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Celebrating #Dropbox10: Workplace trends that are here to stay


Published on May 11, 2017

Since the company’s founding day in 2007, we’ve been honored to see the Dropbox community develop, grow, and thrive. To celebrate, we’re putting together a series of posts looking back at an exciting—and often surprising—decade. Join us as we reminisce, share a few stories, and reflect on how the industry has changed. While the working world is full of fads—whether that’s treadmill desks or sleep pods—some crazes have more staying power than others. Here are 10 popular workplace trends we’ve seen evolve since the early days of Dropbox—trends that we believe are here to stay.

1. Working from anywhere

Before the days of video conferencing and easy file sharing, working at the office was a must. Today, however, more people than ever are working remotely, with positive results.

2. The 24-hour workday

The 9-to-5 workday is on life support. Many employees now work flexible hours, jumping on projects during gaps between other life responsibilities—a trend that’s showing no signs of slowing.

3. The freelance economy

Combine worker specialization with flexible tools for hiring contractors, and you get an explosion of freelancers. With such contract jobs growing by nearly 10 million from 2005 to 2015, the “gig economy” is likely here to stay.

4. Mindfulness and mental health

Decades ago, keeping emotions at home was an unspoken rule of the workplace. Today, however, many employers have discovered that a happy, mentally healthy workforce means higher creativity, productivity, and ultimately, better business.

5. Global workforces

It’s easier than ever to find talent anywhere in the world, and the most successful companies are taking advantage. International offices allow companies to expand more quickly, help improve workforce diversity, and allow businesses to tap into communities with different skillsets.

6. The explosion of apps

With an app for everything—whether that’s chat, analytics, note taking, or video conferencing—the workplace now runs on hundreds of special applications for handling specific tasks. It’s a trend that can be both helpful…and overwhelming.

7. Career development on the rise

If employees aren’t learning new, applicable skills, they’ll grow restless, a trend that’s particularly evident in people new to the workforce. It’s likely that companies will continue to offer on-the-job, technical training to keep these workers engaged.

8. Marketing by numbers

In the old days of Madison Avenue, a single hunch could launch a million-dollar ad campaign. Today, marketers rely on data-driven insights, machine learning, and customer surveys to create campaigns with consistent results.

9. Brands as storytellers

Companies have learned how valuable their expertise and industry knowledge can be, so they’re sharing their stories in all kinds of formats, from articles to videos, podcasts to seminars. It’s not only an effective marketing tool, but also a great way to start conversations and share industry lessons.

10. The decline of busywork

We’ve spent years doing more busywork than creative work: checking email, scheduling meetings, organizing people. But with more collaboration, better tools, and fewer silos, employees are increasingly leapfrogging the mindless tasks to get to the projects that really matter.