Insight into the Future of Work Trends

01 September 2021

The rapid change in work trends go well beyond the question of ‘2 days in and 3 days out, or 3 days in and 2 days out?’. Trends that were emerging before Covid have gained momentum as the pandemic accelerated the integration of new technologies and communication tools into our work processes. The IoIC released their Future of Work Trends Report, and the impact technology and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have on our organisations and infrastructure is deep and far-reaching.

The IoIC oracle had plenty to share, so we summarised our three favourite professional premonitions for you.

  1. Technology: Learning to be human

The exponential leaps forward in AI, biotechnology, nanotechnology, energy storage and everything else you can think of is propelling us into tomorrow with unprecedented speed. Technology is increasingly capable and taking over repetitive jobs and tasks. By 2025 54% of workers globally will have to significantly re-skill or up-skill in “human” skills that can’t be automated. Jobs will be amalgamated, where programmable tasks from different roles will be taken over by machines, and the ‘human’ elements of different jobs will be amalgamated into ‘hybrid’ roles.

We are also seeing a new generation enter the workforce, a generation with a new way of communicating founded in their “native digital fluency”. A strong internal communications strategy is vital to unite and connect this new generational mix and to navigate the constant change of technology and communication tools.

  1. A mercenary world

There has been a rapid increase in the ‘Alternative Workforce’ as coined by Deloitte in 2019. This Alternative Workforce consists of contractors, freelancers and gig workers. This phenomenon goes hand-in-hand with the increased difficulty companies are having accessing and retaining the required talent. Worldwide, 67% of companies with 250+ employees are struggling to fill open positions. So companies are regularly outsourcing work to the Alternative Workforce to supplement their teams.

Maintaining an organisational identity and effective, agile teams in this landscape is difficult but crucial. Internal communications now must work doubly hard to ensure the continued flow of two-way information, as well as bring together disparate teams and identities for a common purpose. 

  1. Chameleon Companies “Successful companies of the future will be shape-shifters, continuously morphing and adapting to meet new market needs, as they arise.” IoIC Report

“Agile” is the corporate buzzword of these roaring 20s, and to be honest it’s apt. We don’t need to rehash how volatile the world is right now, but it’s true that a new flexibility is required for a business to survive. A culture of immediacy in tandem with the growing Alternative Workforce means organisations need to be able to motivate teams on short term projects and swivel to new projects as they arise.

The technological infrastructure – from communication platforms to information hubs – must be in place to support this swift moving, project-based environment. 

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