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These workplace trends are taking employees out of the office — and the ones who stay have no idea what to wear.

5 minute read

There are currently five generations in the workforce: traditionalists, baby boomers, and Generation X, Y, and Z, according to HR Daily Advisor. [1] As a result, the workplace is revealing new patterns big and small that could affect employees of future generations.

More American employees are leaving their jobs, working remotely, and retiring later in life. And those who still work in an office aren’t sure how they’re supposed to dress for work.

Whether you’re an employer, employee, or applicant, it’s important to recognize these trends and adapt to them quickly. That means saving for retirement, searching for jobs with a high outlook, and knowing how to satisfy your employees.

1. Employees aren’t as loyal

Employee turnover rate hit an “all-time high” last year, according to salary.com. [2] Over the past five years, the turnover rate has steadily increased by almost 4 percent and currently stands at 19.3 percent, salary.com found.

Almost all (93 percent) of workers polled by staffing firm Korn Ferry say “retention of new hires” is an issue at their company. [3] Twenty-six percent of new hires say they’ll quit if unhappy with their job, even if they didn’t have another job lined up.

Competitive benefits and salaries are table stakes to attract top talent, but creating an environment where employees are given interesting work and recognized for their efforts will give them a reason to stay. Neil Griffiths, a Korn Ferry VP

And offering more money isn’t enough for workers to get over their unhappiness with their jobs. Fifty-five percent say offering more money to a new hire who wants to leave won’t make them stay. And 82 percent say if they took a job they hate, even if it paid well, they’ll leave as soon as they find another job.

“Competitive benefits and salaries are table stakes to attract top talent, but creating an environment where employees are given interesting work and recognized for their efforts will give them a reason to stay,” says Korn Ferry VP Neil Griffiths. “Unhappy employees will not go above and beyond the basic requirements of their job, even if they are well paid.”

2. More employees are working remotely

Workers are literally fighting over the temperature in their office, a CareerBuilder study says. [4] Maybe that’s why more are choosing to work remotely.

Seventy percent of employees around the world work at least one day of the week outside of the office, says a study from the International Workplace Group (IWG). [5] And 53 percent work remotely for half of the week.

We are entering the era of the mobile workforce and it is hugely exciting. Not just for individual employees, but for businesses too.Max Dixon, CEO of International Workplace Group

“People from Seattle to Singapore, London to Lagos no longer need to spend so much time in a particular office,” says IWG CEO Max Dixon. “We are entering the era of the mobile workforce and it is hugely exciting. Not just for individual employees, but for businesses too.”

Here’s how businesses are benefiting…

  • Business growth: 89 percent up from 67 percent in 2016
  • Competitiveness: 87 percent up from only 59 percent in 2014
  • Productivity: 82 percent up from 75 percent in 2013
  • Attracting and retaining top talent: 80 percent up from 64 percent in 2016

It’s interesting IWG’s study finds that the amount of top talent that companies attract and retain has increased among those offering flexible work schedules. Companies can’t keep new hires, and increasing their pay isn’t doing the trick. Maybe a flexible schedule convinces them not to leave.

3. The job market is more competitive

Companies are hiring, even with super-low unemployment rates. And the unemployment rate keeps on dropping, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — which means there are fewer opportunities to switch jobs. [6]

If you’re looking for a change, you’ve got plenty of options. However, while you’ve got the drive to make the dive, you might not have the skills.

Even with open positions, the right candidates aren’t applying because the ones that are applying don’t have all the necessary requirements for the job. Company leaders say half of the applicants aren’t prepared for the job they’re applying for, a report by business software company PayScale and development firm Future Workplace found. [7]

Health care has long been a booming industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, [8] so if you haven’t made the jump, you still can: from physicians to aides, there is something on every tier of income and needed skills. There are other jobs to stay away from, particularly if you’re a woman in finance, so make sure that when you make the leap to a new industry, it’s one that’s right for you and your skillset. Try to stay away from the companies that are making you stressed or sick (or both). The last thing you need is a job that kills you.

4. Americans are taking longer to retire

Most employers are worried that their employees haven’t saved enough money for retirement. The solution? Work longer and push off retirement. These workplace trends have been in place for quite a while — the retirement age has been increasing since the ‘80s, according to MarketWatch. [9]

This isn’t just for employers own selfish reasons, though, according to data from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS). [10] This change in mentality is to try and ensure that employees are financially stable heading into their retirement.

People are living longer than in any other time in history, which is putting a strain on Social Security and intensifying shortfalls in personal retirement savings.Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

Over 80 percent of employers are supportive of their employees working past 65, and 72 percent believe that their employees will work longer.

“People are living longer than in any other time in history, which is putting a strain on Social Security and intensifying shortfalls in personal retirement savings,” says Catherine Collinson, president of TCRS. “Therefore, many workers envision working past traditional retirement age. However, their ability to do so is highly dependent on the support of their employers.”

The social contract is our traditional expectations of retirement. Meaning, the retirement benefits the government and our bosses have historically provided us. Social Security is fading away and work-sponsored benefits are hard to find. More workers are responsible for funding their own retirement, and they simply can’t afford it on their wages.

5. Office attire is more confusing

Companies worldwide have been easing up on dress code restrictions. Data shows an increase in companies straying away from having their employees wear formal dress clothes to work.

A study done by OfficeTeam last year revealed that half of managers said their employees wear less formal clothing than they did 5 years prior to the study. [11] Nearly a third (31 percent) of employees said they would prefer to work at a company with a business casual dress code, and 27 percent said they preferred casual dress code or no dress code at all.

The Society of Human Resources Management’s 2015 Employee Benefits Survey showed most companies (62 percent) allowed casual dresswear once per week, and 36 percent said they allowed it every day. [12] Compared to 2014 when companies were surveyed, and 56 percent and 32 percent replied the same, respectively.

Employees should take their cues from company guidelines and what others in the office are wearing. Some industries, for example, are more formal than others.Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam

According to a survey from LinkedIn, 88 percent of employees say they no longer need to wear a suit or formal dress to the office. [13]

Despite that, there is still confusion about what can be worn. Forty-eight percent said they have different wardrobes for work and leisure, showing just because work clothing is less formal, doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all to wear whatever we please.

“Employees should take their cues from company guidelines and what others in the office are wearing. Some industries, for example, are more formal than others,” says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “A casual dress code doesn’t mean that anything goes. Staff should always look professional and project an image that reflects positively on the business.”

Kristen Grau contributed to this report.

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About the Author

Gregory Cox

Gregory Cox

Gregory Cox is a multimedia freelance journalist working out of Seattle. He worked as a breaking news intern for the Palm Beach Post and later as an intern for the Palm Beach Daily News. He formerly worked as managing editor of the FAU student newspaper, where he covered the school's Student Government.

Published by Debt.com, LLC