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The top 5 workplace predictions for 2017

Philip Price

Employers will find it increasingly difficult to attract new talent in 2017, while employees will demand greater flexibility at work and the right to have their say about their employer. Philip Price, the chief executive of WorkAdvisor, the UK-based workplace review site and jobs board, gives his top 5 predictions for how our working lives will change in 2017.

Employers will find it harder to attract new talent
UK unemployment has fallen to 4.8 percent – its lowest level for 11 years. There’s a shortage of people for many key jobs and companies are finding it harder to attract talented new people.  So, in 2017, you’ll see companies working harder than ever to hold on to their key staff members.  That means listening to their feedback and making changes where necessary.

Everyone will make more noise
In the fight for the best people, employers will increasingly shout their credentials from the rooftops.  In a nutshell, they’ll want to tell everyone what a great employer they are and get recognition for it.  WorkAdvisor’s ‘Travel Employer of the Year’ award is hotly contested and the winner will be announced at the end of January. Employees, too, will increasingly want to have their say.  We’re seeing a rising number of reviews on our site, but it’s not all about people having a moan.  Over 70 percent of the reviews are positive and when there is criticism, the vast majority of it is constructive.  Employees have got something to say and they want to be taken seriously.

Workers will demand greater flexibility
Technology allows us to work from anywhere – we’ve recently recruited home workers based in mainland Europe for a travel company. In addition, commuting has become a miserable experience for many, particularly those on the Southern Rail route. Small wonder, then, that more people will want to be able to work from home, at least for some of the time.  Companies will have to take this on board and offer greater flexibility to keep their workers happy.

Millennials will demand success
Millennials are hungry for success and don’t want to wait years for it.

Research earlier this year, highlighted in the Training Journal, claimed that 83 percent of millennials in the UK disagree with the view that people should expect to spend a minimum number of years in a role before they can be promoted, regardless of performance.

Employers will need to ensure that their workers have a clear career path and feel valued if they want to hold on to them.

A return to the work/life balance
It’s become the norm to check emails late at night or respond to a work request on a weekend.  That’s not likely to change any time soon, but we will see more of a shift to a work/life balance in 2017. Years ago, some companies experimented with a ‘no email day’.  That didn’t really work because emails are such an integral part of our working lives that it wasn’t really practical.  But responsible employers are becoming concerned that we haven’t got the balance right and that it’s contributing to staff sickness and stress.  In France, the government has even introduced legislation giving workers the right to disconnect from work emails outside office hours.

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