GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees and consumers are gaining greater influence over corporations' behavior thanks to a surge in e-commerce and social sharing, according to Sodexo's 2015 Workplace Trends Report, released today. A new form of public accountability, dubbed "Rateocracy," is putting unprecedented pressure on companies to act transparently, highlighting one of the major shifts in how the workplace is changing in response to technology and cultural expectations.
"When workers and customers can instantly share their opinions of a company with thousands of people, concerns like morale, transparency and fairness become an integral part of how businesses manage their reputation," said Michael Norris, Sodexo's chief operating officer. "The goal of the Workplace Trends Report is to evaluate how ongoing changes, like the growing power of one person to influence a company's reputation, are affecting the everyday experiences of employees and their managers. Those everyday experiences have bottom line implications when you consider that $3.6 trillion in retail sales are directly influenced by online reviews and social media."
The report provides an in-depth analysis of nine notable implications accompanying this new era of Rateocracy, including the need for constant real-time reputation management and the new role of the CEO, which is to communicate an honest and aspirational vision that connects employees and consumers. Transparency is particularly important in addressing public relations challenges that are increasingly being amplified through social channels.
Experts contributing to the report provided insights on additional quality of life trends impacting the workplace:
Job Seekers May Be Following the Runway for their Next Job
A unique trend identified through the report is the development of "airport cities" in which an airport becomes a business magnet and an engine for regional economic development. For a growing number of companies, large and commercially developed airports provide not just physical connectivity but a functional headquarters where geographically dispersed corporate staff, executives, and board members can fly in for sales meetings, client contacts, and high-level decision-making. For example, The Sofitel at Heathrow's Terminal 5 is now ranked among the most popular places to hold business meetings in the United Kingdom.
Airport cities are also creating large-scale employment opportunities for workers across sectors, from warehousing and transportation to finance and insurance. Chicago O'Hare, for instance, has 450,000 jobs in the radius of five miles, and Dallas-Fort Worth has 395,000 jobs in the same radius. The result is that job seekers may be following the runway to find their next place of employment.
Increasing Productivity through Mindfulness
The emergence of mindfulness and meditation at work is another key trend for employees and businesses. The science is settled on the consequences of highly stressed employees, and the long list of associated problems is setting off alarm bells for companies seeking to recruit, retain and get the best out of talented employees. Large employers, such as Aetna Inc., Florida Power and Light, and the State of Arizona, are offering programs to employees that relieve stress and target the roots of chronic health conditions and lost productivity.
In one study, a 12-week mindfulness at work program – meeting just once a week for 55 minutes – was found to reduce participants' perceived stress by 36 percent, decreased sleep disturbances by 29 percent, and cut reported pain levels by more than a third. These results are a small but promising step toward addressing the challenge of chronic diseases, which are on the rise in the U.S. across all demographic groups and are frequently associated with increased stress, poor sleep and prolonged pain.
This year's report also identified 10 skills essential for future success in the workforce. Projections include skills such as social intelligence and adaptive thinking, which can complement, not compete, with the increasing automation that is driving economic growth.
Access Sodexo's full 2015 Workplace Trends Report here.
About Sodexo's Annual Workplace Trends Report
Sodexo's 2015 Workplace Trends Report combines insight from principal research, clients, academia, and leading facilities management and human resource trade organizations. The company's researchers used mixed-method research to monitor and collectively examine trends that affect the quality of life of consumers in the workplace. This approach included traditional quantitative measures such as end user satisfaction and preference surveys, psychographic analysis at client sites, social media monitoring and a literary review consisting of consultant reports, academic and trade journals, and information from industry associations.
Sodexo in North America
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com), leading Quality of Life Services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.SodexoFoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $25 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at SodexoInsights.com. Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.
Founded in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 80 countries, Sodexo serves 75 million consumers each day through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Through its more than 100 services, Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over more than 45 years of experience: from reception, safety, maintenance and cleaning, to foodservices and facilities and equipment management; from Meal Pass, Gift Pass and Mobility Pass benefits for employees to in-home assistance and concierge services. Sodexo's success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 419,000 employees throughout the world.
Key Figures (as of August 31, 2014)
Sodexo in the World
Sodexo in North America
18 billion euro consolidated revenue
18th largest employer worldwide
75 million consumers served daily
8.8 billion revenue
700 million square feet under FM
More than 15 million consumers served daily
SOURCE Sodexo, Inc.