Ten Workplace Trends That Are Here to Stay

The working world has seen many crazes come and go – from sleep pods and work hammocks to treadmill desks and internal grass – with some more success than others. Here are 10 popular workplace trends we’ve seen grow since the early days of Dropbox, and 10 trends we believe are here to stay.

1. Working from anywhere

There’s little doubt that communication and collaboration technologies have made working remotely easier and more effective. The need for a central working office is no longer a must thanks to technologies like video conferencing and file sharing, and it’s no surprise that the move remote has made Aussie employees happier and companies more productive.

2. The 24-hour workday

The 9-to-5 workday is going the way of the dodo. Many employees now work flexible hours - so jumping on projects during gaps between life’s responsibilities is becoming increasingly more common.

3. The freelance economy

The popular image of the freelance economy worker might be the Uber driver, but the trend is finding its way into less expected areas. Increasingly businesses are bringing in highly specialised experts on short contracts to fill gaps in deficient areas using tools like Expert360.

In 2014-15, 4.1 million Australians, or 32 percent of the workforce, freelanced. With this trend showing no signs of slowing, it looks like the gig economy” is here to stay.

4. Mindfulness and mental health

Thanks to a change in public understanding of mental health, checking emotions at the door is no longer an unspoken rule. It’s to no surprise that researchers have discovered a happy, mentally healthy workforce produces a more creative, productive and balanced business.

5. Global workforces

The most successful companies are taking advantage of the ability to find talent anywhere in the world, faster. Businesses setting up international offices can expand more quickly, improve workplace diversity, and tap into different workplace resources. 

6. The explosion of apps

“There’s an app for that” – five words we’re hearing more and more as time goes on. Whether it’s chatting, analytics, keeping notes or video conferencing, a workplace can now set its foundations on special applications for handling specific tasks. This trend has the potential to be both helpfu and overwhelming.

7. Career development on the rise

Employees can often become disillusioned and restless in their position when they aren’t learning new, applicable skills. With only 37% of Australian employees saying that they are engaged at work, it’s likely that businesses will continue to offer on-the-job training to keep these workers committed.

8. Marketing by numbers

Long gone are the days when a single hunch could launch a million-dollar ad campaign. 36% of marketers are using analytics and data mining to create campaigns with consistent results with a heavy reliance on data-driven insights, machine learning and customer surveys.

9. Brands as storytellers

Companies have learned the value of proficiency and industry knowledge, so they’re sharing their stories in a number of formats from articles, videos, podcasts, seminars and more. Not only is this open-source approach an effective marketing tool, but a great conversation starter with potential clients and opportunity to share valuable industry lessons. 

10. The decline of busywork

We’re all guilty of spending more time doing busywork than creative work: checking emails, scheduling meetings, organising people, instead of doodling, designing, or cracking that brief. But thanks to a greater emphasis on collaboration, better tools and fewer silos, employees are increasingly moving away from mindless tasks to get to the projects that really matter.