If I were to re-write a dictionary, I would include a section called “Buzzwords,” words that are overused in the professional working world and just in life in general. Some of those words would be networking, innovation, synergy, dynamics, millennials and all those other words that we kind of role our eyes at now. But for the purpose of this blog post I am going to be talking about my most recent buzzword “Future of Work” I guess it’s more of a phrase, but regardless it’s buzzing.
Recently, I’ve noticed a massive blast in content talking about this impending doom of the future of work. In all my classes profs are always talking about the importance of being aware of how the workplace is changing so that we can be adaptable. Yes, this information is valuable to have but after hearing it 5 million times a day (I’m over exaggerating) it loses its impact. Regardless it is still important. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be this much interest. The interest is valid, jobs are part of the economic cycle of things, and right now both jobs and the economic cycle is rapidly changing. With millennials, yes I used a buzz word, becoming the primary working force, things are bound to change anyway.
Here are 12 ways jobs changing around us
- Transparency of the job market – we change jobs often; millennials statically change jobs every two years.
- Work is now happening on a contingent basis for companies like Uber, Lyft which makes contingent work easier than ever.
- Technology and automation are growing and adapting to work faster than ever, concepts like artificial intelligence, sensors, drones and other robots are reaching the mainstream market
- Organizational structure is changing the nature of work. With the flattening of the hierarchy, increasing job dynamism and increase in interest on contingent and contract labor – our work worlds are changing
- Shift work is an up-and-coming idea that is simple like the “mainstream use” but in a bigger picture sort of way. The idea of shift hiring is replacing the notion of “job” with a title, position, and description. Shift hiring is hiring people to do work, get the project done, and move on when it is complete or when the business needs to change.
- Work is more dynamic, disruptive and overwhelming than ever. This is all thanks to the inability to 100% disconnect – relentless onslaught of messages and technologies that fill every aspect of our life and an ever-increasing number of ways that people can reach us.
- Piggybacking on #6 the barriers between work and life are very blurred and ambiguous, we are addicted to the noise from technology and social media and can never really escape it without having a fear of Missing Out
- Augmented intelligence is taking over mundane tasks – so jobs that once did these are changing too.
- Organizations are redesigning themselves; the industrial organizations were focused on a means of production and hired to fill jobs based on skills, and abilities. The key goal with this format was highly efficient, repetitive tasks with an end goal of economic gain.
- This industrial model is now being questioned. People are discovering that the answer to productivity is to empower people in small teams, link these teams together. An organizational culture built around teamwork keeps people aligned and lets people exercise innovative and creative ideas and deliver them.
- There is a hollowing out of middle management
- With the reconstructing of organizations, as individuals, our position and job title is no longer the most important thing. What matters now is your knowledge, skills and professional reputation. To maintain a competitor in the work world competition, this means that we must all continuously learn new skills, market ourselves and get comfortable taking new jobs that don’t always show a promotional opportunity
The big question with a lot of this technological advancement is “Are jobs going away.” Not that this holds much weight, but in my opinion, they are not. They are just changing, and it is up to us to be adaptable and redesign our approach.
3 Ways The Change Is Good
- Organizations are using technology to change jobs in most cases this is via making jobs better, reducing cost and adding more value.
- A more dynamic career model – an increase in focus on talent mobility, and self-directed learning make jobs more personal and adds a creative element
- Personal Reinvention – a new skill in the future of work is the ability to let go of who you are in one job and recreate yourself as your jobs change, making each and everyone personal to you but not your person.
So yes, change is happening. The future of work is not so in the future anymore. Maybe soon we will be able to stop using the phrase as a way to discuss our fears, but more of a way to show how well we adapted and the room for improvement. To end this post I just want to share that in not only are jobs changing, and workplace dynamics/ hierarchies, but also the workplace layouts itself. Co-working locations are very popular and will continue to become more popular. Could all of this be because of the strongest working generation being millennials combined with the increasing role of technology in our lives? This is something to think about.
By: Emma Edwards