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What Do The 2020s Have In Store For the Workplace

Posted On: 08/01/2020

What words pop into your head as being the most significant for 2019? Obviously ‘Brexit’ will feature high up on that list. Perhaps ‘change’, ‘unrest’ and ‘rethink’ come to mind too.

Last year was certainly an unsettled one, a year which lacked clarity on future direction. Let’s hope 2020 allows foundations to be once again set firm and sees people put aside their differences and work together towards a united goal.

Here are P3 People Management’s top predictions for what’s in store for the workplace over the next 12 months.

Wellness programmes at work

The importance of employee wellness will grow this year with more and more employers investing in initiatives to promote the health of their workforce as they realise their responsibilities. Such initiatives include financial, physical, mental and emotional wellness.

2020 should see health and wellness programmes being revised to better meet the shifting needs of employees and to keep pace with changes. For example, the introduction of equal benefits for alternative families to support individuals who care for love ones within their extended or blended family.

We predict that holistic benefits offered to workforces will increase as this type of programme addresses both the mind and body designed to improve both physical and mental health.

Changes to IR35

HR professionals across the country are preparing for changes to the off-payroll working rules which come into force on 6 April 2020 affecting freelancers and self-employed contractors who work through their own personal service company.

The IR35 rule came into effect 20 years ago to eliminate the exploitation of a tax loophole and to determine an individual’s employment status. Its introduction eliminated the avoidance of paying the correct amount of employment tax by workers who set themselves up as a company.

We’ll be keeping you up to date on this subject nearer the time, but to summarise, more responsibility will be put on the end-client to determine whether the contractor is inside or outside the rules (smaller businesses will be exempt).

Is your business Gen Z ready?

Individuals born roughly between 1995 and 2005, collectively known as Generation Z, are now entering the workplace armed with a vast technological knowledge. This social media savvy cohort who don’t know of an existence before the internet have certain traits employers need to be aware of:

Early research predicts that a high proportion of Gen Z’s are likely to be self-employed as they indulge their entrepreneurial spirit and capitalise on online training programmes.


As Gen Z muscle in and make a powerful mark in the workplace, businesses must not forget the traits of the millennials as they now make up a high percentage of customers. We expect businesses to really ramp up customer experiences from 2020 onwards.

Brexit is getting done

2019 was a turbulent year of ‘what ifs’ and ‘when’. At least now we know that 2020 is the year to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and we’re now on course to leave at the end on 31 January – at 11pm to be precise.

What Brexit will look like is still unclear, so our advice for businesses is to prepare as much as possible, engage with staff, encourage innovative business change, futureproof yourself with training and development plans, create career paths and ensure your HR department have amended recruitment and retention processes.

Learning at work

L&D professional are no strangers when it comes to adapting the way learnings are presented in the workplace. We will definitely be seeing an increase in the development of training programme technology to meet the demands of today’s employees.

On first glance it has been predicted that learnings will take on a more informal approach and employers will encourage individuals to take greater responsibility for their own learning.

Keep your eyes peeled for Learning At Work Week 2020 which takes place from 18th to 24th May. It’s aim is to build learning cultures and to put a spotlight on the importance of continual learning. 

Big Data

Set to be a HR buzzword this year, big data will be the driving force for decisions and improvement. The overarching benefit of big data is to maximise your employee experience and shape a positive workplace culture.

Companies who use and interpret data well will improve workforce planning strategy, see who their shining stars are, identify areas for improvement and opportunity, predict recruitment needs, improve retention, streamline processes and more.

A Flexible Future

The reshaping of the familiar 9-5 pattern is an unstoppable trend and 2020 will continue to see a rise in the number of companies adapting to this beneficial way of flexible working.

We’ve seen over the past few years business embrace these changing work patterns, but we’re sure to see them realise the need to focus on changing ‘how’ employees work too.

The digital workplace

The demographic of the workplace changes year on year and as the younger generations enter, they bring with them the desire for more mobile tools and technologies.

We predict that further advancements will be made to support flexible and agile working, learning and development, streamlining and ways to help business not just achieve their goals but to surpass them.

For those readers aged around 40 or above have a think back to when you were children. The year 2020 was so far in the future and we pictured robots in every household (at the very least we would all be wearing shiny silver onesies and hover boots). This vision turned out not to be a true reflection on reality and, interestingly, research suggests that this year more emphasis will be placed on the values of human beings as oppose to technology. As technology absorbs the mundane and laborious tasks, employees can be free to take on more creative and complex tasks.

Leadership Communications

The arrival of Gen Z into the workplace will impact the way leaders communicate.  It is likely that this generation will have less work experience than previous ones and prefer the reassurance of talking to people instead of reading messages electronically. They look for leaders they can trust and who support their needs.

We predict leaders in 2020 will build effective and meaningful internal communication strategies to keep employees engaged with these goals in mind:

Cultural Diversity 

Workplace diversity and inclusion is likely to remain a main challenge for HR professionals this year.

Companies who excel at flexibility are the ones to watch this year. To ensure cultural diversity employers must create an even broader set of values than they had previously, rethinking how they communicate, recruit, retain and support their people.

We’re Here To Help 

If you require HR support to build a happy and healthy workforce in 2020 and stay ahead of your competitors contact our friendly team of HR professionals on 0161 941 2426 today.    

Get In Touch

What Our Clients Say

“"A small organisation making big changes wanting calm and clear support on how to deliver a restructure programme: P3 supported us on all elements; with a timetable of activity for Board so they felt confident all steps were in place and importantly all staff were considered and supported; process roll-out guidance; production of letters for staff; 1:1 support for me, the MD, as we handled the emotional and personal challenges that any restructure generates, as most importantly it's about people. Thank you P3"”


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