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2019 workplace trends: Watch for more freelance, workplace bullying and employer surveillance

Entering 2019, changing employment trends have emerged that will likely impact many employees and job seekers.

Here are 4 specific developments that Allison & Taylor Reference Checking anticipates for 2019:

  1. Employer surveillance of employees increases.  The number of employees who are monitoring their employees’ activities is growing, a function of the low cost of monitoring technology, an ever-increasing percentage of employees using their computers for both professional and personal use and an increase in employees leaking sensitive company information.Employers are also watching their workers to avoid sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits, in large part due to several high-profile cases in 2018 that resulted in the termination of well-known corporate executives.
  2. The modern workforce will become increasingly freelance. The current growth of freelancing is estimated to be three times faster than that of the traditional workforce, with approximately 47 percent of working millennials now working in some freelance capacity.  At the current growth rate, the majority of the U.S. workforce will freelance by 2027.
  3. Workplace abuse will continue to be an issue. A 2014 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute (workplacebullying.org) identified 27 percent of responders as having current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work. Bosses constituted the majority of bullies. The issue persists as we move into 2019. (http://www.workplacebullying.org/wbiresearch/wbi-2014-us-survey/)

4,  Employers lag behind the trend of “Work-Life Balance.  While compensation pay has traditionally been a leading prerequisite for all job seekers, a desire for workplace flexibility continues to rise dramatically in importance. Survey data suggests that employees value a desirable work-life balance above virtually all factors other than compensation.”

However, it is estimated that only a third of global corporations offer such flexibility. Of those that do offer at least some degree of workplace flexibility, many are not promoting this benefit to job seekers who increasingly spend more time researching companies before applying for new employment.

This suggests a considerable opportunity for companies to not only increase their degree of workplace flexibility, but to market this benefit more aggressively to prospective new employees.
There are a number of components to overall work flex, which include:

  • Working from the home, facilitated by the use of new technological tools
  • Elimination of strict office hours
  • Adoption of “casual days” with reduced formal business attire.