 80% of millennials find a culture fit to be crucial for job satisfaction
  • 77% of workers say that a strong company culture empowers them to be high-performers 
  • 76% of workers say that a company culture impacts productivity growth and business efficiency

The authors of the book Remote, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, believe that companies “don’t need everyone physically together to create a strong culture since the best cultures derive from actions people actually take.” In other words, having a lagging company culture because of operating in the distributed workplace is not an excuse. 

With the right strategy and tools, companies can foster an effective distributed team culture that takes into account each individual’s needs and goals, create a strong connection between members and allows them to operate in a supportive work environment with the right amount of accountability.

Communicate or collapse

workforce statistics
2019 State of Employee Communication and Engagement Study by Dynamic Signal.

“When I had my first colleague who worked remotely resign in 2017, I worked hard to figure out why. It was not family, it was not that the work was not that exciting, it was that I did not communicate with him enough to know how he was doing with his work. And when he decided to leave, it was too late,” that’s the lesson Ho Yin Cheung, founder of Riotly and creator of Remo, learned.

  • 80% of distributed team members are stressed out because of ineffective company communication
  • 78% of workers believe that companies should place a higher priority on communication 
  • 74% of distributed team members say that they miss out on crucial company communication

Effective, streamlined communication is the cornerstone of success for companies with large distributed workforces. So, one more factor to add to the list on how to get ready for the Future of Work is building a communication-based culture that allows every individual to share their experiences, ask questions, get just-in-time support, and stay updated.

Engaging for success 

workforce statistics
The Global Work Connectivity study by Future Workplace and Virgin Pulse.

Distributed workforce engagement is an integral part of their retention, productivity, and overall experience. Things get tough when you have a team of “out-of-touch” members.

  • Companies lose up to $550 billion a year due to a disengaged workforce
  • 81% of disengaged workers are ready to leave their company for the right offer
  • Companies are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive if their workforce is engaged

For this reason, successful companies with distributed teams focus on engagement as part of their future-proofing strategy by ensuring every individual has the right tools and resources to perform their best. 

What to do next?

  1. Convert data into actionable steps.
  2. Ensure you’re on the same page with your distributed team.
  3. Take care of the right technology to support your team members’ needs.
  4. Change with the world: this is the only way to succeed in business.

If you’re looking for a single solution that would support your distributed workforce in all aspects, request a demo of the Rallyware Performance Enablement Platform!