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5 Work Trends for 2018, Including Robot Teammates and Shiny New Perks

What will your career look like in 2018? While some of it is up to you, of course your employer’s decisions and policies will also affect your upcoming year at work.
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These are some of the work trends that experts predict you might encounter on the job in 2018. There’s a lot of potential for good news here, even if your annual raise didn’t quite meet your expectations.

Higher Pay for Top Performers

Aon Hewitt and Willis Towers Watson are both forecasting average raises of 3 percent next year — but that doesn’t mean that your raise will match the average. An increasing number of employers are choosing to use their compensation dollars to reward top performers. That’s obviously good news if you’re exceeding your goals, but not-so-great news if you’re in the middle of the pack.

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New Perks and Benefits

Expect some employers to expand their benefit offerings beyond health insurance and retirement plans. A small number of employers currently offer optional benefits like student loan assistance and identity theft protection. As companies strive to stretch their comp dollars while increasing engagement, perks like these could gain traction.

An Ever-Increasing Focus on Health and Wellness

From healthy vending machines to standing desks to fitness trackers that integrate with personal wellness portals, employers are doing just about everything possible to encourage workers to be healthy. It makes good financial sense for companies, who gain productivity and save on healthcare expenditures if workers are healthy. But it could be pretty great for workers, too, provided that organizations pay attention to privacy concerns and don’t push too hard.

A Greater Focus on Diversity in Hiring

Miriam Dushane, managing director at Linium Recruiting, tells HR Dive that she expects diversity to become a priority in hiring next year — at least for smart recruiters.

“The savviest recruiters will understand that this effort is about more than following guidelines and ensuring compliance with regulations,” says Dushane. “True diversity is about embracing the concept of being inclusive, and of recognizing the value that a diverse workforce brings to enrich a company’s workplace, enhance productivity and grow its bottom line.”

The Arrival of AI in the Workplace

Robots might not be coming for your job just yet, but they’re probably going to be joining your team in the near future. At Forbes, Dan Schawbel reports that nearly 20 percent of employers currently use chatbots in the workplace. By 2021, that number is expected to reach 57 percent.

Nearly 20 percent of employers currently use chatbots in the workplace. By 2021, that number is expected to reach 57 percent.Click To Tweet

“For example, at Overstock, they have a chatbot for HR called Mila, that lets managers know when employees are sick and at Intel, they use an HR virtual assistant that answers questions about pay and benefits,” Schawbel writes. “As more employees see the efficiency benefits of chatbots, and AI, they will be adopted at a more rapid pace.”

Tell Us What You Think

What do you hope 2018 will bring for your career? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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