Future of Work

What does the Future of Work look like?

If there’s one thing that we can all be sure of, it’s that the world is always changing and progressing. And one area that we’re starting to see a lot of change in is work. Traditionally, an at the top executive would drive decisions, and their employees would work 9-5. But the with advancements that we are seeing in technology, the 9-5 work week is changing – and rapidly. But what does this change look like, and what is is that is driving such a change?

What is driving the change in work?

1) Technology

Technology is the number one thing driving the change in our workforce today. Robots are now doing things that people can do, software programs give us information on how our business is being operated,and social media and other platforms give us the power to connect to each other from around the world at anywhere and at anytime. With the advancements of recent technology, it really does seem as though anything is possible. And in the workforce, it’s now giving people the opportunity to focus on more goal-oriented tasks and to move away from the traditional constraints and confinments of the office desk.

2) Millennials

Did you know that by 2025, over 75% of the workforce numbers will be millennial’s? And along with a new generation of workers comes a new pattern of thoughts, behaviors, values, and approaches. This generation of workers is motivated by purpose-driven work, perks, stability, job flexibility, and comfort in speaking to their managers and employers – and they have no hesitation in searching for a new job if their current employer doesn’t give them what they need. In return, companies and executives are having to change their policies and procedures to keep up with the demand of talented millennial workers.

3) Globalization

team, hands, desk, laptop, team, achieveThis again goes back to the advances in technology that we spoke about above. These advances have given us the opportunity to remove boundaries from the workforce. No longer do you need to work in the same city that you live. No longer do your clients need to speak the same language as you. No longer do you need to earn the currency of your home country. Rather, the world has become one giant city where we can connect with anyone, anywhere with just the click of a button.

4) Demographics

When we compare the demographics of tomorrow’s workforce with those of today’s, we find that future demographics will be older, more ethnically and racially diverse, and comprised of more women. In the future, life expectancy is continued to rise. As a result, people are estimated to stay in the workforce longer. And as millennial’s are starting to enter into the workforce,  we will soon see three to four generations working together.

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5) Social Networks

Over 1/2 of adults and 3/4 of teenagers use social networking sites on a regular basis. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other networking tools have taken over our laptop computers and mobile screens. And according to a study by Jobvite, over 1 in 6 employers is already using social media to attract potential candidates. But not only can social media be used to search for employees, it can also be used to engage customers, communicate with suppliers, and gather valuable information and insight into into how a business can be improved.

So what will the future of the workforce actually look like?

1) AI will start to prevail

We’ve all seen the Artificial Intelligence movie with Will Smith where robots take over the world. And while the future of robots probably isn’t quite this dramatic, they are assumed to play a huge role in the future of the workforce. The future of artificial intelligence is suspected to play a particularly important role in sectors of transportation, agriculture, call centers, customer experience, health care, IT, retail, and technical support. In particular, more monotonous tasks that can be easily automated will be taken over by artificial intelligence, rendering some such roles obsolete for humans. Not only that, but some more complex activities may also be taken over by artificial intelligence in the future. While not so much related to the job industry, the autonomous automobile is a perfect example of just how advanced our AI technology has become. Does this mean that artificial intelligence is going to take over the human race and render us obsolete? Absolutely not. It will simply change the way work. And if anything, AI will empower us and drive us in a forward facing direction.

2) Jobs will offer more flexibility

As of today, many people are now studying the importance of work/life balance. And unfortunately, the majority of people are unsatisfied with the balance in their life, stating that work is their primary responsibility. In fact, one study conducted by Ernst & Young found that over 75% of employees have a difficult time managing work commitments while still making time for themselves and their family. And in a society where we are becoming increasingly aware of the negative health effects that stress has on our lives, this is a problem. This is why so many companies are now becoming more flexible in their scheduling, and ensuring that their employees have more downtime. Not only that, but technology is also making it possible to work from home, abroad, or in other locations away from the office. In return, it may not be long before the typical 9-5 work week is rendered obsolete.

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3) The Employee Experience will Improve

There are plenty of different company review sites online, such as Glassdoor, where employees can now go to rate their current or previous employers. Ratings are based on things such as benefits, compensation, and overall environment and culture of the workplace. In return, HR teams are forced to take the experience of each and every employee more seriously. If employees are unhappy with the work environment, they could have difficulty keeping, and even attracting employees. This is especially true given the high number of jobs that are becoming available that offer attractive compensation in the remote workforce and that give employees the ability to work their own hours from the comfort of their own home. Attractive positions such as these are making the competition between companies fierce, and the standards must be set higher if they want to find and keep qualified and professional employees.

4) The future is freelancing

laptop, hands, writingWhy sit an office desk all day when you can work from a remote island on the beach and in the sun? This is the perception that so many millenniums are now taking, and with unlimited access to Freelancing gigs on the World Wide Web, dreams like this are more than possible. In fact, they may be taking over our future. Why is freelancing becoming so common? Not only does freelancing offer more flexibility for employees, but there are also many benefits for the employer. First and foremost, remote work opens up a whole world full of talent – literally. Instead of just being limited to local talent, employers can now hire talented and qualified employees from around the globe. In return, employers can build a more qualified team and can do so while at the same time cutting out the costs of office space. So while the world of freelancing is just starting to take off, we don’t suspect that it will be long before it really starts to take over.

5) Updated Skills and Retraining

As the workforce continues to change, we must learn to change with it. In many cases this may mean updating our skills and knowledge bases. For students, this may mean learning about  new technologies and more recent advances in their area of expertise before entering the workforce. Unfortunately, many millennial’s are finding that the raised costs of schooling are making it difficult to obtain the degrees that they need. In return, many are turning to alternative forms of learning to further their education. As a result, companies may need to start considering alternative forms of learning when hiring as opposed to just looking at educational backgrounds. Of course, progress doesn’t just mean that students will need to learn and hone new skills, but it also means that employers will need to provide more advancement opportunities for their already existing employees.

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Whether you are excited or anxious about these new workplace trends, the fact is that they are coming and they are coming on strong. The effects of each of these trends can already be seen in today’s workforce, but as we continue to grow as a society, such trends will be on the rise. So regardless of how we feel, these trends are coming. What is important is that we understand them, pay attention to them, and prepare for them. If we do this, we can use them to better our businesses and companies, and propel humankind forward.