With the turn of not only a new year, but a new decade, we can expect a lot of reflection to be made as well as planning for the future. For entrepreneurs and business owners in particular - this is a time to look back on their successes and challenges and set goals for the years to come.
Over the last decade, business and technology trends have been constantly evolving and these will continue to be critical external factors that impact business decisions. As 2020 is now underway, we have identified the top 10 business trends to pay attention to, that have become recent phenomena - or soon will be…

1. The modern workplace

Now, more than ever, leaders must make sure that they are demonstrating a positive workplace culture to keep employees motivated and engaged. Last year, Buffer’s ‘2019 State of Remote Working’ paper highlighted that 99% of people claimed that they’d like to work from home at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers. A staggering figure that leaders cannot ignore. Flexibility in the workplace must be accommodated. As a result, last year there was a huge influx of ‘co-working spaces’ to house these remote workers. This trend is expected to continue to grow as more innovative and tech focussed start-ups emerge, and organisations take advantage of talent that wants to utilise this working freedom. If home working is something you’re interested in, check out our Partnership here!

2. Webinars and Podcasts

Following on from the remote working trend, webinars and podcasts are a new trend that will continue to grow in 2020. Similarly aligned to making things more accessible to the masses, these can be accessed on any device, anytime, anywhere. A report on Podcast Trends 2019 highlighted that 82% of people listen to Podcasts for more than 7 hours a week. Similarly, webinars are an increasing trend with almost 80% of B2B consumers in 2019 using webinars to make an informed purchase decision. This shows the importance and impact that both of these educational resources can have within business and particularly in increasing brand engagement and sales. Keep your eyes peeled for the next episode of our Podcast; The Heels Are Off!

3. Going green

With climate change more of a drastic issue than ever, more people are adopting a greener lifestyle. Veganism, organic products and recycling are facts of life that are being adopted by the masses. Consumers now take a company’s environmental impact and their efforts against climate change as crucial decision-making factors when choosing who to engage with. Leaders must be cautious of this and make true efforts to be environmentally friendly, rather than just doing so as a PR stunt.

4. New social platforms

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have remained the consistently powerful platforms for some time now whilst many have tried and failed to compete with them. Over the last couple of years however, a new platform has grown rapidly and appears to be a trend that will demand attention in 2020. With over 500 million active users worldwide, TikTok, the video sharing social networking service, has overtaken Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat in social media ranking. This quick and witty platform is one to watch out for, especially when engaging with a younger demographic.

5. Artificial Intelligence

As cutting edge as AI appears, the concept is far from new with the first ideas sparking thousands of years ago. Last year there were numerous breakthroughs in AI powered tech, including virtual chat bots that have been adopted by businesses to provide round the clock customer service. AI is now becoming commonplace in most organisations – especially within tech and forward-thinking companies. AI has grown to a stage that cannot be ignored with rapid growth in 2019 and that trajectory shows no signs of stopping in the coming years.

6. Workplace Virtual Reality

When you think of virtual reality, your mind may naturally stop at video games. However, the recent advances in VR are much more spectacular than that and are now being used not only in the entertainment space but in the workplace. This technology has positively affected education and training by adding another dynamic to an otherwise boring topic. This advance is something to be adopted by business leaders when encouraging team building and an innovative way to educate.

7. 5G

Remember when the world was shaken by the arrival of 3G? Now, the roll out of 5G is finally here and will bring with it a leap in connectivity speeds to help those businesses that are heavily reliant on data.

8. Health care tech

Physical and mental health are now at the forefront of all good leadership and something that organisations are taking great interest in promoting. A way to track this is through advances in wearable technology such as Apple watches, Fitbits and Garmin’s – designed to monitor our health in a more advanced capacity than ever before. 2020 is anticipated to have even more growth in this space, with a lot of businesses offering these devices as incentives to assist employees in leading a healthier lifestyle – in turn making them more productive.

9. 24/7 Customer Care

Customers can be demanding and often expect things to happen at their convenience. For many organisations that work on a Monday – Friday, 9-5 schedule, this means a lot of business is lost before it ever had a chance. Technological and virtual advances in mobile, social and web has now enabled customer centric portals that can enable businesses to deliver a 24/7 service. This is a trend that will continue to grow as customers become more demanding and businesses need to be accommodating if they want to keep up.

10. The remote workforce

Taking advantage of video conferencing software has allowed businesses to operate just as smoothly with employees anywhere in the world. No longer does an organisation have to operate under the same roof, in fact, the more flexible the work force, the more likely it is to attract the best and brightest talent. A 9-5 is no longer the conventional working day with more people managing their energy rather than their time and choosing to work when they feel most productive. In 2020 and beyond, this trend can be expected to grow as working parents fit their schedule around family life. By optimising this virtual trend, a business can also be better positioned in its efforts to deliver 24/7 customer service. If you’re interested in utilising the remote or virtual workforce for your business, hear more about our virtual assistants here!