Top workplace trends for 2015: Part 1

3 Mar

Gender equality in the workplace will continue to be a major workplace trend in 2015.

With the ever-changing landscape of the American workplace, it's no surprise that certain trends come and go. 2015 has already been a significant year for American workers, as new federal regulations and increased technological flexibility influence company executives to make large-scale employee management changes within their organizations. Whether this includes seeking more remote and nontraditional employees, redesigning office spaces to enhance productivity, or focusing on a diverse workforce, American workers can expect many exciting changes in the year to come.

In this two-part series, we'll analyze what experts are saying will be some of the most significant trends hitting offices in 2015, starting with those regarding employees:

1. Women continue to climb the corporate ladder
Gender equality in the workplace is not a new idea, but it will continue to be at the forefront of the conversation in 2015. As more women earn college degrees and decide to delay having children, they are rising to leadership and executive positions within their companies and enjoying an ever-shrinking wage gap. A 2012 Pew Research study found that for every dollar earned by a male worker between the ages 25 and 34, a female worker in the same age group earns 93 cents. At a 7 percent gap, this difference has become much less significant than the 33 percent gap recorded back in 1980. Millennial women are known to be extremely motivated and will continue fighting through 2015 until there is complete gender equality in the workplace.

2.  Freelancing will become a legitimate career choice
An Elance-oDesk study found that due to technological advancements and the wide reach of the Internet, some 53 million Americans now choose to be freelance workers. That accounts for about 34 percent of working Americans. These individuals can now earn a substantial income completing freelance, contract and temporary assignments, leading many to forego a standard 9-to-5 corporate job to enjoy more variety and flexibility.

3. Companies will start hiring millennials
The first wave of millennials will graduate from college in 2015, and businesses across the country are investing significant time and effort into understanding and recruiting this new generation of workers. According to Bloomberg, companies based in Silicon Valley have even begun recruiting talented high school students – as young as 16 – for summer internships. Corporate executives understand that younger hires really understand technology and social media, which can help give their companies an edge in the highly competitive digital space.

4. "Job-hopping" will rise
With all of the mobile apps and job-posting websites available today, it's hard to resist the temptation to look at what else is out there. Job boards make it easy to see what positions are open in different fields and different cities, so people can now place more emphasis on landing their dream jobs rather than staying where they are comfortable. This newfound ability leads many Americans to forego working at the same company for their entire careers and instead put in short-lived stints at different organizations until they find something that sticks.

5. More employers will allow telecommuting
Technological advancements have strongly decreased the need for all company employees to work in the same offices, so in 2015, the number of people who primarily work from home will continue to grow. This idea is mutually beneficial for workers and employers alike. Companies can decrease the amount of office space required to run the business, and geographical constraints will no longer apply when looking for the most qualified candidates. For employees, working from home means no long commute, more time at home with the family and a break from distracting office environment.

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