2017 Global Workplace Trends

At Sodexo we continually monitor workplace trends and their impact on employees—ours or our clients’. More deeply, we focus on understanding how human beings thrive at work because we are convinced that quality of life at work contributes sustainably to the success of organizations. We believe that it is essential for leaders across industries to recognize the underlying trends of change, to evaluate how relevant and significant they are and to determine how to stay ahead of—rather than follow—them.

A spectrum of different workplaces: how we did it

Initial identification of trend topics came from research and through our own insights into workplaces around the world. We looked at global news sources focused on HR and the workplace and selected 10 trends relevant to Sodexo based on the services we offer and/or the way we partner with clients. Nearly 50 subject matter experts were consulted. Secondary source material and statistics were compiled from global news sources and research databases.

The 10 trends we explored this year

The rise of cross-workplaces: accelerating innovation through chance interactions

The newest iteration of collaborative work spaces takes co-working to a new level, with organizations not only sharing physical space and resources but also intentionally structuring interactions across boundaries to encourage problem-solving approaches that combine strengths to address complex issues.

Employees without borders: understanding the impact of migration on the workplace

The sheer spread and scale of the relocation of workers, in both emerging and developed economies, is driving new opportunities to demonstrate inclusive leadership by evaluating skill needs, availability, location benefits and effective cultural integration.

The new gen of robotics: how robots are transforming the way we work

Robots have been in the workplace for years, and advances in artificial intelligence have led to organizations increasingly using them for jobs that humans used to perform. The newest discussion: exploring the success of robots, especially as they collaborate with people on uniquely human jobs.

Intergenerational learning: a new model for talent development

As people continue to live and work longer, all workers are forcing companies to think differently about hierarchical and traditional employee learning. Employees of all generations are teaching one another from their own experiences and driving a new culture of personal development.

Personal branding goes to work: a powerful tool for employees and employers alike

Personal branding is taking on a new life and getting deeper scrutiny, as employers look to leverage the power of employees’ personal brands for the good of the company.

Redefining workplace experience: putting design thinking principles to work

From physical space and technology to virtual work considerations and amenities, the way workers experience their surroundings is key to a happy workforce. Design thinking can help optimize this experience so that it supports employees both within and outside of the workplace.

The 2030 agenda for sustainable development: reframing CSR through a shared vision and common purpose

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on organizations to work together and with government toward a shared vision. The way businesses interpret and adapt practices will affect not only the progress toward meeting the SDGs but also the needs of a workforce hungry for positive change.

Unlocking the potential of millennial talent: a new understanding of what drives this generation

Why do we need to better understand millennials? Grasping the unique set of attributes that this generation brings to the work table gives us a view into the future of the workplace.

Wellness 3.0: the workplace as a wellness destination

Moving beyond “fixing” or preventing health problems, the current approach to wellness features the workplace as a potential catalyst for healthy living for employees, their families and the community at large.

Read the full report

Workplace trends report cover

Word of expert

Many subject matter experts joined us to identify, explore and research the 2017 Global Workplace Trends. Read the interviews of some of the most interesting point of views.