Trends Challenges and Predictions of Workforce 2020

The Workforce 2020: Trends, Challenges & Predictions

We’re well into the first quarter of 2020. Change is emerging in the workplace and most of it is welcome and positive! Based on recent reads from Forbes, Glassdoor and Ladders, here are the workplace trends and challenges to look out for this year.


Many of the progressions apparent in the office environment have been slowly developing but are now being formalized, expanded and embraced. As more individuals have personally adopted sustainable lifestyle habits, those values are being echoed in the workplace with a greater focus on eco-friendly practices. Examples include the consolidation of corporate deliveries, the reduction of plastic use and higher value placed on mindful and reduced consumption.

With work-life balance a continued battle especially here in Silicon Valley, a notable prediction is further flexibility in work schedules and a rise in the acceptance of remote work. The latter also creates a wider pool of applicants for open positions, as employers are less limited by geographical location and more able to focus on skills, character and aptitude.

Similarly, the creation of a healthy, happy workforce is expected to increase with an uptick in overall well-being and whole health programs. Examples are noise reduction measures, thoughtful office lighting, fitness program rebates and healthy snacks.


2020 building blocks with people2020 is not just about refining the job search – but adapting to the mobile aspect of it. Within 5 years, the World Advertising Research Center estimates that nearly 73% of internet users will access online content strictly via their smartphones. However, Glassdoor has reported that “Most companies have not yet created a truly mobile-first experience, and as a result, companies are turning high-quality candidates off of their organization.”

With regards to what a high-quality candidate is, Forbes has ascertained that employee potential is a greater asset than education or experience. With a greater consideration of employees as a long-term investment, many employers are prioritizing candidates who are quick thinkers, adept problem-solvers and challenge seekers. Coachability is no longer a ‘nice to have’ quality but in most cases – a requirement. The accompanying employer trend is a greater investment in personal development and a spotlight on value-centered leadership.

Another noteworthy shift in employee job scope is less of the ‘silo’ effect and more cross-functional collaboration. Both new candidates and existing employees may see less of ‘stay in your lane’ and more of ‘know where the other lanes are going’, a paradigm shift that originally started in marketing departments.  According to Ladders, greater internal cross-functionality contributes to more mature brand management, better overall product/service perspective and stronger operational processes.


Many of the corporate ‘buzz words’ of the last decade are transforming into standards of the new one. Expect a continued expansion of cultural diversity, rooted in more than equal opportunity – but the reality that a more diverse work force better meets the needs of a diverse consumer base.

For those who thought that the enhancement of company culture was just a phase, think again. Glassdoor goes so far as to assert that company culture is not just something that is nice to have – but has become ‘business imperative’. Culture not only helps retain top talent and elevate employee engagement, but has been shown to drive passive recruiting, create better financial outcomes and result in more satisfied customers.

The next trend may be the one you are most looking forward to: fewer company-wide emails! Alas has arrived the recognition that customized communications and real-time acknowledgements are far more effective. Think ‘yes’ to personalized, relevant messaging and no to ‘reply all’. 😉

Last but not least, there is the actuality of how artificial intelligence (AI) impacts recruiting and screens the candidate pool. While AI hiring solutions have been used increasingly, there is also a school of thought that encourages back-to-basics hiring. Forbes has disclosed that HR professionals are “increasingly wary of [AI] limitations in pinpointing the right candidate.” We all know that keyword searches don’t always solicit the best results, and many hiring professionals who have used job aggregators agree.

Resources Used:

9 Executives On Their Workforce Predictions For 2020:

The Job & Hiring Trends You’ll See in 2020 & Beyond:

Looking To Land Your Dream Job In 2020? Here’s What You Need To Know: