Should you adopt current workplace trends?

In the last 12 months, several new disruptive trends have entered the workplace, while a focus remains on areas that challenge the traditional working environment and day.

So, should your business adopt these current workplace trends? We have identified and collated the most popular, with substantial reasons why you might want to consider implementing them in your business.

Taking a social stand

As the spotlight intensifies on social, economic and political change, many businesses are using their positions and platforms to take a social stand, from a local to national level. We are seeing an increasing number of company mission statements and values taken to the next level, putting people and purpose at the heart of strategies and goals. Millennials are driving the consumer trend, wanting brands and businesses to influence society. According to an article by the World Economic Forum, by 2020, this generation will make up 40% of the consumer market, influencing £33 billion in annual sales.

The 2019 Deloitte Human Capital Trends report found that 34% of respondents cited societal impact as the top factor used to measure success when evaluating annual performance. A further 32% ranked it as the 2nd and 3rd most important factor.

Further to this, taking a stand on social issues proves to be beneficial for a firm’s employer brand. The millennial generation want to work for brands that go outside of their corporate mission and make a positive difference in the world.

It’s important to note that the support you give to your chosen cause or movement must be substantiated and genuine. People will see straight through brands doing these things purely for corporate gain.

Flexible and remote working

With employee benefits that include a better work-life balance, less time and money spent commuting, not to mention improved employee retention, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more workplaces are adopting flexible and remote working.

To combat a decline in employee communication and collaboration, we expect there will be an increase in the uptake of emerging technologies and workspaces that facilitate this.

A study by Deloitte and Timewise found that 73% of Britons work part-time, or with a flexible working arrangement. Alongside this, a previous global study by Vodafone found that 61% of companies that had introduced flexible working saw an increase in company profits. 83% experienced improved productivity and 58% stated the decision positively impacted the company reputation.

Machine learning, AI and automation

Digital transformation is permeating the workplace, and it’s no secret that automation and further digitalisation will shape jobs in the future.

There are already a vast range of cloud-based apps and platforms that are leveraging the power of automation and machine learning to improve business efficiencies, making employees more productive and processes more streamlined. The World Economic Forum has reported that by 2022, ‘routine-based’ jobs such as data entry roles, will be more liable to automation, and roles will be augmented as a result.

HR teams must start to consider the future skills that will be important to the roles within the business. For instance, will you require staff that are in-tune with emerging technologies, and have the ability to programme and maintain them? The increasing reliance on data will require employees to analyse, interpret and problem-solve in order to make data-driven decisions.

Embracing a digital transformation improves efficiency, provides a better customer experience, informs decision making and boosts profitability. This article from Forbes outlines examples of brands that have introduced new technology and the impact it had on their profits and business performance.

Focus on soft skills

As we mentioned above, many routine tasks will become automated by technology, and a focus on the importance on soft skills will emerge.

Many tasks will be diverted from heavy human intervention, and instead, employee soft skills should be cultivated and diverted elsewhere. For instance, people management, interpersonal communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking cannot be executed by technology, and still play an enormous tole in the success of a business.

Earlier this year, LinkedIn published its 2019 Global Trends report, which reported that 82% of UK talent professionals stated that soft skills are more important to their company’s success now than ever before.


Diversity, inclusion and gender equality all remain as hot topics when it comes to workplace and HR trends.

Inspired by gender pay gap reporting and various empowering social movements, Gartner has predicted that 25% of bigger companies will begin to define their diversity and inclusion goals by 2022.

In order to do this, we will see the uptake of technology introduced into the recruitment process to remove bias, analytics will be used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts.

A report conducted last year by McKinsey & Co found that businesses in the top quartile for gender diversity are more than 20% more likely to experience above average profits. Companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 33% more like to see higher-than-average profits.

Mental health

As the taboo around mental health disappears, the associated conditions and disorders are becoming less stigmatised.

While much work has been done to normalise workplace conversations about mental health between employees and their line managers, 80% of UK workers reported they would not discuss their mental health with their manager, for fear of being perceived as incapable. This was uncovered in a survey by the Mental Health Foundation published in May this year, and also found that only 31% of managers are sufficiently trained to recognise the symptoms of mental ill health in their workforce.

As mental health charities and large corporations such as Lloyds Banking Group continue to raise the awareness of its importance, more movement is being made. There is a collaborative initiative from Apple, Orpah Winfrey and Prince Harry that is asking UK employers to sign a pledge that signals they are taking mental health seriously.

That concludes our round up of the top trends in the modern workplace, and the tangible reasons to adopt them. If you would like to further explore how we can aid you in recruiting the right talent to support any of these initiatives, please contact a member of the Anne Corder team today.

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder


Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.