Five Workplace Trends for 2012

Rise of virtual work relationships. We are all aware of the downside of instant access technology gadgets that make employees feel on call 24/7, but the upside is that technology as well as social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook make it easier to maintain relationships with current and past co-workers. This enables greater amounts of information and expertise to be shared and leveraged, and employees are becoming known for who they know and can access, rather than how much time they log in the office. This will be particularly important as aging baby boomers stay in the workforce longer than planned, but demand more flexibility in where, when and how they work.

Organizations are getting flatter. In a similar vein, instant access technology means employees are not as dependent on the hierarchies of the past for information. Corporate downsizings have already winnowed down many layers of management. Employees realize they need their co-workers to be successful, but they are less interested in where people sit in the organization than in what they know. With these developments, managers can expect a new definition of teamwork. It used to be about “playing your positions,” but the new mindset is that everyone chips in and does what is needed.

Deborah Busser is a partner at Essex Partners, a consultancy that specializes in senior executive and C-suite career transition. She can be reached at

Article Keywords:   talent management   trends  

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