Work Trends 2020

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Work Trends

Jane Ulsoee   Jane Houlind Ulsøe founder of Canvas Planner
 16th of January 2020 – readtime 4 minutes

It is difficult to predict the future, but trends can still give a picture of what companies are going to focus on in 2020. In this blog post we have gathered some of the trends that we think will be more prevalent for the coming year:

New types of communication challenge the e-mail

For most people, e-mails are a central part of working life. It is not conceivable to work without constantly sending and receiving e-mails and chat messages in a more or less unstructured flow. Employees spend an average of 5.6 hours in their Inboxes per day. The habit is so integrated that the idea of ​​working in other ways seems completely absurd.

This is becoming increasingly urgent in big organizations where employees spend most of their time keeping their inbox in check. A work culture where CC e-mails often are used, but not always read and will often result in more meetings to ensure that people are aligned.

According to IT Professor Cal Newport at Georgetown University, will 2020 be the beginning of the end of the e-mail! He predicts that managers and employees will begin to see that they will be more productive and create greater value for their business by moving towards other ways of communicating and collaborating. When e-mails are used as a chat tool and chat tools are used without structure in the message flow, both become a time sink. Therefore, we have previously highlighted alternative communication tools such as Slack. The ability to structure chats by using threads or channels helps structure people’s conversations as well as making it easier to go back in time and understand why certain decisions were taken. Employees are typically invited only to threads that are relevant to them and are not bombarded with unnecessary information. It saves time looking for the information, as search options are much more advanced than what users are accustomed to in other tools.

By removing the chat communication from the inbox, one will be able to minimize the number of emails and instead use them primarily for general and external communication.

We are experiencing a trend pointing towards more and more companies being ready to rethink the use of emails. We are very excited to see how widespread the trend with new types of communication will be in 2020.

Work Trends 2020

We believe that in 2020 there will be a great focus on flexibility in working life, and there are several reasons for this:

The work experience becomes central to the success of the companies

The new talent entering the workforce want more flexibility. Millennials will choose their employer based on whether the employer can offer a modern work culture with a high degree of flexibility and the ability to work remotely. The companies that fail to adapt will be challenged to attract the desired talent. Keynote speaker and founder of Nextmapping, Cheryl Cran, believes managers need to rethink how they recruit and stop searching for long-term employment. The focus should be on creating motivating jobs with diverse projects and tasks. 

It will be the team and the exciting projects that maintain the employees rather than a loyalty to the company. 

The employee’s work experience comes into focus in 2020 and becomes an important marker for the companies’ success.

The pursuit of a harmonious working life is intensified

Lack of flexibility and overview increases the stress level for many people. This is another reason why we need to focus on flexibility in working life. According to Forbes, employees are under more pressure than ever before.

A Gallup study shows that 44% of the employees surveyed feel burned out.

An alarmingly high percent by any measure.

Employee burnouts affects all industries and carries large financial consequences for companies in lost productivity. Of course the costs are not limited the employers, the employee’s creativity and their self-esteem at will also be negatively impacted. We therefore need to start working in a new way so that we achieve a higher degree of flexibility and a better overview. 

Some of the solutions we’ve heard people talk about are:

  • greater flexibility during the work day e.g. having the opportunity to break the day up, and not just consider a work day being  from 8 am. to 5 pm.
  • a visual overview of the cooperation and thereby limit disturbances.
  • a shorter work week (with more efficiency during the days spent working).
  • possibility for remote work (the technology here helps with the enabling of collaboration).
  • fewer meetings and emails.
  • greater transparency across companies, getting the individual a better overview and being able to adapt more quickly.

For us in Canvas Planner, these work trends paint a very clear picture. We must look with critical eyes on the behavior we have in our collaboration with others – perhaps we can make it smarter. The companies must create the opportunity for a flexible working life so that they can continue to attract and retain the most talented employees. As a society, we must seriously consider how we can reduce stress and burnout in the population and instead get more happy people around the offices.

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