9 Trends That Will Shape Future Workplaces

9 Trends That Will Shape Future Workplaces
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Krishna Kumar

Last updated October 9, 2017


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We have recently reached a pivotal point in technological advancements in both our personal and professional lives. These significant changes have revolutionized the way workplaces function. From hiring to employee engagement, organizations across the globe are reshaping their methods. I would like to take you through some of the major advancements that are radically transforming how workplaces function and demonstrate why they have the potential to be adopted worldwide over the next few years.

1. No more long tenures or full-time employment!

Welcome to Workplace 2.0!

Rewind to the 80s and 90s. The tenure of most employees in a company used to range between 25-30 years. It was of no surprise when an employee retired from the same workplace where he or she joined as a trainee. Now, can we imagine a similar scenario in today’s work era?

According to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey, 91 percent of millennials stay in a job for less than three years. This means that they will potentially have more than fifteen jobs over the course of their working life.

Long-term employment is now a story of the past. Organizations are also learning to adapt themselves to this shift by adopting strategies such as just-in-time recruiting.

2. Make way for the younger generation

Annual listings like Forbes 30 under 30 and Fortune 40 under 40 are becoming a fad. Why not?

The leadership landscape is undergoing a revolution. There are more young leaders who are redefining leadership. The average age of CEOs is decreasing drastically – from 60 to 30 years. More young leaders are on the forefront, making bolder decisions and are redefining the traits and appearances of a leader. In today’s age, a company cannot scale up without innovation. Young and dynamic CXOs with the right kind of molding are the perfect fit. Reporting to younger bosses could become a norm in the future.

Millennials’ expectations of speed are about agility. Youngsters with the right amount of spunk are looking for more in life than just a steady and plushy job that helps them climb the career ranks swiftly. Even when opting for a new job, young professionals consider company values as a key aspect. They understand how the company is giving back to society. It clearly shows millennials are motivated by much more than good money.

3. Look beyond the four walls!

A company such as Wordpress powers 28 percent of the internet, has more than 400 employees across 40 countries and yet no offices.

4. Hello BB8

Not surprisingly, flexibility has become a keyword across contemporary and legacy organizations. Companies of all sizes are offering flexibility with responsible freedom to all employees. Today’s leaders are in belief that employees can be highly productive even if they don’t work from home. Productivity is no longer an issue, even if employees work from home or a coffee shop.

According to a report by Oxford Academics, up to 47 percent of current jobs will be automated in the next 25 years. Roles such as manual testing that generated hundreds of thousands of jobs have become automated in the past decade. 30 percent of the workforce of major system Integrators used to be manual testers, but now they comprise a mere 10 percent of the overall workforce.

So, are we ready to co-exist with robots at the workplace?

5. Learning is the in-thing! Even Yoda agrees!

As the Jedi master said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

Learning has and will continue to be an integral part in our lives going forward. Individuals are already realizing the need to invest time and effort in upskilling, or else the feeling of irrelevance and redundancy is not too far away.

Companies like Coursera, Simplilearn, Udacity, and Pluralsight are already addressing the problem of learning among working professionals and organizations. It’s only a matter of time before learning will get further disrupted. Perhaps, we will soon have a learning company that is similar to the likes of Uber, Netflix, Airbnb, and Spotify which are disrupting their respective domains.

6. Creating businesses across domains

Why is Elon Musk one of the most successful entrepreneurs today? With 3 unicorn businesses across energy, space transport, and electric cars, he has successfully created and sustained businesses in domains where he had no prior rich experience.

We have been taught that domain knowledge is touted to be a key aspect for a business to grow or for an entrepreneur to be successful. But not anymore! The art of business today truly lies in identifying the right domains that have great potential to flourish and benefit.

The future for entrepreneurs is not going to be about being married to one specific domain anymore. It's going to be about how they will nurture business ideas in newer domains and build successful business models from there on.

7. Sprint and get set for the next challenge!

It’s no longer about working for 40 hours in a week and switching to the next challenging assignment. Organizations are now allowing their teams to complete their projects and then take micro-breaks before they move on to the next one. This is very common amongst tech workers today. They even work remotely, take sprint breaks and come back super charged for the next project.

8. Where are the employees?

Employment in the gig economy is growing on par with traditional and full-time employment. With more on-demand work up for grabs, there is a growing community of digital nomads who choose to work in unconventional work environments.  According to Freelancing in America: 2016, 35 percent of the workforce in the U.S. are freelancers.

From freelance project managers to well-qualified Uber drivers turning into software developers at night, the future of work is no longer about being bound within the boundaries of a corporate set-up.

9. Talent engagement

Your employees are the most important stakeholders, treat them like your customers. Keep it genuine and personalize.

This is a trend that’s probably here to stay, despite a lot of transformations. Engagement plays a critical role in retaining employees. Disengaged employees are more likely to switch jobs when the job market is booming. Millennials seek beyond good salary packages and want to be wooed, engaged and retained. An effective strategy for employee engagement will eventually benefit the business’ bottom line.  For a company that’s aggressively chasing profits, it’s important to make the journey memorable for your employees. Positive results are bound to follow.

We are all living in an age of constant transformation. Thanks to buzzwords like “automation” and “artificial intelligence”, it isn’t the right time to sit back and wait for events to unfold. It is best to be prepared and to adapt to the way the future workplaces will be designed.

This article was first published on People Matters.

About the Author

Krishna Kumar founded Simplilearn.com in 2010. In the following years, he has built the company into one of the largest players in delivering certification training for working professionals. A thought leader in the edu-tech sector, Krishna believes in balancing technology with human interaction to deliver a world-class learning experience.


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