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CareersAs we approach the end of the year, here are significant trends witnessed in the workplace. From an individual perspective, understanding these trends will give you an advantage. From an employer perspective, it will make for more informed business decisions.

Collaboration. With social networks, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing becoming the norm, there is a renewed emphasis and enthusiasm for collaboration in the workplace. Collaboration gains importance as companies encourage connected networks to share ideas and solve problems. This is evidenced in workplace designs which decrease worker isolation by providing more open layouts with shared spaces.

Employee retention. Companies became more aware than ever that disengaged workers were costing them money by negatively impacting everything from customer service to sales and other business areas. Companies are therefore focusing on what drives their workforce, and customising plans to motivate and engage their employees.

Freelancing. Employers are saving more money hiring freelancers by not having to pay benefits, and hire experts in specific fields for specialised projects. Plus, freelancers often work from home which saves the company money. A study by Accenture, a management-consulting firm, shows that “even top-level managers and executive teams are being replaced by temporary CEOs, CFOs, COOs and other highly skilled trouble-shooters.”

Employers create new ways of filtering candidates. Employers are using social networks for recruiting and candidate evaluation by screening the candidate’s online footprint first. LinkedIn and Google profiles as well as personal blogs and big media/industry blogs are viewed in conjunction with the resume to make hiring decisions.

Wellness programmes. According to a survey by Harris Interactive, employees are stressed out by at least one thing about their jobs – mostly poor pay and increasing workloads. Companies know they can be more productive with a healthier workforce and are addressing this through stress reduction workshops, wellness programmes and by establishing gyms on office premises.

– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, e-Learning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 29, 2013.

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