4 Workplace Trends in 2020 You Need to Know about

4 Workplace Trends in 2020 You Need to Know about

Modern workplaces are constantly evolving to keep pace with economic changes, globalization, technological advancements, and automation. With the coronavirus pandemic impacting virtually every industry, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented upheaval and destabilization. Many experts predict that the COVID-19 crisis will leave an indelible mark on many modern workplaces, but what will that look like? Read on to learn about four rising workplace trends going forward.

1. The Shift to Remote Working

work from home

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of organizations have been forced to adapt their working practices significantly. With social distancing rapidly becoming the new norm, remote working is overtaking the traditional office setting. While the significant advancement of workplace technology has kept everyone connected over the last few months, enabling workers to remain productive in the safety and comfort of their own homes, is teleworking here to stay?

Compelled to embrace remote work by necessity, many employers are coming to recognize the benefits of showing greater flexibility and allowing employees more autonomy over their workday. With governments all over the world advocating remote working as part of the effort to stem the spread of coronavirus, some distinct advantages to home working have emerged.

From an environmental perspective, the global shift to remote working has already reaped massive rewards. According to Global Workforce Analytics, if half the US workforce spent half the week working from home, it would reduce annual domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons, the equivalent of taking 10 million cars off the road.

Plus, remote working has significant benefits, not just for workers but for employers as well. According to a report published by Forbes, teleworkers are up to 40 percent more productive than their office-based counterparts. The report also revealed a 41 percent decrease in absenteeism among remote workers and a 12 percent decrease in staff turnover. Studies suggest that organizations can increase their profitability by up to 21 percent by embracing the “remote working revolution.”

2. Promoting Workplace Wellness

Traditionally, mental health has been regarded as a taboo subject in the workplace. Nevertheless, in terms of impacting performance and profitability, mental health can have a massive impact on organizations. According to one study, almost half of participants reported that work pressure had harmed their mental health. Employers are increasingly coming to recognize that mental wellness is just as important as physical health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that although work generally has a positive effect on mental health, a negative working environment can trigger significant mental health problems. With workplace bullying and harassment most commonly reported, mental health issues cost the global economy approximately $1 trillion annually. According to WHO, every $1 spent on mental health programs sees a $4 return in terms of increased productivity.

Industry giants like Google, JP Morgan, and Goldman Sachs are devoting considerable resources toward addressing mental wellness, such as hiring therapists and training staff to aid employees mentally. Experts predict a steep rise in mental health support programs throughout 2020, with more and more companies offering in-house therapy sessions.

3. Emphasizing the Employee Experience


An organization’s workforce is its greatest asset. Staff loyalty and commitment are vital. In terms of workplace aspirations, many employees want more than a good salary and job stability. Top-tier candidates seek out working environments that offer a sense of purpose, providing them with a strong sense of identity within the ‘bigger picture.’

Although businesses have traditionally focused on consumer needs, organizations like Facebook, Tumblr, SAP, Intuit, and Google have prioritized the employee experience. Providing flexible working hours, exceptional working environments, and the latest technology are all excellent ways of improving the employee experience and boosting staff loyalty.

4. The Rise of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the propagation of big data drives many business decisions today. The world’s leading organizations increasingly turn to innovative technologies in efforts to streamline workplace processes, making systems faster, smoother, and more efficient.

Industry leaders and tech giants are increasingly coming to recognize the value of automation, as it eliminates human error and unconscious bias. One area where AI shows vast potential is the recruitment sector.

Many industry experts believe that AI could revolutionize the recruitment industry by eliminating unconscious human bias, helping organizations attract and retain top talent.

According to a report published by the Harvard Business Review, the average open role attracts around 250 applicants. Recruiters focus on candidates they believe show the most promise (perhaps 10 percent to 20 percent of total applicants) and discard the rest. Nevertheless, unconscious bias is rife.

Few people like to admit to bigotry, but the truth is, we use personal experiences to make quick judgments constantly. Stereotyping is built in us on a very basic level. It is easy to apply labels, often obliviously. Where this affects recruitment decisions, it is not only detrimental to the applicant but often to the organization itself, as well as society as a whole.

Censia is a Talent Intelligence Platform that models and delivers the best talent for any organization. By utilizing innovative, intuitive Ideal Candidate Modeling algorithms, Censia helps organizations secure top-performing professionals irrespective of age, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background.

About the Author

Joanna RileyJoanna (Jo) Riley is an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate in technology, and is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Censia. Jo has a highly experienced background in building and scaling companies, which she attributes to her deep passion for people and building technologies that allow people to be their best selves. She brings her wide knowledge of the industry to better transform the way enterprise companies hire talent. You can connect with Joanna Riley at @joannakiddriley on Twitter or on Linkedin. Read her full bio here.