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How a Decade Changed the Workplace

Bryson Kearl

What has changed in your life in the past decade? Without knowing you or your life, I’m going to confidently predict your answer: A lot! By Bryson Kearl at BambooHR.

Ten years is always a long time, but in an era of constantly-improving technologies, these past ten years have seen unusually large amounts of change. (For goodness sake, ten years ago there were no iPhones, Facebook was still closed to the public, and nobody questioned the colors on a dress!) That is precisely why we gathered several questions and results from surveys taken back in 2006 on HR-related topics and compared them with responses today. A lot has changed in the last decade -sure – but how have matters that employees and employers really care about changed? For example, are workplace environments improving? Do employees think they’re managed better now than they were then? And are people more or less stressed than they were ten years ago? This survey revealed the answers to these questions and many more.

Electronic Media Usage
In 2006, over half of employers claimed to monitor employee emails. In 2016, that number dropped to 29 percent. Ironically, in a time when the NSA has more power to go through our emails, employers frequently do not. This likely speaks to increased employee trust and increased employee autonomy.

Employee Satisfaction
Employers are doing a better job helping employees believe they’re on the right path. The number of  employees who either agree or strongly agree that they have career growth opportunities with their current employers rose by 14 percent over the past ten years. Also, 21 percent more say they would choose their current job over a similar position elsewhere.

Workplace Environment
In 2006, half of employees surveyed said they developed their best ideas at their desks. Today, only 27 percent said their best ideas came at their desks. In a workforce that has become increasingly remote and mobile, this is perhaps not very surprising. However, some of the other locations where inspiration strikes might be. (But you’ll have to download the full infographic to find where those are. Wink, wink.)

Workplace Stress and Anxiety
Employees are in better shape now than they were ten years ago. Five percent more employees deal with stress by exercising. On the flip side, 19 percent fewer employees deal with stress by eating now than they did ten years ago. In total, that means that more people now deal with stress by exercising (38 percent) than they do eating (36 percent). Much has changed in the past ten years, and these are just a few of the interesting changes we found in our survey. To see the other findings, download our infographic and survey summary!


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