September 30, 2014
The work/life field should prepare itself for changes. Here are some insights into the trends the industry will experience in the next several years:
- Work/life is becoming more integrated and imbedded into HR. Employers have a better understanding of what work/life is—not just flavor-of-the-month perks, but rather true benefits. Work/life is playing a critical role in recruiting and retention strategies.
- On-line services for resource and referring are becoming the norm and are increasingly expected by companies buying these services.
- Telecommuting still leads the way for flexible work arrangements. Work-at-home has arrived as a way of life.
- Companies with multiple locations will develop several on-site child care facilities. As a result, we will see a big boom in on-site child care.
- Corporate decision-makers realize the importance of—and are buying—executive coaching and management development programs.
- The large EAPs are winning the battle over smaller work/life resource and referral services. They are buying up the smaller companies and incorporating dependent care services into their overall program.
- Employers are becoming increasingly savvy—and cautious—as to how they spend their dollars on work/life issues. Even a slight downturn in the economy will result in fewer dollars spent on work/life.
- More and more companies are adopting a social conscience—standing solidly behind community service and creating new programs to enhance their corporate image.
- Companies want creative solutions to problems. Sexy new programs such as concierge services, napping rooms, etc. are hot.
- Wellness, EAP, Risk Prevention will be rolled into one. Because not all employers are paying the full premiums for employee health plans, employees are looking toward benefits that help minimize their insurance costs. As such, they are placing a higher value on preventive measures.
- Time is considered a critical work/life benefit. This means that benefits need to go beyond helping employees balance work and personal life. Employees want control over their time.
- There will be an increased focus on the "work" rather than on the "job." Employees are not being hired to fill a specific position (or job), but rather based on their overall ability to contribute to the company.
- Reports indicated that new workers (out of college) plan to stay in their first job roughly three years. So, employers must focus on creating trust during these years.