·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


5 Social Changes That Might Impact Your Workplace

— June 18, 2021

It’s fascinating to observe how the world is changing and make predictions about the future.

The world is always changing, and with it the societies you live in. For many reasons, social changes have been happening more rapidly than ever in recent years. Here are a few ways you might see your place of work shift as a result of these changes in society.

1. Environmental Issues

Becoming more “environmentally friendly” has been a buzzword for years now. But in recent years, the desire for businesses to focus on sustainable solutions for the workplace has grown. Offices are installing solar panels, cutting down on paper products, and identifying where the most waste is being created.

Some offices are doing something called “daylighting” as an alternative to using electric lighting. It’s exactly what it sounds like – rather than relying on artificial lighting, offices use clever architecture to ensure rooms are exposed to full daylight, usually by using skylights. Of course, supplemental lighting is usually necessary, and sometimes glare can be an issue, but this is just one example of clever ways a social change is making its way to the workplace.

2. Flexible Schedules

Many workers have become unsatisfied with the normal nine to five, Monday through Friday schedule that has dominated the workplace for so long. As a result, workplaces have begun reconsidering the concept of a workday. Some allow flexible schedules that allow workers to accomplish their work hours whenever they choose. Others simply require workers to complete their work before leaving the office, regardless of how short their workday is as a result.

In addition, employees are pushing for paid parental leave and increased vacation time.  Work is no longer the center of peoples’ lives, and the workplace will have to change to accommodate this change.

3. Data-Driven Staffing

Man on a job interview; image courtesy of Amtec Staffing, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
Man on a job interview; image courtesy of Amtec Staffing, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

As the world becomes more and more driven by data, the workplace will, too. The one place you can expect to see data affecting the workplace is in the hiring process. Using solutions like machine learning, businesses can automatically and quickly find appropriate candidates to fill positions. The hiring process will be much more streamlined and fast, casting a wider net and looking for more specific qualifications.

This means applications and resumes will matter a lot more since neglecting to provide the right terms could get you weeded out of the candidate pool. It also means that companies will have to specifically identify what they’re looking for in candidates. Being too general will result in an unrealistic amount of potential hires, so employers will become extra picky.

4. External Workers

This aspect of change is related closely to number three. Due to the growing need for specific skillsets, it’s unlikely that businesses will be able to hire employees who have every skill they need. This will increase the need for businesses to use contracted, external workers.

Currently, contracted workers are seen as second-class in the workplace. They’re important, but they’re not really a part of the team. In the future, however, these workers will become a vital part of the workforce. They’ll have to be offered more appealing contracts and given more support during their contracted period.

5. Age Issues

Because people are living longer and retiring much later, you can expect to see a lot more individuals over the age of 50 in the workplace in the near future. This means that age diversity will become an issue along with gender and race diversity. Older workers are generally undervalued and not given the opportunities that younger workers are provided. Workplaces will have to try hard to overcome the symptoms of ageism that lurk in most businesses, and make the workplace a more appealing and accessible place for aging workers.

It’s fascinating to observe how the world is changing and make predictions about the future. No matter what happens, you can expect to see the common workplace transform. Social changes can be positive changes, and making the most of them will ensure that your workplace comes out on top.

Join the conversation!