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The start of the new year is a great time for business leaders to take stock of processes and examine trends. We expect transparency in the workplace, improving employee engagement, the proliferation of the remote worker, and the move toward online collaboration tools to continue to be key trends driving business success in the coming year.

New work tools increase transparency. More than ever, your team members are expecting more transparency in the workplace—and the proliferation of cloud-based tools is helping companies realize that vision. New online collaboration platforms are giving employees the power to create their own schedules and organize their own projects, freeing up managers to spend more time leading big-picture initiatives. In addition, nourishing a culture of transparency can help managers increase worker retention and help employees align with the larger company vision.

Growing employee engagement. But building a transparent organization is only the first step in increasing employee engagement. Managers should do everything in their power to remove obstacles that stand in the way of employees becoming self-sufficient. These roadblocks can take many forms, but, in the end, one of the most common reasons many workers become disengaged is a perceived lack of autonomy. By providing well-defined objectives, constructive feedback, and easy-to-use technology that allows your team members to manage their own workflows and schedules, you’ll empower your company’s most potent resource—your people.

The move away from the 9-5 office job. Perhaps no business trend has empowered more employees than the emergence of the remote worker. In a recent TINYpulse survey, researchers found that team members who worked offsite felt happier and more valued than their office-bound coworkers. In addition, over 91% of remote respondents reported that they were able to accomplish more outside their brick-and-mortar workplace. And for employees who could set their own hours, the satisfaction rates were even higher.

Of course, without solid communication between team members, the remote office concept falls apart. Managers of remote teams should take special care to ensure that all of their employees, clients, and customers have the tools they need to keep those conversations going.

Use of project management solutions. Project management software is becoming more and more de rigueur in the modern workplace. These online collaborative tools foster improved communication between internal and external-facing teams. They also help reduce paperwork, improve efficiency, and give leaders a detailed, dashboard-like view into project budgets and schedules.

To get on board with these top trends, consider a web-based project management solution such as ConductorLIVE. Powerful and affordable, ConductorLIVE is an easy-to-use collaboration platform designed to help you increase transparency, increase employee engagement, and make it easier for your team members to work remotely.