Trends toward using social media, obtaining ”must-have” gadgets (iphone, ipod), and celebrating green practices were the bigger trends of the last five years. Here are four trends that should begin to solidify– if not be in full force– by the year 2015. We are on a consistent path to already making many of these trends permanent, and each point has the potential to create a domino effect that will alter how we live our lives.
1. Children will learn HTML in grade school.
And those children that do not begin to learn HTML in grade school will at least learn how to generate web content via facebook, twitter, blogs, or whatever option is available to them. They’ll need this information not only to understand the world, but also to contribute to it. There’s no doubt that there’s a need to focus on technology in schools, as 12 of BusinessWeek’s 25 most influential companies are rooted in technological advancement. The Internet will continue to play a bigger role in our lives, and already 37% of internet users have contributed to creating news. Children now will be raised with the internet, so they’ll need to know how to use it. Not only that, kids who are behind in using the internet will be at a comparative disadvantage because children who use facebook or write blogs have higher literacy levels.
2. We will consider tax-exempt businesses.
This means that either a) cause marketing and businesses taking part in/funding projects/ crowdsourcing for the greater good will make us at least (for one moment– if not only this one) consider what it would mean for businesses to solicit donations and be tax exempt in specified situations, or b) nonprofit organizations will up their ability to compete in commercial business in order to secure ongoing funding. As Generation Y combines an entrepreneurial spirit with steadfast public service motivation, the nonprofit sector is sure to continue to evolve in the hands of a new generation. In the next five years, we’ll begin the long process of considering what the contemporary melding of the public and private sector will look like.
3. Nearly all but physical job positions will be location-independent.
People who work from home are more productive than people who work in an office. And people who are self -disciplined are happier than those who are not. With the ease at which people can video conference and utilize technology to keep in touch with coworkers from home, there’s no doubt that we’ll begin to realize the benefits of location-independent work. Other benefits? Increased work/life balance, reduced stress, improved supervisor-staff relationships, better worker retention for employers, and increased general job satisfaction. The exception here will be job positions that require a physical presence, such as plumbers, doctors, factory workers, landscapers, and the good ole’ cable guy.
4. Most businesses will have flat structures and be decentralized.
Decentralization is the dispersion or distribution of functions and powers in an organizations, or the the delegation of power from a central authority to regional and local authorities. These kinds of organizations do not rely on the strict organizational hierarchies of power of the past– and companies such as Johnson & Johnson, IBM, and numerous other successful companies boast decentrailized governance. Though this trend may be already solidifying, the effects of flattened companies will begin to be felt in the next five years. Namely, we will be even more accustomed to working in teams or networks, and there will be fewer managers as groups gain empowerment to make many of their own decisions.
About the author
MPA. Chief Market Engagement Officer at IMPACTS Research & Development. Nonprofit marketer, Generation Y museum, zoo & aquarium writer/speaker, web engagement geek, data nerd, marathoner, nomad, herbivore