As we head into 2013, what can businesses expect from the year ahead? With technology untethering the workforce from their desks, Gen X, Y and baby boomers work alongside one another, businesses large and small becoming increasingly global, and as we experience a surge in entrepreneurs and start-ups, business owners, managers and C-suite must be prepared.
1. Flexible work options: With options such as co-working, home-working and staggered working hours proven to reduce stressful commuting proven, improve morale and boost productivity, more businesses will offer their employees flexible work options.
2. Emphasis on disaster preparedness: The devastation wrought by superstorm Sandy was a wakeup call for HR executives and business owners. In addition to backup technology plans, businesses will invest in workplace recovery plans in preparation for natural disasters.
3. Increase in virtual offices: Companies will begin to use virtual offices to expand into new areas with no upfront capital and minimal risk, while startup entrepreneurs, freelancers and at-home workers will use virtual offices to legitimize their businesses with a prestigious address.
4. Tech over travel: Businesses looking to cut unnecessary spending will turn to videoconferencing, Skype and online meetings to keep in touch with colleagues and clients without the hassle and expense of traveling.
5. Temporary workspace: Behind payroll, office space is the largest expenses for small businesses. Companies will increasingly enter into non-binding, flexible arrangements like drop-in lounges to reduce overhead and better suit the needs of an increasingly flexible workforce.