Changing the game in 2018

16 January 2018Jonathan Faurie

As much as we are tempted to think that we live in our own little space at the Southern Tip of Africa, and therefore not influenced by external markets, this logic is faulty as there is simply too much evidence to show how much we are influenced, and how much we influence others. 

By all accounts, 2017 was an extremely challenging year for local and international businesses. However, there is rising sentiment that 2018 will be a far better year.

Key catch phrases

The wave of technology change that is being experienced in the world has changed the rules of engagement when it comes to business. A recent article on points out that there will be a few unique catch phrases that business owners need to look out for in 2018.

  • Flex-Space: Watch out as large companies shrink their corporate footprint in 2018 and seek out flexible alternatives, making the co-working juggernaut unstoppable;
  • Biophilia: 2018 will be a big year for bringing nature into the workplace to boost wellbeing. Not just plants, but natural materials such as slate and hemp too.  Tech enabled robotic plants will make their entry too;
  • Superfoods: In a fresh bid to improve performance and productivity, companies will focus on the links between nutrition and neuroscience. This will offer the right diet to sharpen the brain;
  • Chatbots: Artificial Intelligence (AI) switches from science fiction to a workplace near you in 2018 with Chatbots leading the charge. But the discourse will swing from robots taking our jobs to humans having to do the work of robots;
  • Smart Precincts: 2018 will be a big year ahead not just for smart buildings but for smart precincts, which are the building blocks of digital cities. These digital districts (think Hudson Yards or King’s Cross) are set to blend mixed-use developments with smart services;
  • Mindfulness: The big health and wellbeing accent in 2018 will be on the mind rather than the body. Mental health will top the agenda as days lost through stress, anxiety, depression and burnout cut into corporate profits;
  • Narrative: The workplace brandscape will make a comeback in 2018, but the storytelling element will be more abstract and subtle in approach than the overt branded statement interiors of the early 2000s;
  • Data Analysts: 2018 will be a breakthrough year for collecting data in the workplace building through smart sensors and beacons. However, the key question will switch from how we collect the data to what we do with it. In-house data analysts could be on answer. 

The end of one-size-fits-allofferings 

By all accounts, according to an article on, HR departments will face the brunt of the changes that the new business market will pose. 

In 2018, personalization will boost employee engagement. As millennials become the key demographic in the workforce, businesses can no longer rely on a one-sizefits-all approach to talent management if they want to attract and retain top talent. Additionally, people are pursuing career development opportunities at every age and are working longer than ever before. So tailored and personalized learning opportunities for employees of all types will become the norm. Rich data insights are set to help organisations deliver more engaging content and meet growing consumer expectations for highly relevant and targeted information in the workplace. 

HR analytics will expose gaps in employee productivity, highlight ways to improve engagement, uncover what motivates employees and map the overall employment experience. Machine learning algorithms will apply text and pattern recognition analytics to enrich the insights delivered via employee surveys, providing HR professionals with an accurate reflection of employee sentiment, engagement and productivity in real time. HR professionals will have the tools to be able to better make data-driven workforce decisions. 

Stay ahead of the curve: Task yourself with understanding the value and contribution HR analytics can bring to your business. Develop pilot use cases to practically demonstrate the power of analytics

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