Predictions for the Workplace in 2018

Predictions for the Workplace in 2018

If you are currently interviewing for a job and wonder what is exactly happening in today’s work culture, these predictions for the workplace in 2018 will be a great help for you. If you are thinking of leaving your job, you may even see a trend for 2018 that will cause you to keep your job.

1. Older workers will participate more in the workplace

The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains the workforce in 2018 will start to see more participation from older workers.

“By 2018, almost all the baby boomers will be in the 55-years-and-older age group. Age is a major factor in labor market behavior, and the aging of the labor force will dramatically lower the overall labor force participation rate and the growth of the labor force.” - Bureau of Labor Statistics

The United States population is growing, living longer and healthier, which means the over labor force is projected to reach 167 million by 2018. More so, the workforce is becoming more diverse than ever before in terms of age, race, and gender, with the older workforce retiring later than ever before.

2. Business leaders will encourage more human interaction

People need people. Face to face social interaction is proven to keep the brain healthier and for a longer period of time. Companies will design their workplaces to encourage more interpersonal relationships between coworkers. This may also lead to a decline in remote workers to encourage more team collaboration in-person.

Why? Some of the biggest companies in the world are (re)discovering that when employees interact in physical environments, it inspires creativity and relationship building. Research this year also showed millennials and Gen Z employees preferred interacting face to face more than through devices and technology.

Technology has proven to increase productivity, but people still enjoy working with people more than devices.

3. Big change in acceptable learning credentials

Do you remember when the thought process was, “If you do not have a college degree you are limiting your opportunities”? Things are changing on that end due to the growth of online academies that offer all the same course materials. But unlike those who attend college, those with online educations are more self-directed and disciplined. Companies are discovering that students of colleges and online academies possess equal knowledge.

The bigger difference is that those who learned on their own do not get hired while carrying a cargo of student loan debt. As such, the self-taught employee does not fear unemployment as much as the college grad with debt.

4. Focus on training current workers for new relevant skills

With all the negative attention focused on how automation is hurting jobs in the US, it is easy to forget that there are still nearly six-million jobs unfilled in the US. Companies are not finding workers with the relevant skill set.

This hurts small businesses mostly who need to find qualified job candidates to stay in business. Not having the right employees can cost companies annually in productivity (or lack of). More important, a skill learned today is outdated within five years due to the speed of change in today’s business world.

As a solution, companies discovered through research that the majority of best-performing organizations (84%) train for new skills. They discovered when teams are appropriately trained, companies actually SAVE money and increases productivity.

5. Artificial intelligence enters the workplace

The devices used around the home like personal assistants will be used in the workplace as a way to support staff, tasks, and increase productivity. The more this trend takes off at the top with companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, the more it will be adopted by all companies.

6. Focus on mental and financial wellness

Almost 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The stress affects their health and their ability to be productive. More so, it hurts their job satisfaction and all of this hurts the company because sick workers miss work days.

As a solution, many of the largest companies around the world are helping employees figure out ways to pay back student loans, ease financial burdens, and get control of their finances.

This is more than just a “nice thing to do” and Human Resources will be taking it seriously. Why? In 2017, more than 80% of employees dealt with physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms caused by poor mental health. Depression and anxiety symptoms can result in missed work days and reduced productivity, costing the US more than 200 million lost work days annually.

7. Workplace decisions impact customer spending

Companies are discovering through data research that poor treatment of job candidates impacts if these job candidates and their friends will spend money on that company.

Simply put, a job candidate who is treated poorly during the interview process will never buy goods from the company. Yes, job candidate experiences actually influence consumer behavior. It makes them less likely to purchase goods and services from their employer.

Most importantly, for those who fill out job applications and never hear back, research shows 58% of employees are less likely to buy from a company if they don't get a response to their job application.

8. Diversity will be taken seriously

The topic of diversity in the workplace is now at its tipping point. It is obvious that social media can impact a company’s bottom-line. We have already seen that some states have passed laws outlawing requests for salary history. And the demand for diversity in the workplace has been in place for decades.

More companies will create resource groups to support all types of diversity and the game-changing companies in Silicon Valley will make major strides next year to promote diversity, as these companies currently have less than 5% of an African American workforce.


Suffice it to say the United States labor market has been in a constant state of agitation for many years. It looks like 2018 will be a breakout year for all those who have been dealing with inequality and stress for many years. This should be a turnaround year for sure!

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