3 Research-Based Trends to Inform Your Digital HR Practices
Jolene Nicotina

By: Jolene Nicotina on February 15th, 2019

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3 Research-Based Trends to Inform Your Digital HR Practices

Digital Transformation  |  Future of Work

Est. Read Time: 3 min.

When we hear the term “future of work” it can seem like a far-off concept, one that typically conjures images of robots sitting behind a desk, next to a human counterpart. More accurately, the future of work is about real, macro technological, sociological and economic trends that are already changing the way we work today. In this blog, we’ll explore three research-based trends, how these trends impact HR, and the technology capabilities they will need to incorporate into their digital HR practices.


Trend #1: Declining trust 

The Edelman Trust Barometer seeks to gauge society’s trust in business, government, media, and non-governmental organizations. Based on a 2018 survey of 33,000 people in 28 countries, 20 countries fell into the “distruster” category.


What it means for HR: Because people are having a hard time trusting major institutions, employers have an opportunity to be a trustworthy resource to employees. Organizations that hold themselves to a high standard of transparency and accountability will be more attractive to employees, which can ultimately impact recruiting, retention and engagement.

The necessary technology capabilities:
To establish organizational trust, HR must first understand what employees currently think about their employer. Analytics, pulse surveys and employee sentiment analysis are critical tools in understanding what employees care about, how they truly feel and what they need from their company.



Trend #2: The rise of the gig economy

According to research by Upwork and Freelancers Union, 36% of the US workforce participates in contract, freelance, or temporary work opportunities. The gig economy is on the rise and isn’t showing any sign of slowing down--it’s predicted that over the next 10 years more than 50% of the workforce will be freelancing in some capacity.


What it means for HR: Because freelancing is becoming a more viable option for earning a living, the top talent HR needs may only be available by hiring gig workers. As gig workers become a larger part of an organization’s workforce, HR will need to adopt a broader view of employee engagement.


The necessary technology capabilities: To ensure gig workers feel like they’re a true part of the organization, HR will need to provide them with the same level of support as full time employees. This means giving gig workers the means to find HR-related information or request HR assistance outside of official business hours and without needing to be in the office.


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Trend #3: The demand for instant gratification

Research by Google has shown that searches for “same-day shipping” grew 120% in the past three years. In the same study, Google also found that searches for “open now” have tripled while searches for “store hours” has decreased. And when people find what they’re looking for and click to visit a site, 53% of those visits are abandoned if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load.


What it means for HR: All of this data is evidence of our society’s growing impatience. We’re used to receiving online orders in days, car rides within minutes, and answers to our questions within seconds. With this level of instant gratification in our personal lives, we’ve naturally come to expect it in the workplace, too. For HR, it’s important to make any information employees may need easily and quickly accessible.


The necessary technology capabilities: For employees to receive information instantly, HR will need to incorporate on-demand and self-service capabilities into their digital HR practices. Employees shouldn’t have to wait for business hours to open or for HR to call them back with an answer, they should be able to search for and find answers themselves, from anywhere, at any time.


These are just a few of the major trends that are impacting the workplace today and likely to shape the future of work. Find out what the other 5 trends are and how they impact your digital HR practices in our on-demand webinar, The (Very Near) Future of Work: 8 Trends HR Should Focus on in 2019, featuring employee engagement expert Jason Lauritsen.

watch the webinar The Very Near Future of Work
watch the webinar The Very Near Future of Work

About Jolene Nicotina

Jolene Nicotina is the Content Marketing Manager for North America at PeopleDoc, Inc. She works on making sure HR professionals have all the latest information they need related to HR service delivery, HR technology, and PeopleDoc, Inc. Prior to PeopleDoc, Jolene worked in marketing communications for the healthcare technology industry.