Another year creeps to an end, and at this point, enough has happened to make predictions for the next. Forecasting anything in this evolving, constantly changing world is a thankless job, yet each year, we’re more eager than ever to get into Nostradamus’s shoes. Here’s what we think 2017 will bring (and we’re offering three pieces of evidence to strengthen our predictions).

More global movement and migration

Over the past years, cross-border movement has been rapidly gaining momentum. Business ceased being stationary—it’s now moving, migrating and mixing talent from all over the world. Better technologies and more affordable transportation have made distance just short of irrelevant. Thanks to the tech progress we can work “in the same room” while being scattered around different countries. To the delight of companies in the distributed teams, outsourcing and freelancing industries like ourselves believe that this tendency will only grow stronger in 2017.

  • The global mobility issue was discussed during the Global Workforce Symposium this year. In a nutshell, speakers shared our views, forecasting ultimate business flexibility by 2020. Global mobility will be achieved mostly through technology improvements and cloud services. Andrea Elliot, senior counsel at Pro-Link GLOBAL points out that technological progress has already facilitated remote working. In the next few years distance work will transform from a privilege into common practice, helping companies retain their best talent.
  • According to this PwC report, the traditional meaning of global movement will change soon. We are now witnessing the beginning of the “mobility without moves” era. Obligatory physical presence in offices will become less important—technologies will become our portals, transporting us wherever we need.
  • Unlike PwC, Deloitte is in no hurry to abandon the traditional business trip. On contrast, the company anticipates a surge in business travel and has introduced the Mobility Labs project. These labs are designed to facilitate cross-border travel and integrate global mobility into day-to-day life. Using innovative technologies, like AI and crowdsourcing, Deloitte’s specialists help their clients to visualize opportunities, which comes hand-in-hand with global mobility. Based on this visualization, the company offers strategies to make international movement as easy as your weekly supermarket raids.

Personal branding

Some say it all started when Tom Peters, management expert, decided to try marketing tricks on people, not products. Ten years later personal branding has etched out a separate business direction and is obviously here to stay. We believe that in 2017 personal branding will become even more influential, shaping all parts of work—from employment to promotion.

predictions for the next business trend

  • When it comes to the importance of personal branding, IMEX America’s Education Program seems to be on the same page as us. They are now including a three-day training session on building a personal brand as a separate course in their educational program.
  • Surprisingly, creating your own brand might soon become a service that you can easily receive. Companies like Vaynertalent have a specialist who can build your personal brand instead of you doing it alone! If you ask us, we believe that branding yourself should still remain your own privilege. Yet, the fact that there are companies out there ready to polish your image should make you realize the importance of personal branding in today’s business.

Slow transportation

From a historical perspective, vehicles have become faster with every leap of technological progress. However, we believe, that now it’s time for them to slow down a bit. As the eco-friendly movement gains more weight, transport shouldn’t dial back to speed and should certainly favor comfort and sustainability.

predictions for the next business trend

  • Recently global design consultancy IDEO introduced the concept of self-driven cars, which can be transformed into workstations. The prototype, called WoW (Work on Wheels) looks exactly as it sounds—like a tiny mobile office. You can use it to work whilst it drives you to work (in case if you have a lot of things on your to-do list). Or you can diversify a routine meeting and host it in your transportable board room. There are no limits, just fantasies!
  • As for green transport, it is obviously one of the planet’s future choices. In 2017 Horizon 2020, The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, will invest 6 339 million euros in the popularization of eco-friendly, safe and sustainable transportation. Will eco-cars be faster than their petroleum-fueled ancestors? This question still hangs in the air. But we can surely watch the emanation of the Slow Transportation Movement (STM). The idea is to use green transport, like cargo bikes or electric-assisted bikes, to move at an easy pace without polluting the environment.
  • The UK Government seems to dig low-speed transport. In one of their reports, travel time is described as “no longer [being] a dead time”. On contrast, it might be the best period for doing business and making important decisions. As research show, people are happier while travelling, and so they may be more productive and eager in making business decisions. We know this from our own experience. A lot of the better Beetroot ideas were born in trains and cars. We spent countless (and sleepless) nights on train trips around Ukraine and quite a few of them were marked with creative and productive brainstorming. There is a good chance that slow transport brainstorming will work well for you too

We believe that 2017 is going to be a productive and a blissful year for everyone. Don’t be afraid of changes and stay true to yourself (#beetrootoyourself). Oh, and before we forget – Happy New Year!

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