5 digital workplace trends for 2018

The worlds of digital, work and everyday life are converging more and more – and the impact can be seen in ways we never imagined – for good and bad.

1. Digital Democratizes……

….fill in the blank. I have heard it said that digital democratizes entrepreneurship, creates more social justice and is behind some significant protest movements – including the rise of the female voice.

It does create a platform on which, to miss-quote Oprah, “one can speak one’s truth” and be heard – probably by likeminded people – as the search engine algorithms skew page results to reflect opinions, thoughts and beliefs closely related to our own.

Nevertheless, like a new puppy barking innocently as it discovers its new ability and likes both the sound of it and the response to being heard, underrepresented minorities are using digital to claim their rightful share of voice. Business, employees and candidates all need to get wise to this, Its impact is showing to be it’s impact it showing to be both far reaching and ground shifting.

This new transparency I hope will prove healthy for all, however, I suspect like the daughters of Lord Grantham, watching how we all behave and minding our reputations will become central to all decisions we make – in and out of work, for and on behalf of our organisations.

2. Stakeholders will flex their muscles to influence digital businesses for good.

In January 2018, Apple investors urged action on ‘smartphone addiction’; in 2017, advertisers pulled YouTube ads when they were found to be appearing next to videos promoting extremist views or hate speech; research by the Children’s Commissioner for England found children were seeking validation from social media.

For me, the most remarkable muscle flex effect was the speed in which All the Money in the World was reshot with Christopher Plummer, when Ridley Scott reshot with the new lead in 9 days.

Businesses will move quickly when stakeholders are not happy and voice that unhappiness.

3. Digital enables a more diverse and inclusive workplace

As employers continue to respond positively to the voices calling for change, digital will underpin this drive to make the work place fairer and more inclusive. Digital removes obstacles that were once barriers to inclusivity – it allows remote working, flexible working, a “gig” portfolio of work contracts, increasing accessibility through smart software tools like voice recognition software and,  a personal favourite of mine, hardware such as Doro phones – which are hearing aid compatible. The pool of talent widens and employers can fill those open vacancies with a more agile and flexible approach to hiring and workplace cultures.

4. Learning and development

Continuous learning and development underpins the digital workplace and the employee has an ever increasing responsibility to themselves to continually upskill and develop.

The recent call for everyone to code went too far for many – for me it was too big a step to ask. With the growth of MOOCs….[Massive Open Online Courses] from providers like Udacity and Coursera and even more educational content on YouTube, the opportunity to learn has never been greater – offering flexibility and “future proofing” you career.

As a head hunter in digital, let me assure you, demonstrating a commitment to learning has a very positive impact at interview

If you would like to find out how Norman Broadbent Solutions can help your organisation, please contact Jo Cumper, for an initial confidential discussion.
Email: jo.cumper@normanbroadbentsolutions.com
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