There is no such thing as being too prepared. In today’s rapidly changing market, an effective employer should anticipate future workplace trends. Get a jump-start on the year ahead by preparing for these workplace changes you can expect to see in 2015.
Starting in 2014, President Obama’s plan to ensure that all American have access to affordable healthcare will go into effect on a new front. Employers with 50 or more workers will be legally obligated to provide affordable health insurance for their employees. Experts disagree on exactly how the new policy will change American workplaces, and some economists predict that employers will limit hiring. The legislation will certainly impact those in high health-risk industries, where issues from work-induced hearing loss to suspension trauma are possible on a regular basis. However, small business owners who embrace the change can benefit; those who go ahead and buy insurance next year will be able to get a credit for up to 50 percent of their healthcare premium costs.
Upcoming Changes by OSHA
You can expect the following changes to be pending or enforced by OSHA, come 2015:
- What qualifies as being a “catastrophe” has now become a single trip to the hospital; what’s more, OSHA must be made aware of the accident within 24 hours of the incident.
- OSHA will continue its mission to lessen employee exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. To prepare for this, follow OSHA’s suggested steps in order to guarantee that your workplace is in accordance to present and future standards. Key actions include striving to find healthier alternatives to hazardous chemicals; educating staff on safety measures; and keeping necessary equipment up-to-date, including chemical resistant clothing and protective gloves.
The Mobile Workplace and Flex-work
With mobile technology and cloud computing continuing to develop in innovative ways, employees can now work anywhere. The idea of a set workplace is in the midst of change, and so, along with it, is the belief in a rigid work schedule. As technology-savvy millennials account for a greater percentage of the workforce, trends toward flexible hours and a work-out-of-the-office mentality will start to become the norm. Gallup reports that workers are actually more engaged when working from home. Prepare for these changes by enhancing your mobile technology resources, keeping cloud storage secure and up to date, and being open to fundamental changes in ideas about how we work.
Freelancing and Career Switching
Already, one third of all Americans are contractors, consultants or freelancers. Those numbers will continue to grow in 2014, reaching 40 percent by some estimates. Millennials don’t like to stay in one job forever: according to a recent study by the University of Georgetown, only one in ten workers aged 18 to 25 considers their current job part of their real career. This propensity to quickly move between jobs makes “contingent” work a desirable path for many young workers. Employers, still cautious about hiring in the still-recovering economy, will continue to turn the freelance trend to their advantage. You can save money by hiring freelancers, since you will not have to pay benefits, making it a potential loophole to the new Obamacare rules described above. Hiring contract workers is also a good way to keep a large company “small.” Additionally, many freelance workers have specialized skills — in technology, for instance — that may be usefully applied to important but temporary projects.
It’s no secret that we’ve been living in a globalized economy for some time now, and individual workplaces will become more global with changes in the coming year. International collaboration, made all the more tangible through new technologies will fuel innovation at companies throughout the country. The key to success here will be for you to create a sense of unity in the work environment in spite of employees being located the world over. Establish a distinct identity and a particular culture in your company that will give workers a sense of solidarity and purpose.