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7 Workplace Stats and Trends Reshaping the Professional Landscape

From Quiet Quitting to the Great Resignation to the Big Stay, there’s always a new workplace trend or buzzword. 

And while it seems like we’re always trying to navigate a “rapidly evolving market,” understanding workplace trends can benefit your organization and your employees. 

Staying relevant and up-to-date on industry data helps your company be more competitive in the hiring space, ensuring your team is desirable to top talent. Plus, understanding the latest workplace stats can help you understand if your company is ahead of the curve or not.

Here are seven workplace stats and trends shaping the professional landscape.

Read on to discover where your company could implement new policies and ideas.

1. 58% of U.S. job holders have flexible work options

Full in-office teams are a thing of the past. To be attractive to top candidates, your organization should offer more flexible schedules. 

McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey discovered that 58 percent of Americans reported having the option to work from home at least one day each week.

Gallup conducted a similar study, discovering that 5 in 10 U.S. employees are hybrid, and 3 in 10 are remote, leaving only 2 in 10 fully onsite.

However, those 20 percent may be in the unwilling minority. McKinsey’s survey found that 87 percent of employees will choose to work remotely when given the option. In addition, a UK study showed that 77 percent of workers say they’re more productive when given flexible options.

Many business owners prefer to offer flexible work schedules to appeal to their employees and increase their hiring pool.

“I believe 100 percent that the future of work is remote and distributed,” Tony Jamous, CEO and Founder of Oyster,” says. “First, there are macroeconomical forces that we cannot fight. There are 85 million jobs going unfulfilled in the West; that’s an 8.5 trillion economic loss, around 10 percent of the world economy.

“At the same time, over a billion knowledge workers are coming into the workforce in the next 10 years, mostly from emerging economies. And today, with learning and development tools, we know this learning can happen anywhere. You don’t have to be in a certain place to learn, grow, collaborate, and communicate.”

Read more: Why Remote Companies Have a Competitive Advantage with Tony Jamous, Oyster

2. The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees in the U.S. is 1.8 to 1

Employee engagement is important in your organization. It showcases how many team members are happily employed, believe in the company’s mission and values, and feel strongly connected to their workplace.

More than that, higher employee engagement has been linked to lower turnover and higher productivity.

However, the current ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees in the United States is 1.8 to 1—the lowest ratio since 2013. This means there are fewer engaged employees and more actively disengaged employees than we’ve seen in a decade.

To see exact numbers, the study found that 32 percent of employees are engaged, while 18 percent are actively disengaged.

Tom Schin, creator of Build Better Culture, explains that employee engagement “affects virtually everything in your business, including why people stay, why people go, how invested they are, and so much more. When people are happy at work, they perform better and attract more people to the workplace.”

Read more: How to Build Organizational Excellence with Melissa Daimler, CLO, Udemy

3. 92% of U.S. workers say it’s important to work for a company that values their well-being

Mental health is a hot topic and is no different in the workplace. Employees want to know their employers care about them as individuals rather than just their output.

In fact, the APA’s 2023 Work in America Survey discovered the vast majority of U.S. employees say their psychological well-being is a high priority for them. 

The results showcased that:

  • 92% of workers said it’s important to work for a company that values their overall well-being
  • 92% said it’s important to work for a company that provides support for employee mental health
  • 95% said it’s important to feel respected at work
  • 95% said it’s important to work for an organization that respects work-life balance

Almost every respondent wants to ensure their well-being and mental health are valued, supported, and respected.

Terri-Ann Richards, Leadership Development Coach, says, “Forward-thinking leaders must create policies and practices that support work-life synergy, provide opportunities for growth, and acknowledge the human element of their workforce. It’s these forward-thinking organizations that will, in the end, win by successfully integrating happiness as a core aspect of their organizational culture.”

If your company does tend to care more about output than the employees themselves, it’s time to change your thinking. One recent study found that happiness makes people 12 percent more productive.

When you emphasize work-life balance, employee satisfaction, and mental health, your employees are likelier to work harder for your business. Treat your people like people.

Read more: How to Prioritize Mental Health in the Workplace

4. The average number of PTO days in the U.S. is 11 days

Paid Time Off (PTO)  is another important topic for employees and employers. And there are major discrepancies across the globe.

The average number of PTO days in the United States is 11 days. This figure is based on private sector employees who have been in their roles for a year.

Let’s look at PTO data from some other countries:

  • Austria: 25 days
  • France: 25 days
  • Spain: 22 days
  • Germany: 20 days
  • UK: 20 days
  • South Korea: 16 days

Keep in mind that the above figures are required minimums in each country. So some companies could choose to offer even more time. The United States doesn’t currently have federal minimums for paid time off—the 11 days is simply an average.

