Virtual Workforces Among 2012 Workplace Trends

NEW YORK—New research predicts continued focus on wellbeing of human capital—and a virtual workforce (which means working from a virtual office space) is among them.

The 2012 Workplace Trends Report from Sodexo reveals employees are looking to organizations for tools and resources to help them simplify their lives, stay healthy and balanced, and bring their "whole self" to work as these continue to be top drivers of engagement. Employee engagement, productivity, brand image and loyalty continue to be relevant measures of success.

So what are these trends, exactly? There are 10 in the 2012 report, including inclusive workplaces, workplaces that promote sustainability, rewards and recognition, flexible workplaces and virtual workforces.

"We studied research over the last year to understand what issues are top of mind for our clients and what are the benchmarks in the overall market," says Rachel Permuth-Levine PhD, MSPH, senior director, outcomes-based research and solutions for Sodexo's toLive workplace strategies. "Our team predicts these trends are the direct link to designing environments that enhance individual performance, foster collaboration, and contribute to the well-being of employees—it's the workplace of the future."

The workplace of the future is definitely more flexible—and in many cases more virtual. With the rise of telecommuting, virtual offices are at the fore. Virtual office space is one of the enablers of a new way to work in the new world of work. What’s more, virtual offices contribute pave the way for employees to realize some of the other workplace trends they crave, such as sustainability and flexibility.


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