• SWA Team

Top Five Workplace Trends to Watch in 2020


As the baby boomers generation phase into retirement, Millennials and Generation Y/Z have begun entering the workplace. It is expected that they’ll comprise of 36% of the global workforce by 2020. This demographic shift will spur a change in workplace habits, trends, and ultimately, work culture. These are the top five workplace trends that you can expect in 2020.


1. The rise of health conscious snackage - A recent survey of 1000 full time office workers found that 56% of full-time employees are "extremely" or "very" happy with their current job. That number jumps to 67% among those who have access to free food. Additionally, the younger generation are much more perceptible to what type of food they’re eating. The demand and movement for good but healthy snacks plays fairly large role in impacting the overall satisfaction of employees. Swap out of those chocolate bars for any one of these sustainable snacks.


2. Breakdown of workspace walls - Millennials and Generation Y/Z are quite literally breaking down the workspace walls. Many of them are choosing to work in open shared spaces, often changing work stations to get a change of environment and place.


3. Remote and Virtual Workplaces - With the traffic getting worse and worse in the Bay Area, it’s a no wonder that interest in working remotely has skyrocketed. Use of software such as slack or googlesuites has enabled collaboration from almost anywhere. In addition to saving money on time and commute, the consolidation of information and communication also allows workers to find and access resources more effectively.


4. Application of Kaizen/Lean - The concept of kaizen, continuous improvement, can be applied to almost every business. There are several steps in the Kaizen methodology. The first step is identifying an issue. One an issue has been identified, the next step is to brainstorm to create specific, actionable processes. These processes have a focus on eliminating waste and excess. The final step would be to take action in small test groups.


The kaizen philosophy has typically been applied to large businesses such as Toyota and Hershey's. However, applying lean business models to small companies and startups will help create more value for customers with less resources. By reducing costs and creating efficient strategies, businesses can grow and scale more effectively. This process is becoming much more widespread in smaller businesses and everyday practices.


5. Environmental Awareness - The incoming workforce has the education, motivation, and social awareness to fully grasp the environmental consequences of their actions. Many of these workers make environmentally influenced decisions such as switching to a vegan diet or choosing to carpool for a reduced carbon footprint. Employers should create options and choices that align with these environmental conscious lifestyles to enable higher employee satisfaction.

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