About 6 percent of companies offer an unlimited PTO policy. However, studies have found that this type of plan doesn’t actually get taken advantage of, with people often taking the same amount of vacation days as those with an 11-day policy. However, companies benefit as they don’t have to pay for unused vacation days. 

Companies should encourage their employees to take time off rather than discourage it. As Mental Health America puts it, “Paid time off gives employees a chance to take a break from the daily demands of their job and find time to rest, recharge, and spend time with family and friends.”

Recharged employees are happy and productive employees. One company found that for every additional 10 hours of vacation time their employees took, their year-end performance increased by 8 percent. Make the case for PTO and vacation days at your company—and encourage your employees to use them.

5. 20% of U.S. companies have switched to the 4-day workweek

The four-day workweek has also been a big workplace trend, with a reported 20 percent of U.S. companies having made the switch. Another survey discovered that more than half of U.S. employers plan to test out the four-day workweek.

The five-day workweek has been around for nearly a century, creating an established weekday versus weekend. It’s time for a change.

In fact, nearly every company that has tested out the four-day workweek has seen massive amounts of success. One study showed that employees were happier and more satisfied, less tired, and had reduced levels of stress. The reduction in commutes was also better for the environment.

Check out the results from the UK’s massive four-day workweek study.

One company now in year three of its four-day workweek, Buffer, regularly surveys its employees to see how they feel—and 100 percent of them want to continue to work a four-day workweek for the rest of their careers.

6. Only 3.8% of businesses are using AI

Artificial intelligence, its uses, and challenges have been a big topic of discussion over the last year, and it’s only growing. The Census found that while only 3.8 percent of businesses currently employ AI, 6.5 percent (almost double) of businesses plan to use AI in the next six months.

However, AI is more widely used in some industries than others. The same survey found that 13.8 percent of businesses in the Information sector are taking advantage of AI.

According to the Forbes Advisor survey, companies are bringing AI in for a number of uses, including:

  • Customer relationship management
  • Digital personal assistants
  • Inventory management
  • Content production
  • Product recommendations
  • Accounting
  • Supply chain operations
  • Recruitment and talent sourcing
  • Audience segmentation

However, just because many new AI tools are coming out doesn’t mean they’re a perfect replacement for the human touch or other software.

Dmytro Sokhach, founder of Admix Global, says, “Our team uses AI extensively. Writers use it for creative ideation, reformatting articles, checking logic, and reducing wordiness. Outreach managers employ AI to generate new ideas and identify content gaps on target sites. Our AI policy is straightforward: team members can use AI as needed, but they remain fully responsible for the final output.”

Ensuring your team knows they’re still responsible for using AI can help them be cautious with what they do with it, ensuring the results are still good quality.

7. 90% of small businesses plan to outsource business functions

Finally, the last workplace stat and trend on our list covers outsourcing—something that’s long been a big help to businesses and continues until now. A whopping 90 percent of small businesses plan to outsource certain functions.

Michael Schmied, co-founder of Kredite Schweiz, explains what his team outsources: “We outsource certain non-core functions, like accounting and bookkeeping, to optimize our operations. Outsourcing allows us to focus on our core competencies while benefiting from the specialized expertise of our outsourcing partners.”

However, this increase in outsourcing may also be inadvertently leading to an increase in the gig economy. Entrepreneur Matthew Ramirez says, “The most significant workplace trend I am noticing is the growing popularity of the gig economy and the increased use of freelancers and contractors.”

Ramirez continues, “This enables businesses to be more adaptable and flexible while accessing talent as needed. It also gives individuals more control over their work lives and the opportunity to make a living doing what they enjoy.”

Most companies appear to outsource non-core functions, just like Schmied. It helps them focus on their core offerings—plus, outsourcing costs much less than hiring in-house.

Use these workplace stats to shape your company’s strategy in 2024 and beyond

Consider which stats and trends are most important to your business and employees. Keeping employees happy and being able to hire top talent is essential to your business’s success.

Things like the four-day workweek and an increase in PTO might be what your company needs to propel itself into the future. 

Stay ahead of workplace trends and changes with the Learning Cloud

Provide effective, engaging training to upskill employees and outpace competitors with the Learning Cloud from WorkRamp. When you promote continuous learning and development, you can increase employee engagement and continue to attract and retain top talent.

Discover how the Learning Cloud can help you empower employees and drive business results. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo

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Michael Keenan

WorkRamp Contributor

Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.

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