How We’ll Work In 2016

Danielle Beurteaux

There’s good news for employees in 2016, along with a continuing discussion of worker classification, benefits, and how to achieve that ever-difficult work-life balance.

Facebook helps work/life balance

Facebook at Work, a new version of the social media site scheduled to be released in 2016, will let users have separate work and personal accounts. The company piloted this version, intended as a workplace project management tool, earlier in 2015.

More generous paid family leave

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg got some attention in 2015 when he announced he’d be taking two months off for paternity leave. Facebook already gives employees four months paternity and maternity leave. It remains to be seen whether more companies will join Facebook in offering more generous parent time-off policies. Soon after Zuckerberg’s announcement, music-streaming firm Spotify announced a new six-month maternity and paternity leave policy. Paid family leave—time that can be used for a variety of reasons—could become more common in 2016, in part because it’s a good way to attract top talent.

Job market strengthening

The job market is finally sending good vibes to job seekers, and hiring is expected to increase in 2016. For candidates, this means more choice and greater leverage. For those looking to hire, be prepared to streamline and speed up the application process, and start drafting those “thank you for interviewing with us” notes.

Wages get a boost

Salaries are also predicted to increase in 2016. Moody’s Research is calling 2016 “a breakout year for wage growth.” The increase of new jobs and lower jobless rates means employers will be compelled to offer more.

Job search goes mobile

Any company that doesn’t have mobile-friendly recruitment capabilities is already behind the curve. Job seekers, particularly younger demographics—no surprise there—are looking for positions and applying for them via mobile. They say it’s quicker and more efficient. And they’re ahead of many companies that don’t have their job listings mobile-optimized.

The future of in-demand could be decided

The basic structure of the in-demand economy could undergo some changes in 2016. The “Uber vs. drivers” lawsuit will be heading to trial this year, after Uber’s attempts to have the case dismissed were rejected. The outcome of this case could force a change in how in-demand contractors are classified, and possibly motivate the creation of a new class of employment that straddles the employee-contractor divide.

Want more on workplace trends to expect in the coming year? See 2016 HR Trends: Personalized Learning And Transparency.

Danielle Beurteaux

About Danielle Beurteaux

Danielle Beurteaux is a New York–based writer who covers business, technology, and philanthropy. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and on Popular Mechanics, CNN, and Institutional Investor's Alpha, among other outlets.