Four business trends for ’14

Image provided by morguefile.com user Efi.

Image provided by morguefile.com user Efi.

We saw big changes in the workplace in 2013. Millennials began to take over the American workforce, the remote worker revolution became a reality thanks in part to VoIP telecommunications technology like TDS’ managedIP Hosted and we saw crowdfunding begin to shake up the U.S. financial landscape. Now that the ball has dropped, how will the trends that started in 2013 impact 2014?

  1. Millennials will continue to take over the American workforce
    It’s no secret that young people have struggled to find work. Part of the problem is the economy is still recovering from the most recent recession. But, according to this article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal:

    In recent decades, the U.S. has seen a gradual outward shift in people’s professional lives: Americans today tend to start work later and continue working longer than in past generations. A decade ago, a boy in his late teens was twice as likely as a man his grandfather’s age to hold a job; today, the teen is actually less likely to be working.

    For young people, the delayed entry into the world of work is partly a reflection of the recent recession, but it is also driven by long-term trends, including more jobs that require advanced skills and fewer high-paying factory jobs that required little more than a high-school diploma.”

    Despite that, according to this article from Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel, Millennials are expected to become nearly 36 percent of the American workforce in 2014.

  2. Use of VoIP products will increase in the workplace
    We’ve outlined the benefits of TDS’ managedIP Hosted business VoIP solution several times here on the TDS Business Blog. In 2013 businesses flocked to VoIP products. It looks like that trend will continue in 2014. According to this article by ATLANTIC-ACM Blogger Charlie Reed, “The differences between VoIP and TDM will be more pronounced as customers demand unified-communications features closer to what they received on their smartphones.” In that same article Reed goes on to say, “All together, business VoIP will increase its share of the business voice market from 17 percent this year to more than 40 percent by 2018, according to ATLANTIC-ACM forecasts.”
  3. Crowdfunding rules
    In October of 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to propose rules under the JOBS Act that will allow companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding. At the same time the SEC established a 90 day public comment period (which runs through early February). The SEC will then review those comments and determine whether to adopt the proposed rules. So, sometime in 2014 we should see what those rules look like and get a better idea for how crowdfunding will impact the financial landscape.
  4. Cryptocurrencies

    According to this article that appeared on Yahoo Finance and was written by staff from the website Investopedia, a cryptocurrency is, “A digital currency that is created and managed through the use of advanced encryption techniques known as cryptography.” In 2013 cryptocurrencies got a lot of attention when the granddaddy of them all, Bitcoin, peaked at a record $266 per Bitcoin. The subsequent crash of Bitcoin left many wondering about the future of cryptocurrencies.

    Now, according to Wikipedia there are well more than 30 cryptocurrencies. One of the newest, Dogecoin, has seen its value go up while other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, have taken a dive.

    So what does the future hold for cryptocurrencies? Your guess is as good as mine. But I think it’s safe to say, at least for 2014, there’s still a fair amount of interest in digital currencies. According to this article that appeared on Time.com there’s a new cryptocurrency set to debut in a little more than a week. It’s named after American Hip-Hop artist Kanye West. It’s called Coinye West. And yes, you did read that correctly. So, could we be ditching Dollars and moving toward a Coinye based system?

There you have it. Our four predictions. What do you think? Leave your thoughts below or reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. Follow on G+.

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