Sodexo Trends Report Shows Connectivity, Innovation & Uncertainty Are Rewriting the Workplace

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – There are so many trends in the news that it is difficult for businesses to keep track of everything and know what is relevant. Yet it is critical for business and its leaders to be able to recognise the underlying trends driving change, to evaluate their significance and stay ahead of—rather than follow—them.

Helping to give a perspective is Sodexo, a world leader in quality of life services, which has released its 2017 Global Workplace Trends report, detailing the most critical factors affecting the world’s workers and employers. Sodexo distilled key findings from different sectors, generations and countries to produce a report that provides a holistic view of the global workplace.

Sodexo has a front-row seat to seeing and understanding the factors that will shape the workplace of the future. It has identified ten key topics, including “Agile Organisation” – organisations are seeking speed and stability, with a goal of responding to new conditions by keeping employees agile, by using disciplines such as mindfulness. “The Rise of Cross-Workplaces” – is not only about sharing physical space and resources, but also structuring interactions across boundaries that encourage problem-solving approaches to combine strengths and address global issues.

Some of the trends identified are topical and at odds with what is happening in the world. “Employees Without Borders”—is about the spread and scale of the relocation of workers in emerging and developed economies that is driving new opportunities, demonstrating inclusive leadership through evaluating skill needs, availability, location benefits and effective cultural integration—is one such trend. President Trump’s recently signed executive order that bars immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US promises to have far-reaching consequences for businesses and employees; several of the country's largest businesses were made possible by immigrants. These include Apple, Amazon, and Google; many of these big brands including Ford, J.P. Morgan, Coca Cola, and 21st Century Fox have spoken out, saying they value diversity and believe immigration is an essential part of America’s strength.

The trend on New-Gen Robotics – where the advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have led to organisations increasingly using them for jobs that humans used to perform – is also not without hot debate about whether it will actually benefit humanity. In Japan, human workers are being replaced by machines; one insurance firm has laid off more than thirty employees who will be replaced by AI systems. Professor Stephen Hawkins fears artificial intelligence, and believes killer computers will destroy humanity. 

The Sodexo 2017 Global Workplace Trends shows that the world is evolving rapidly, and sometimes in a contradictory fashion: small and large, local and global, traditional and modern. All this impacts our individual understanding of quality of life. Organisations need to listen even more closely to the voice of the individual to be balanced and inclusive, in order to be able to lead to an engaged and high-performing workforce.

Photo Credit: Sodexo