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Sodexo Report Discusses Workplace Trends

Company's 2014 Workplace Trends Report looks at what employers need to address to hire and keep workers in the future.

With 54 percent of waking hours spent at work, the employee of the future will expect to spend more time enjoying a series of memorable events and interactions that are company-initiated, according to the 2014 Workplace Trends Report from Sodexo. Now in its third year, the report examines key trends and solutions linked to higher employee retention, engagement and increased productivity in more efficient, intelligent buildings.

Sodexo’s 2014 Workplace Trends Report identifies 10 significant trends:

•  Workplace Experience Design
•  Creating an Engaging Work Environment Through Gamification
•  Health-Centered Buildings: A Paradigm Shift in Buildings and Operation
•  Cross Cultural Understanding and Management
•  Always On: Managing the Challenges of Work-Related Communication Technology
•  Demonstrating Value in Employee Recognition Programs: Why VOI is the New ROI
•  Constructing “Smarter” Buildings
•  Creating the Future of Work: Getting Started
•  30 Jobs of the Future and How to Create Them
•  Total Health: Integrated Approaches to Worker Health Promotion and Protection

The report finds that today’s workforce is looking for more meaningful, relevant work; flexibility, training, civility among peers; and rewards and recognition germane to personal values. Employees want an “experience”—one that creates an attachment to their organization. The report provides insights on how companies can create that experience, and why not doing so will have significant bottom-line implications for every business.

“You don’t hire engaged people, you create them,” says COO Michael Norris of Sodexo North America. “The key to creating engaged employees lies in the experience you create for them at work. It’s not only understanding how to enhance their productivity and engagement; it’s also about uncovering and executing on ways to improve their quality of life.”

The report examines how successful businesses will need to design employee-centric office buildings and workspaces, tie workplace environments to the employee’s “experience;” develop a workforce with a global perspective; incorporate games into employee training; develop processes that don’t overwhelm employees in an “always-on” environment; and adopt an approach to employee well-being and health that is truly holistic.

Norris added that the future workplace will be “as much about living as it is about working,” noting that successful companies will focus on making the work meaningful to their employees, while also ensuring employees are capable of the task at hand.

The work world is rapidly changing, with a variety of trends coming into play that did not even exist 10 years ago, the report notes. It includes an article authored by the World Future Society called “30 Jobs for 2030.” Many of the emerging careers it addresses (e.g. Chief Experience Officer, Energy Harvester, Office Concierge, Green Career Coach, etc.), are based upon what will likely be core organizational needs by 2030.

Sodexo’s 2014 Workplace Trends Report combines insight from principal research, clients, academia, and leading facilities management and human resource trade organizations. The company’s researchers used mixed-method research to monitor and collectively examine trends that affect the quality of life of consumers in the workplace. This approach included traditional quantitative measures such as end user satisfaction and preference surveys, psychographic analysis at client sites, social media monitoring and a literary review consisting of consultant reports, academic and trade journals, and information from industry associations.

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