Dan Schawbel from Forbes Magazine offers his predictions of the top workplace trends in 2017. From the rise of the blended workforce to the move towards introducing creative, flexible benefits, find out what could be in store for you and your workplace this year:

1. Companies focus on improving their candidate and employee experiences. When employers don’t notify candidates of their application status, they are discouraging the candidates from re-applying in the future which limits their future talent pool. Virgin has created a new candidate experience for all applicants, generating $7 million dollar in revenue by creating a better experience for them. Employee retention and engagement have become top HR issues. IBM has used people analytics to predict retention risk of employees and notify their managers who can then prevent resignation, saving the company over $130 million dollars.

2. The blended workforce is on the rise. In the past five years, the gig economy has become a major trend impacting the global workforce and created a new kind of diversity, with full-time employees working side-by-side with freelancers. With many freelancers working at remote offices, the ability to manage without borders is set to become a critical skill worldwide. At the SHRM 2016 Annual Conference in Washington DC, Henry Jackson, the President of SHRM, noted that the “rise of freelance workers” was one of the top five biggest employment trends.

3. Annual performance reviews evolve into more continuous reviews. The annual performance review is coming to an end on a global scale as a whole quarter of employees feel that annual performance reviews do not help improve their performance at work. Two of the largest companies in the world, GE and Adobe, have already abolished their annual review process in favour of regular feedback.

4. Millennials meet Generation Z in the workplace. 2017 marks the first year that gen Z will enter the workplace, with new demands and a new outlook on business and widening the technology gap even more between younger and older workers. Both generations will continue to put pressures on companies to transform the office, reward employees, embrace flexibility, and align the companies interests with a cause.

5. Augmented and virtual reality revolutionize recruiting and training. While there has been a lot of hype around new forms of reality in 2016, companies are going to take these technologies more seriously in 2017 as new equipment, programs and use cases surface. Virtual and augmented reality can help close the experience gap for job seekers and allow employee training to be more engaging, less expensive and free of distractions. Virtual reality hardware revenue is set to reach over $8 billion in the next two years.

6. The war for talent heats up as the employer and employee contract continues to evolve. With 67% of full-time workers actively looking for new opportunities and 48% of employers unable to fill their job vacancies due to skills gap and high attrition rates, employers have recognized that there is no lifetime employment contract. Employers anticipate more competition for talent, especially in emerging markets such as India, North America and Asia. In order to retain employees, employers will focus more on corporate culture than pay.

7. Organizations restructure to focus on team over individual performance. Organizations are restructuring for several reasons, including the rise of millennial and gen Z workers who are accustomed to team activities in school and have the similar expectations at the office. Nearly 92% of companies rate “organizational design” as their top priority and 75% of gen Z’s and millennials said they are well prepared to work effectively in a team.

8. Workplace wellness, and well-being, become critical employee benefits for attracting top talent. Companies are using wellness programs to lower absenteeism, attract talent, and save on healthcare costs, as employees have become more health conscious over the past few years. Fewer than half of American workers say that their company supports employee well-being and helps them maintain a healthy lifestyle. Compared to 2015, health-related employee benefits have increased by 58% and wellness by 45% in 2016, which will continue into 2017.

9. Companies get creative with their employee benefit packages and perks. In a recent study, we found that compared to three years ago, work flexibility is the top employee benefit (over healthcare in 2014) globally. Other companies have tackled employee benefits differently, such as Zeeto, which provides employees with a $30 Seamless credit for food, Starbucks with their “College Achievement Plan” and Twitter with workout classes.

10. Office attire and workplace culture becomes more casual. Today, 50% of managers say that employees wear less formal clothing than they did five years ago and nearly one-third would prefer to be at a company with a business casual dress code. With the entrance of younger generations into the workforce and more employees working remotely, there’s no doubt that the workplace will be increasingly casual. In 2017, you will see a continuation of this trend, with more employees demanding to drop their suits and ties for jeans and shirts.

This post was originally published here on Forbes.com in November 2016. TheYoungProfessionalGroup.com takes no credit for the work of the author.

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