Wrapping up work for the year? We're counting down the top workplace trends and headlines of 2017.

Workplaces were front and centre in the headlines this year, forcing more organisations to re-evaluate their priorities and policies.

As we head into the Christmas break, it is timely to take a look back at the issues dominating the HR space and what looks set to drive workplace change in the New Year.  

Workplace culture has dominated the agenda this year and a lot of the issues impacting employees and employers must be addressed in 2018.

Many issues highlighted in 2017 have demonstrated the need for renewal so that organisations are prioritising employee purpose and wellbeing and driving positive workplace outcomes.

2017 saw the focus on five key areas:

 1.      Employee Expectations

Our research has shown that a massive 85 per cent of Australian workers believe that the onus is on employers to create an environment that proactively addresses stress in the workplace.

More workers are looking for meaning in their jobs and it is one of the most common reasons employees leave their current workplace.

2.      Flexible Working

These expectations have seen the rise of flexible work arrangements such as working remotely, however this can often result in a 24/7 schedule with workers constantly attached to the office through their devices.

Dispersed workforces will be much more common and the challenges that come with this will be more pronounced in the next five years.

3.      Workplace Culture

One of the most prominent stories this year concerned sexual harassment in the workplace.

Finally, many businesses are now recognising and addressing toxic workplace cultures.

4.      Paid Parental Leave

This year, Reventure supported calls from the Stillbirth Foundation Australia for more organisations to review their policies to remove any doubt that parents of stillborn children will get their entitlement.

This gives them the choice of how to deal with their loss, which might be taking paid parental leave, or it might be returning to work early.

5.      Worker Wellbeing

Over the past year, our research has found one-quarter of Australian workers believe their workplace’s focus on wellbeing has increased and three-quarters think workplace wellbeing programs are worth the time and money.