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This Is What Office Work Looks Like in 2018

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To kick off 2018, we're taking a deep-dive into the workplace trends that will shape the coming year.

We already looked at the year ahead for remote employees and those who are active in the gig economy. Now we are looking at how workplace cultures will evolve for employees in offices every day, with help from Susan Scott, founder and CEO of training company Fierce Conversations.

“The workplace we know today is different than it was a mere year ago, with many organizations undergoing significant shifts driven by the tumultuous world around us,” says Scott. “Workplace cultures are likely to become less cohesive as politics and strong preferences take up residence in our companies. Over the next year, it will be imperative that leadership at all levels not only recognize this potentially problematic shift, but also embrace it while focusing heavily on open and honest conversations. The ability of leaders to navigate this change and the challenges it presents will be the difference between success and failure.”

So what does this all mean for office workers? Here's what Scott predicts:

Interviews are going to be more intense, so get ready.

Scott expects 2018 to bring a stronger focus across organizations to improve the experience of the recruiting and hiring process for both organizations and candidates by asking the right questions, understanding that the hiring process is a two-way relationship, and veering away from more traditional interview styles. "Organizations should continue to solicit feedback from candidates, both those they hire and those they don’t, and look for ways to continually improve their process," she states.

Expect an emphasis on performance reviews

Though some experts believe the performance review is dead perhaps it is just dead as we know it. According to Scott, confrontation and frequent feedback are becoming not only more accepted but also essential in organizations. This increase in frequency of feedback is due largely in part to the presence of millennials in the workplace.

"These individuals want feedback, including critical feedback, early and often," she notes. So in expect the new year to deliver greater emphasis on face-to-face, ongoing feedback, both between manager and employee, as well as between employees.

"If there is a conflict, company leaders can encourage those involved to discuss it directly, as the conflict occurs, rather than relying on a middleman," explains Scott. "Training employees in how to give and receive feedback, and how to confront issues head-on, will determine how successful this shift toward more transparency will be."

There will be an increased use of blended learning.

As companies continue to foster individualized working styles that play to unique strengths, the way employees are trained will evolve.

Scott predicts that in 2018, organizations will increase their use of various tools to deliver training that will include both instructors and the latest technology. "This blend," says Scott, "is important in ensuring trainings are not only successful in the short term but also to ensure learning retention so it can continue to play a role throughout an employee's career."

Check out our 2018 forecast on remote work here.

Photo by Max Ostrozhinskiy on Unsplash

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