As the New Year begins, we’re both reflecting on the past year and looking towards the future. 2015 saw major innovations like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and Big Data converge to create real-world solutions - not just pie-in-the-sky hypotheses and ideas.
But, 2016 will prove to be a game-changer: these much-hyped technologies are laying a foundation for a new era of personalization in the workplace.
Here our my top 3 trend picks for 2016:
We’ve already seen glimpses of workspace personalization in 2015. Think of the Edge, Deloitte Consulting’s offices in Amsterdam, which is largely controlled by an app that shapes the way consultants work. It recognizes their car and guides them to the nearest parking spot, it knows what meetings they have and shows them the way to the desk or room that fits their schedule best and even understands how the consultants prefer their office temperature and coffee.
Although intelligent buildings like the Edge might seem futuristic, there is no denying that personalized workspaces are definitely on the horizon. Gartner predicts that, by 2018, no less than 60 percent of companies will implement personalization programs specifically designed to attract and retain employees. In 2016, we will start to see some of the smart capabilities of the Edge becoming standard in businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Personalization is especially critical for today’s mobile workforce. With mobile workers expected to account for nearly 75% of the U.S. workforce by 2020, companies will need to become increasingly flexible and customized in order to drive efficiency. Smart workplace technology will enable companies to cater to their mobile employees’ needs based on their historical demands and work routines as well as their indicated preferences. A remote sales representative that is visiting the HQ can be automatically assigned a temporary desk near the marketing and PR department to encourage collaboration and help drive productivity.
Employees will continue to demand flexibility from their employers – whether it’s regarding work schedules, workspace preferences, mobility, or technology (hardware and app) preferences. And, employers are going to start listening.
With these trends in effect, workplaces will become more productive and efficient than ever before. Mobile personalization helps employees optimize their time by offering them exactly what they need and desire on the first try. Coupled with giving employees the flexibility to get their work done how they deem fit, these three trends when embraced wholeheartedly, also have the potential to substantially increase employee happiness and retention.
Any workplace trends you’re predicting?
Here’s to a great 2016!