EIGHT MUST-KNOW WORKPLACE TRENDS

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As the business world continues to evolve, it’s critical that your career tactics evolve with it to stay competitive and move ahead. With that in mind, here from a CareerBuilder.com article are eight need-to-know workplace and employee-centered trends that are shaping the new corporate culture. They provide insight and perspective into where employers are placing their priorities today and what they are expecting from their workers.

Trend No. 1: Professionalism and teamwork

First, being cordial isn’t enough anymore to succeed in the workplace. Employers want employees who can work in interdisciplinary teams to achieve common corporate goals, the article pointed out. They are also big on professionalism, high energy and confidence. Universum, a Stockholm-based employer-branding firm that does extensive annual surveys, found that these are the top three personality traits employers are looking for in candidates, as reported in a 2012 Forbes article.

 Trend No. 2: Social media madness

We live more of our lives online, but many tend to forget that those lives are public. So before you tweet, post something on Facebook or comment on a blog with your real name, ask yourself: “Is this something I would like a potential employer to read?” When looking for a new job, don’t be surprised if a potential employer requests your social media passwords so they can have a complete look at your Facebook profile.

Trend No. 3: Continuing education

In these times of tight corporate budgets, your employer might not always be able to pay for that online MBA or Project Management Professional certificate, but they will still expect you to invest in your own professional development if you want to move up in the company — even if you have to pay for it out of your own pocket. New trends in online education, such as the rising popularity of massive open online courses, may be the answer.

 Trend No. 4: Technology rules

Not having basic tech skills is not acceptable anymore — even for lower-wage jobs or for mature employees who might not have grown up with iPads or netbooks. Employers increasingly expect their employees to either have a company-issued mobile device or use their own device, which means having to be available via email during nights and weekends. Work in virtual teams is also becoming more commonplace, prevalent and expected.

Trend No. 5: Workplace flexibility

The reign of the 9-to-5 workday could clearly be coming to an end. In fact, employers are increasingly recognizing that traditional schedules might not be the best fit for employees trying to combine careers with having children — or for those with long commutes or other challenges. According the CareerBuilder.com article, SHRM expects an increase in workplace flexibility and telework, which could invariably lead to more security and workers’ compensation issues.

Trend No. 6: Collaborative workspaces

In today’s workplace, cube dwellers may have to venture beyond the confines of their homey partitions, as open, collaborative workspaces and communal areas are becoming more commonplace. According to a March 2012 report by The New York Times cited in theCareerBuilder.com article, two-thirds of American office space is now configured in some sort of open arrangement, with the goal of increasing the free flow of ideas and eliminating the office as a status symbol. This may, perhaps, come at the cost of some privacy, though, especially to employees who prefer to work alone.

 

Trend No. 7: Corporate social responsibility

According to SHRM, organizations of all types and sizes are participating in philanthropic activities and devoting more resources to creating environmentally profitable and sustainable practices, the article pointed out. Many organizations even use their social responsibility commitment as a competitive advantage, and participating in social projects can do wonders for employee morale, teamwork and company pride.

Trend No. 8: Rewards and recognition

Companies have realized that workers crave other things besides money to keep them motivated. To that end, employers are offering a variety of rewards and recognition programs. Online retailer Zappos, for example, has built an entire culture around employee recognition, frequently hosting happy hours during which awards are distributed. They also have the “Zollar” (Zappos Dollars) Program, where employees can earn “Zollars” for good performance and teamwork.

As you can see, the article pointed out, this isn’t your parent’s employment world anymore. But while a lot has changed in the workplace, change isn’t always a bad thing — especially if you’re prepared for it and armed with the latest knowledge

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