Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2011
The recession may be on its way out, but for many the progress in 2010 was frustratingly slow, with improvements more of a rumor than a reality.
Nothing ever stays the same, however, and although there's no magic ball that can issue guarantees for the future in looking forward to 2011 several workplace trends can be confidently predicted, according to an article on CIO. Many of these trends indicate a continued economic upswing.
1. Telecommuting on the rise
Brick-and-mortar job opportunities remained flat over 2010 but the internet job marketplace, Elance, has seen continued growth in online and telecommuting opportunities with no sign that things will slow down. Technology and marketing skills are in particularly high demand.
2. Digital portfolios replacing traditional resumes
Old-fashioned paper resumes are falling out of favor, not only because the business world is increasingly moving into the online realm, but also because printed paper versions get out-dated so quickly and can't provide nearly as much information as the combination of an online portfolio and a well-developed social network.
A survey done by HR consultancy Towers Watson found that on average U.S. companies expect salary budgets to go up by 2.9% in 2011, which means that if you've been waiting out a salary freeze it's likely to finally be lifted. In fact only 5% of companies surveyed reported that they plan to continue salary freezes this year.
4. Mobility over Desktop
Mobile developers will be sitting pretty as the demand for access to internet content, on-the-go via mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers grows, even to the point of surpassing desktop usage. Expect online business to start moving to a 'mobile first, desktop second' approach.
5. "Soft skills" prioritized by employers
According to NACE's Job Outlook 2011 Survey "soft skills" top the list of what employers are looking for in new hires, with verbal communication skills in particular coming out on top. The survey focused on skills desired in new college graduates but common sense says it's a likely priority in all new employees, as is a strong work ethic, teamwork skills, analytical ability, and initiative.
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6. Increased hiring of new college grads
NACE's survey also found that businesses plan to hire 13.5% more new college grads in 2011 than they did from the class 2010, which also reflects an expected increase in job openings. Competition will continue to be fierce, however.
7. High-tech communication tools and online hiring
As communication technologies continue to improve, and telecommuting becomes more common, tools which facilitate digital communication will continue to increase in demand. Such tools include shared digital workrooms, real-time collaboration software, telepresence suites, and onlineplatforms for hiring employees.
8. HTML5 vs. Flash, Programmers wanted
There's a war being fought between these two technologies and although there will eventually be a winner (HTML5 quite likely), programmers for both are currently in high demand as rich media content and casual online gaming continue to make large popularity gains.
9. Businesses get social
Businesses will continue to move into the social media realm, looking to leverage online "word of mouth" to their advantage through sites like Groupon, Facebook, and Twitter. In general businesses are tending to favor employees and new hires with social media experience over those without.
10. Traditional marketing on the way out
With the growth of mobile internet access, social media marketing, and other web-based promotional tools, traditional advertising techniques like direct mail and telemarketing are falling by the wayside and seem to be heading towards obsolescence.
Rigel Celeste is a freelance writer and artist living in a small city in the middle of Midwest farming country. In her free time she enjoys gardening, hiking and playing with her dog, and drinking coffee while staring out the window.