The future of work - what transformational changes can we expect?


For the last 2 -3 years we have been predicting transformational changes in the workforce, workplace and the technologies that enable work. This subject is commonly referred to as the ‘future of work’.

International firms Deloitte and Accenture/Fjord have recently released their insights on global changes in workplace composition and practices and areas businesses need to focus on.

They predict:

New ways of leading

We will see fundamental changes in the way leaders will need to lead to grow, seize market opportunities faster, respond to the increasing trend to develop agile and adaptive workplaces and leverage diverse workforces straddling multiple generations.

In other words, traditional command and control top down hierarchical leadership styles will be reserved for dinosaurs who want to become extinct!

Different ways of ‘working’

There is increasing growth in contingent workforces such as contractors, temps, leased, ‘freelancer’ and ‘gig’ workers.

This is a response to talent market shortages, a willingness to entertain different forms of engagement other than traditional employment arrangements and younger workforces choosing how, where and who they work for.

Getting older is now good

We'll see the rise of the importance of older workers in the workforce. Workplaces will need to develop strategies to leverage longevity and loyalty to impart knowledge and experience to others.

Take pay off the table

We are already seeing shifts in the traditional concepts of remuneration and rewards to match diverse talent pools and differing attitudes to what motivate people at work.

This includes expansion of benefits to promote physical, mental, spiritual and financial well-being in response to the blurring of work/life. It's all about well-being!

Brand is everything

We'll see citizenship, brand strength and a company’s reputation for creating positive social impact becoming core components of talent attraction. In other words, what your company does needs to fulfil the meaningfulness of work aspirations of your future talent.

Don’t do everything and don’t be alone

Collaborate to get ahead! Think outside existing business models and join forces with others to solve problems collectively.

Get Real

Avoid greenwashing and spin - people want to engage with organisations that are authentic.

Simple is Good

Clear the data smog, minimise data and channels of communication. Collect only data that is needed and mix human insights into data which is often black and white.

As businesses we can choose to ignore what is happening globally and stick with how we have always done things. But our take on the future of work is striking the balance between holding on to the things that have worked well, whilst preparing ourselves to meet the challenges and waves of change that will inevitably hit our shores.

Written by Paul Bell.


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