7 trends for the future work environment

More flexibility, digitalization and diversity, fewer hierarchical systems, for more intelligent human capital – these are the major trends ahead for the future work environment.

Sodexo, a specialist in quality of life services, has each year since 2012 a study on the major trends of work and their developments. Its goal is to provide the professional world – and primarily human resources managers, executives and business leaders – the keys to imagine the future of tomorrow’s work environments, in order to better prepare for them. The 2018 version of this study focuses on seven themes strongly interlinked by a central theme – collective intelligence, indispensable to be exploited in the face of robotization and artificial intelligence.

Questioning the Internet of Things

Considered as the third revolution of the internet, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents the exchange of information and data from real world devices with the network. There is big data to be interrogated, with a significant learning curve to be implemented with regard to employers, particularly in matters of privacy protection and threats to security.

Cultivating emotional intelligence

Since our lives are a kaleidoscope of more than 500 daily emotional experiences, we need to be able to tame them to better cultivate them, including at the workplace. Well taken into account, emotional intelligence (EI) can become a core competency for high performing organizations and tomorrow’s great leaders.

Integrating Generation Z

Generation Z are those newly active, born after 1995 and beginning to arrive in numbers on the labour market with their own codes: strong expectations in terms of technology, a more natural mix of private and professional life. These employees are reshaping their work environment and forcing intergenerational exchanges to be rethought.

Taking account of the sharing economy

The sharing economy is not just a trendy formula, it is also a reality – that of these businesses that deviate from the conventional concept of ownership to promote maximum efficiency of the workforce and materials. Sharing offices and equipment, flexibility of work – this economy seems destined to persist and must therefore be taken into account.

Rethinking the gender balance

For businesses that want to overcome gender imbalances, it is primarily important to examine the obstacles that hinder women’s progress: prejudices, inequality of treatment, lack of support… The way forward will require a necessary cultural transformation, due to the great added value brought by an improvement in diversity.

Transforming the work experience

While new technologies are sources of significant benefits, the complexity of the working world continues to grow while employee engagement levels globally remain low. It is this equation that lies at the heart of the work experience, with management of human capital increasingly being used as a transformation solution to help employees and organizations give the best of themselves.

Encouraging responsible businesses

To succeed, companies must not only think of short-term economies but also become actors of change for large-scale environmental and social problems. It is a trend encouraged by a growing number of employees, who themselves want to act responsibly.


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