Is work the same now, in 2016, as it was back in 2015? For the most part yes, but there are some changes to work that have already happened in 2016 and some that are still bound to occur. It is the freelance work world that is setting the trends for how work will continue to change during 2016. Some of the workplace trends that are expected to have the farthest-reaching effects in 2016 include: remote-first businesses, independent consultants, shift in media, work-life balance, leadership expectations, and consumer-grade design.

Most companies up to this date have been “remote friendly”, but in 2016 businesses will start to be built around the concept of mobility and remote working environments. This is the concept of remote-first business. These are virtual companies that are made up of remote teams, with no brick and mortar establishments.

In 2016, there will also be a rise of independent consultants. Large consulting firms are experiencing a slowdown in growth; however, hiring of independent consultants has grown drastically over the last year and is expected to grow even more this year. A shift in how media is used in business presentations is also seeing a great shift coming into 2016. The demand for PowerPoint skills has decreased so far this year, while presentation platforms like Prezi and Keynote have taken over. Motion graphics and video are taking center stage for professional presentations in 2016.

Work-life balance has been the topic of business conversation for the past few years. With increased flexibility imposed by firms, employees have started to see some negative side effects. The workforce now is expected to be “always on, always responsive, and always available” (Fast Company). Leading to an overwhelmed workforce, where there is no longer a barrier between work and life. There is also new leadership expectations driving full force in 2016. No longer are companies so hierarchical, instead companies are looking for leaders who are more inspirational and collaborative. One of the last big changes to work in 2016 is seeing consumer-grade design as the new normal. There has been an explosion of well-designed tools, devices, and apps creating a new expectation in the consumer products industry. Design will become more important in areas where, in the past, it has not seemed as vital, like HR and IT.

All of these are areas of business that are bound to make changes in 2016. Have you seen your work or business change in the new year? 

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