The world of work is changing, no doubt. These changes come with each new decade: the increasing competitiveness of other countries; outsourcing of operations; generational and diversity shifts in the workplace, AI and the rate of technological change.
Work will become less routine: Employees will work more in teams–many on an ad hoc basis. Individual work will decrease. Individuals who barely know each other will have to work together in the virtual domain. Informal groups of people outside the direct control of a company will impact its success or failure. How Social media has changed marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. Work processes will become highly informal with a light-handed approach to collecting information becoming the norm.
Organizations will need managers and employees with change management, innovation, communication, and strategic thinking skills. People skills are of course essential for business enterprise as informal and ad hoc collaboration will become the norm. Organisations that enable people to find work that works for them will thrive.
- The end of the standard working week
A four-day working week or a flexible workspace with time-saving automation technology and restructuring of working calendars in a way that respects work-life balance will become commonplace.
‘Organisations need to trust that people can and will get their work done from anywhere’– TARA LEVINS
- Universal basic income
The Finnish government piloted a project where 2,000 unemployed people were given a set basic income of €560 per month for two years. Will that be a possibility for the entire globe?
- A permanent state of overwork
You may not yet be familiar with karōshi, the Japanese term for death by overwork. The very technologies we’ve introduced to allow for flexibility in the workplace have also blurred the lines between working and personal lives, making it harder to strike a balance between the two. Disentangling yourself from ‘work mode’ when you are technically always a few clicks away is difficult, but being perennially ‘on call’ can leave your body in a state of persistent, heightened stress.
- Honesty and transparency
The clarion call for equality is revving up. Governments such as the UK now demand that companies of a certain size report their gender pay gap data so that this insidious problem can be tackled. Some companies are even coming clean of their own will.
Aside from the diversity and inclusion reforms that require honesty and transparency in their foundation, there are workforce demands for an employer of integrity.
- Biohacking for productivity
In a PwC report exploring work-life scenarios in 2030, one projection sees the trend of chemically enhanced productivity already seen in Silicon Valley becoming a global workplace norm. In fact, among thousands surveyed, 70pc would consider using treatments to enhance their brain and body for improved employment prospects. Workers at the vanguard of this trend are taking nootropics, implanting RFID chips in their bodies and micro dosing with psychedelics such as LSD on the promise of improved focus and creativity.
- Learning for life
The idea of a human-machine collaborative workforce seems inevitable.
“Of the 14,000 employees we surveyed around the world, 67pc of workers consider it important to develop skills to be able to work with intelligent machines in the next three to five years. Organisations need to invest in reskilling their workers and give them the opportunities to engage with the new technology.
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