Four workplace trends to look out for in 2017

The automation of work has already begun, but according to a new whitepaper, not all employees have to be worried about losing their jobs to machines.

While the Internet has allowed for the rise of employees collaborating remotely; developments in artificial intelligence have also prompted more automation at the workplace.

How will these trends shake up the workplace in 2017? Here are four key factors to look out for, as based on a new whitepaper by Compass Offices.

Automation will take over, but employees might keep their jobs

According to employment portal Glassdoor, the ongoing fear that automation will render many people jobless appears to be unlikely.

It found that the roles most likely to be affected by automation will be routine jobs that do not require much creative judgement or flexibility.

For example, these would be jobs that involve answering generic emails or scheduling meetings. To counter this, workers need to develop skills that are complementary to technological advances, instead of working on the same tasks that machines will one day be able to automate.

This is currently happening in Singapore where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – the practice of using software to automate structured workflow – is being implemented at the enterprise level. While humans will still be needed, the incoming trend is that business tasks will become increasingly codified.

HR will transform with the help of big data

While this point has been widely discussed, it still bears repeating.

HR will transform into “people science,” due to the rise of big data. Thanks to all the data gleaned from staff and customer base, businesses will be able to make better decisions, have faster turnaround times on projects and cater better to customers.

These could include being able to track an employee’s progression stages throughout a company, from onboarding to annual review. Being able to gather real-time feedback from staff is also another way to foster and retain happy workers.

Employee well-being will become a priority

Improving the well-being of employees has been increasing in importance over the past few years.

Studies show that cultivating good company culture, developing an attractive work environment and investing in the professional future of your employees leads to more productivity, engagement and retention.

The Compass Index, an annual survey of 1,200 workers across Asia Pacific, showed that 65.3% of workers in China consider “career development” their key motivator. This indicates that upward mobility is one of their top priorities.

In Hong Kong, where a mix of C-suites and managers were surveyed, “work environment” was considered by 29% the most important element at work, while “career development” came in at 26%.

Workers will look beyond compensation for satisfaction

Despite compensation being important to surveyed workers, high pay doesn’t move the meter much in terms of employee satisfaction. In its employer review survey, Glassdoor notes that “culture and values” was the number one important factor for respondents.

Today’s workers are looking for more than just a good paycheck; they want a place of work that resonates with their values.

But compensation still carries weight, as it is an indicator of opportunity for upward mobility at a company.

In fact, the Compass Index reveals that workers are optimistic about getting a pay raise this year. Respondents in the Philippines (65.6%), Hong Kong (43%), Singapore (38.8%) and Australia (34.4%) all replied hopefully when prompted for their thoughts on increased compensation this year.

Source: workplace trends to look out for in 2017


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