Another year is about to become part of the past. Whether you’re based in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, L.A. or somewhere in between, these are the hottest trends to watch for as we welcome in 2019.

Hottest Business Trends to Watch in 2019

Using AI as an Essential Marketing Tool

While many predicted that 2018 would bring artificial intelligence (AI) to the workplace, it’s still been in more of the experimental phase, but that’s about to change. The rise in AI-powered marketing is taking the load of marketers, allowing them to refocus efforts onto what matters most, which provides more time to address challenges. AI will become increasingly deployed for solving marketing problems for things like lead generation and finding new customers. In the past, the availability of quality data was lacking, fueled mostly by demographics, but we’re now entering a time of deep AI data analytics which will open the door for marketers to get a much better grasp of their audiences.

A recent Digital Trends report revealed that while 15% of businesses are currently using AI, nearly a third say they plan to do so within the next year.

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Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is already being used by the majority of corporations that have revenues of at least $100 million, and nearly three-quarters of small businesses have indicated they’d be making use of it within the next 12 months, according to a Deloitte trends report. The technology that provides an immersive user experience will continue to proliferate the enterprise software development landscape as both businesses and customers understand its true value. In 2019, many of the new AR prototype projects, based on successful proving of commercial return on investment, will begin to graduate into full production applications.

Hottest Business Trends

Mental Wellness Will Become More of a Priority

It’s not just advancing technology that will be a game-changer in 2019, but a new focus on the importance of mental health in the workplace. Too many workers have reported feeling stressed out and burned out, which is affecting their job satisfaction and productivity. Studies have found that most have experienced behavioral, psychological or physical symptoms of poor mental health – and, issues like depression often results in more missed work days as well as reduced productivity. More and more companies have been starting real conversations when it comes to mental wellness. Some are beginning to take action too, with benefits like mental health days off and 24/7 access to counselors to help keep their emotional and mental well-being in tip-top shape.

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A Shift Toward More Remote Work Options

On par with the importance of mental wellness, the rise of technology has lessened the need for employees to commute to the office every day. 2019 will see people spending less time commuting and more time working remotely. Workplaces will have to think more about how to encourage collaboration with team members in different places, but they’re likely to see happier, more engaged employees.