Modern Workplace Sep 7, 2020

What the future of work means for businesses now.

The future of work, as the name implies, is still some way away. Tomorrow’s success, however, has its roots in the here and now. That’s why managers urgently need to get a handle on transformative change before it’s too late …

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Thino Ullmann
Expert Sales

This is no small undertaking. After all, the kind of far-reaching transformation that businesses are facing affects every single aspect of their strategy. That’s why it’s helpful to break everything down into manageable chunks that you can tackle one at a time and eventually click into a consistent strategy.

When we talk about the future of work, there’s no avoiding the three megatrends.

The workplace of the future – Three megatrends.

What will work look like in the future? The following three trends will see the classic 9-5 desk job consigned to history.

Trend 1: Digitalisation.

It should come as no surprise that the workplace of the future will be digital. Despite that, a report carried out by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in 2018 showed that fewer than half of businesses considered digitalisation important or very important.

Yet executives, in particular, should keep a vigilant eye on what’s happening in digitalisation, as the their employees’ job will change dramatically in the coming years. Artificial intelligence will automate routine tasks, which will see two skills gaining importance—data analytics, which is seen as the transition from IT to strategic tasks; and soft skills such as the ability to work in a team.

Decision makers need to be in a position to recognise and support the changes the workforce undergoes as soon as possible and I’ll share my ideas on how to do that in my next blog.

Trend 2: Globalisation.

Up until now, globalisation has predominantly affected the product chain, but in the future, it will extend to who works on your projects, how and where.

Employees are no longer tethered to a desk thanks to digital collaboration tools and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to work in places that were previously out of the question. They don’t even have to be a fixed part of a team with external experts increasingly being integrated to work on specific projects.

Leaders therefore need to develop a feel for how to organise a team that is constantly changing.

Trend 3: Demographic change.

Even though the retirement age is increasing to 70 in some cases, finding specialist staff is tough and this trend will continue into the future. Generations Y and Z—highly specialised freelancers and flexible talents—are pretty much able to choose who they work for. This generation change is also changing the expectations of the perfect workplace: Flexibility, work-life balance and chemistry within the team are fast outgrowing a high salary in importance.

C-level managers should therefore think about whether the contracts they are offering new hires are perhaps out of pace with the times.

How to approach the future of work.

In my next blog, I’ll share some of my thoughts on what you should do now to equip yourself for the future. Maybe you have your own thoughts. I look forward to hearing your ideas!