5 Predictions For Careers And Business In 2012

working from home telecommutingAs technology continues to evolve and improve, its adoption in the workplace continues to grow, allowing employees to work virtually from anywhere. That's a boon for many workers, helping them balance competing demands of career and family life.

Technology's evolution also helps employers, of course, who see technology as a way not only to boost productivity but also attract and keep prized talent. It's not surprising then that firms increasingly are providing the tools and resources that workers need to work virtually from anywhere.

It's known as telecommuting, or teleworking, and it's just one of several trends that workplace experts such as Tracey Wilen-Daugenti will be watching as 2012 unfolds. In an interview with AOL Jobs, Wilen-Daugenti says that to succeed at teleworking, employees will need to learn or adopt skills that make them better communicators.

Those include such things as revisiting email and phone etiquette and improving listening skills, which can help bridge gaps in communication that may exist during virtual meetings. Trying to conduct work through online conferences or video linkups is "very different" from what most workers are used to, says Wilen-Daugenti, managing director of Apollo Research Institute, which analyzes education and workforce issues.

Employers, on the other hand, will need to examine the kinds of investments needed in development, training and technology -- such as purchasing mobile devices -- to help employees be more effective teleworkers.

Another trend that she points to is one that's been emerging for years: Workers holding many positions during their work lives and being employed by multiple companies.

"Basically, the new norm for today is to have a job for five years and then have a different job," she says. Further, employers' attitudes about job churn are changing.

In the good old days, companies valued workers who stayed on the job for decades. Today, it's different. "[Employers] are looking for enough time in a firm to prove some sort of achievement," Wilen-Daugenti says. That usually translates to five to seven years at a job, and then it's time to move on.

It's a concept she calls "up and to the right," in which employees after a few years begin to look for that next career move that will result in more responsibility, income and experience.

Companies today aren't just interested in being profitable but also keen on finding areas in which to innovate. Many employers believe candidates with diversified backgrounds can better help the company achieve its goals and are less concerned with where those skills were learned.

Here's more on the trends that Wilen-Daugenti sees emerging in the world of work and business in 2012:

1. Continuous employment: Multiple jobs and employers.

A worker can expect to have 10 different jobs and employers during a lifetime. And workers will need to plan for continuous employment during longer life spans and make education an ongoing commitment. The proliferation of virtual organizations will accelerate this multiple-job trend as more people join work groups from remote locations or choose to work as contractors. Telecommuting is up 400 percent, and by 2015 there will be an estimated 14 million freelancers. Also, due to ongoing economic uncertainty, large businesses are postponing full-time employment, choosing instead to retain workers as contractors until the market recovers.

2. Tiny but mighty: Small businesses and self-employment will drive job creation.

America's small and medium-size businesses and startups create the most jobs during recessions. Baby boomers and other workers who were laid off during the recession will increasingly choose self-employment. Hispanic Americans have made particularly strong gains, with the number of self-employed Hispanics doubling since the year 2000. Watch health care and information technology for major surges in employment in the coming years. The growing need for home health care and more community-based medical centers will boost hiring of health-care workers. Information technology will evolve to serve small businesses, with tech-support squads (which will increasingly include women) attuned to the needs of solo workers and small and medium-size businesses, such as medical and professional offices.

3. Women rising: Working women will impact the marketplace.

As employees and business founder, women will continue to outperform the market. Women-owned businesses are growing in number at twice the rate of all U.S. firms. They contribute nearly $3 trillion to the economy and create or maintain 23 million jobs. Studies show that companies led by women tend to be more financially successful than comparable companies run by men, and that women-friendly corporations have higher profits as well. Women will also continue to improve their overall education levels; they currently earn more higher degrees than men.

4. Education matters: Lifelong learning will be vital to career success.

Significant disparities exist between the skills that workers offer and those that employers require, raising the risk that U.S. companies will lose business to foreign competitors with better-educated workforces. To remain employable, workers need to develop higher-order thinking skills, embrace emerging technology and become lifelong learners.

5. Showing up for work: Face time will become a precious commodity.

The increase in teleworking, virtual organizations and mobile device use allows people to set up a work environment anywhere. People no longer have to migrate to a physical location except for important meetings. Face-to-face gatherings will become rare. For those still based in offices, expect work-process compressions such as "purposeful meetings" and deliberately reduced meeting times. The free-form 60-minute meeting is passe, and many managers will opt for 15-to-20-minute meetings with tightly focused agendas.

Next: Fewer Layoffs, Lower Inflation Give Economy A Lift

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Stories from CNNMoney

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

We all need to be creative when it comes to finding employement. Check out the free website “Best Top Jobs”. It has a list of legitimate jobs. The positions include customer service rep, accountant, sales engineer, or claims adjuster. There are even jobs in the health field. There are both entry level and skilled level positions listed. A few of the companies listed are 1-800-Flowers, Hilton, U-Haul and West. Also, for the out of work teachers companies such as E-Sylvan, Brainfuse and EHill are listed. The website costs you absolutely nothing. Hope this helps!

January 23 2012 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
champion castle

Who cares if some big company wants to go with foreign workers or overseas? It does not make it right. They don't care if kids are working for them, as long as they earn a few extra pennies. I'm not interested in competing with countries who are a disgrace to the world and treat employees and citizens like dirt. If that is what it takes to be #1 in the world...they can keep their machines and gadgets. Those companies will rise and fall again like the others. We need to boycott and be serious about not buying products from those companies.

January 23 2012 at 8:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 23 2012 at 5:23 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to olinposner's comment

i AGREE wIT U 100%!!!

January 26 2012 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't care who you are or what kind of work you do, when you take employment from another you should look at your job as if you were working for yourself. This means you strive to do the job right the first time and you work as if every mionute in the day that you slacked off cost you money personally. Your goal is to make your boss and company a success. You knew what the wages were and what the job entailed when you signed on. If you find you can't do the job or think your not being paid what you think you should begetting then you should resign and go elsewhere. It's like a marriage. You knew what you were getting when you married that operson and you should not be trying to make that person change into something to fit your expectations. Give an Honest Days Work for an Honest Days Pay.

January 23 2012 at 3:01 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to csmjwoody's comment
Kat Fiessinger

While I fully believe that you need to do your best work at all times, not all jobs are you treated fairly. I make less money now in my job than what I made when I started here. I have added to my formal education along with learning all I can and teaching all I can to my co-workers. I was "re-classified" not because I wasn't doing the work, but because my employer would have to pay me less. I'm actually doing at least twice the amount of work and much more complicated work now than at any other time in my "career" here.
It's not feasible in this job market to just resign and find another position. New jobs are far and few between. You have to make up your mind to seek something different and more in tune to what you're trained for, but not sacrifice your job just because you're not being compensated or respected for your contributions. I give an honest days work for my pay which at this point, really isn't honest any longer. I routinely give much more than what I'm expected to do hoping that it is recognized. I'm not asking for more pay, but I certainly don't expect less pay! I feel very satisfied that I do excellent work and that satisfaction can't be taken from me. I'm just asking for the same consideration that they give to themselves.
Contracting is a tough business to be in especially when you're held accountable for everything you do and the "regular" employees are not. I didn't sign up to be someone's "hand maiden" and I shouldn't be expected to take less for more!

January 23 2012 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web