Lately, there’s been so much talk about “The Future of Work” that the drumbeat of “Prepare the way” is becoming quite loud and clear – and rightfully so. As we all become increasingly connected, mobile, and entrepreneurial, the traditional notion of work is quickly losing its appeal.
3 Converging Trends That Are Changing The Future Of WorkEmployees are tired of sacrificing so much of their lives for their employers. They want a better way to balance work, family, and a sense of personal purpose. In fact, 70% of workers in the U.S. – and 87% of workers worldwide – are not fully engaged and personally invested in their work. And as that number continues to increase, the rate of innovation, productivity, and real outcomes that drive the business forward will only get smaller.
This trend is making business executives nervous. They find themselves scrambling to understand what motivates and engages their workforce and how it compliments what their companies deliver and value. The objective is no longer just about getting the work done; it’s about giving employees the opportunity and freedom to put their talents, expertise, and interests to the best possible use.
Thanks to the convergence of three forces that have emerged over the last 10 years, we are now seeing a life-altering transformation in the world of work.
1. Technological change
In-memory computing. Mobile apps. The cloud. Social media. Business networks. The Internet of Things. All of these technologies are rapidly reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills we will need to be productive in the future. In just a few years, tens of billions of devices are expected to be connected to one another as well as to cloud-based services.
Although this trend may seem daunting, it’s a time of opportunity. Each of these technologies has a role in leveling the playing field for businesses of all sizes and industries. For example, a business can reach a global community of potential customers in new geographies and cultures that is eager to be connected and access networks to collaborate; generate new ideas; and alter the way people, businesses, vendors, and partners engage with each other. Plus, the entire workforce is better equipped to go outside of their organizations and join forces with people across all levels, business units, and global regions.
2. Shifting demographics
For the first time, five generations of employees are working side by side – each with their own experiences, life philosophies, and comfort level with technology. The key is knowing how to value and integrate the unique capabilities and perspectives of every employee to achieve one common goal: to contribute to the overall success of the business now and for years to come.
In addition to the changing “face” of the workforce, recruiting, engaging, retaining, and creating a productive corporate culture are becoming more complicated. As social media, smart devices, and cloud technology continue to infiltrate our daily lives, it becomes easier for employees to work on their own terms. For example, DCR Trendline 2013 – Contingent Worker Forecast and Supply Report stated that approximately 35% of all U.S. workers are considered freelancers, temps, part-time workers, or contractors – and that figure is expected to continue rising as high as 40% – 50%. Believe it or not, this one stat can complicate things for recruiters. At a time that is difficult to find permanent employees with the right skill sets, companies are relying on a contingent workforce that has the right skills and expertise, but not the same loyalty of a full-time employee.
3. Accelerating globalization
As more people embrace the latest technology, our ability to communicate to each other expands beyond our local communities. For instance, a small startup can have offices in three countries across several time zones, with customers in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa and compete at the same level as a company with more than 10,000 employees. Globalization is no longer a game of large, multinational companies – every business can be a player.
The real meaning of the future of work
Workers want freedom and opportunity. Frankly, so do employers. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what the future of work is all about. Click on the infographic below to discover how the future of work will impact you and what you can do now to prepare.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 3 Converging Trends That Are Changing The Future Of Work
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