Our Crystal Ball: 8 Predictions for 2020

What does the New Year have in store for you?

By In Weekly Email 2 minute read time

Everyone has predictions about the New Year, right?  Well, so do we.  Here are our 8 predictions for 2020.  (Why 8 and not 10?  See number 3 below.  We’re more efficient than other predictors).

  1. You’re probably going to throw an ax this year. Ax throwing replaces Escape Rooms as the team building event du jour.  In fact, in 2019, ax throwing was up over 300% from the previous year.  Loosen up those shoulder muscles because it’s time to get Paul Bunyan.
  2. Open offices continue an upward trend, despite being a horrible trend.  We provided the research in 2019 that showed that open offices didn’t make employees more collaborative or help them communicate more.  No matter, this won’t stop many businesses from moving in this direction.  Except the real purpose will be cost savings instead of getting employees to work better together.  You can cram a lot more people in a building if you don’t have to worry about those pesky walls.
  3. The word of the year for upper management will be ‘productivity.’  Forrester Research predicts over a million cubicle jobs will disappear this year due to automation efforts.  In the past year, it was all about ‘collaboration’ and ‘engagement.’ Employers will be more concerned by how much can be done versus how it gets done. At least ‘synergy’ is finally dead.
  4. Upper management will continue to talk about business transformation and still have no clue what transformative change really is.  “Business transformation” has been a popular buzz-phrase for a couple of years now.  However, few companies actually pull this off (related: The Top 20 Business Transformations of the Past Decade).  Increasing capabilities within data analytics guarantee that executives will push for transformation because more data will be at their fingertips.  Unfortunately, the problem will continue to be selecting the right metrics to measure change.    
  5. Go ahead and work from home, just don’t go too far away.  Workplace flexibility continues to increase with employers looking for no-cost ways to retain talent and the technology that allows working-from-anywhere is ubiquitous.  However, 100% remote work is still not broadly accepted.  Employers still want the capability to yank employees back into the office when they want.
  6. Bachelor’s degree may not be required.  A few big companies like Apple and Tesla came out and reminded us that skills and experience were more important than degrees.  With Gen Z eyeing the insanely high costs of college, we expect to see more workers forego a formal, 4-year degree and more employers being totally okay with that.
  7. The gender pay gap will still exist, but the gap begins to narrow.  It’s 2020 and sadly, women still aren’t paid the same as most men for the same work.  With an increased focus on this inequality, expect more pay transparency.  Employers will begin to boast when they can rightfully claim employees are paid equally in their workplace.  Side effect: for male managers and execs, your annual salary increase may fall short of expectations to allow your female counterparts to catch up.       
  8. Big Brother will be watching you.  If your employer hasn’t already done so, they will likely start clamping down on what you can access, such as personal email or social media sites.  Cyber security continues to be a top priority for CIOs and the risk becomes greater with the number of devices hitting the corporate network.  Also, employers will catch on to how the gig economy impacts them.  They’ll learn that a vast number of employees will be working a side hustle and not want you to do it while you’re on the clock for them.
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Written by Jay

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