The way we work is constantly changing, and 2017 looks set to see several trends take hold. From increasingly casual office wear to co working, these are the workspace trends of 2017 so far – how does your workplace measure up?
Ditching the Dress Code
Over the years,there have been several high-profile opponents of office dress codes. Richard Bransonhas been known to cut the ties off suited businessmen asking for his advice on running their business, and even carries a pair of scissors with him for just this purpose. But recently this has been gathering pace, with businesses relaxing their dress codes – and in some cases ditching them entirely. Last year the Australian arm of PricewaterhouseCoopers became one of the most notable names to abandon their dress code, allowing employees to decide what clothes were appropriate for the work place. Although many companies will insist that a dress code instils discipline and a professional atmosphere in the company, relaxing strict styles of dress is one way to improve communication and boost inclusivity.
Creative Office Spaces
From Google’s onsite gym and selection of ping pong tables to Facebook’s bean bag lounges, some of the world’s biggest companies are taking more flexible, laid-back approaches to their office space.
For smaller businesses looking to move away from a traditional office, co working spaces can offer less defined, more collaborative options. Innovative workspaces such as The Brew in East London offer a range of work spaces and business facilities in more flexible environment.
This will become especially common with the rise of ‘blended’ workforces, in which full and part time staff work side-by-side with freelancers, contractors and temporary staff, requiring a more adaptable working environment. As for their benefits, employees working in co working spaces and more relaxed office environments have reported positive impacts on their confidence and productivity.
Farewell to the Annual Performance Review
If, in the past, you’ve found yourself dreading the idea of justifying a year’s worth of work in a single annual interrogation, then current workplace trends are moving in your favour. An increasing number of companies are coming round to that idea that annual performance reviews are not good for employers or employees. For employers, they can be an impractical and inconsistent way of measuring progress, while employees often find that being ranked by a series of arbitrary numbers is disheartening. Instead, 2017 will likely see a turn towards a review process that focuses on working with workers throughout their employment
As more companies admit that happy employees are the most productive, it’s likely that the business dinosaur of the annual performance view will face extinction altogether.
Imaginative Employee Perks
A 2014 study by TINYPulse found that, perhaps unsurprisingly, workers are happiest with employers that show their appreciation of them. And what better way to show that appreciation than with imaginative perks? From remote working possibilities and gym memberships to entire afternoons dedicated to fun and wellness, companies are coming up with creative new ways of giving something back to their employees.
As companies continue to explore new working styles, these will be the major trends to keep an eye on. It might be wise to consider whether they’re right for your workplace to stay ahead of the curve.