ADP Report Suggests Businesses Must Adapt to Five Trends Driving Global Workplace Changes

January 12, 2016

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ROSELAND, NJ — (Marketwired) — January 12, 2016 — The workplace is rapidly changing, and understanding — and managing — five growing trends can help organizations and employers stay ahead of the curve. Specifically, the global workplace transformation is being driven by employees’ desire for:

  • Workplace flexibility
  • Access to real-time learning
  • Increased autonomy
  • A sense of stability
  • The ability to work on personally meaningful projects

These findings are part of the 2016 ADP Research Institute Evolution of Work study, a global look at 2,000 employees and employers across 13 countries.

The study also uncovers that, while respondents are overwhelmingly excited about future trends, some concerns remain around changes that are perceived to jeopardize job security. More than 80 percent of respondents feel optimistic about working on personal interests or things that impact society in the coming years, while 45 percent fear that automation, smart machines and artificial intelligence will replace people for repetitive work.

Additionally the study finds:

  • Regions with populations that skew younger are more likely to embrace change. In Asia Pacific, 81 percent of people are excited about change, versus only 59 percent in Europe. In fact, 52 percent of Europeans are anxious or fearful that they will need to learn new skills rapidly to adjust to shifting roles as opposed to only 19 percent in Asia Pacific.
  • Job security has a modern definition. Previously, individuals defined job security by tenure. Today, with shifts in the workplace — especially increased automation — employees define security by professional network and the ability to tap into relationships to find non-linear jobs that can extend a career. 93 percent of respondents believe that they will work wherever their skills are needed and almost 60 percent believe a standard retirement age will eventually cease to exist.
  • HR departments must improve global connectivity. With the rise of remote employees, HR professionals will need to work harder to ensure teams are truly connected. 95 percent of respondents believe they will be able to work from anywhere in the world.

“Technological and cultural shifts have always pushed workplace innovation forward, but today an even faster global transformation is underway, and employers must take notice,” said Dermot O’Brien, chief human resources officer, ADP. “To advance business goals — and remain competitive — employers must allow for flexibility, underscore that technology is supporting, not hindering, career fulfillment and provide ways to cultivate personal interests while still driving the mission of the company.”

Appreciating and managing these employee needs has strong economic benefits as well. “Embracing workplace changes will lead to a stronger work force as employees will remain engaged, efficient and empowered,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute. “Additionally, by embracing these changes, employers are in better position to attract and keep talent.”

By understanding how workers’ needs and desires are evolving around the world, business leaders can develop strategies for today — and the long-term — that will lead to a stronger, more productive workforce.

The complete Evolution of Work study can be found here.


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