The Future of Work

I’m a strong believer in the fact that what we see as ‘normal’ work patterns will evolve significantly over the next decade or so. Not only the tasks themselves but also the way in which we carry such work out cannot fail to be influenced by the advancement of technology.

Of course, that’s not to say that there will necessarily be widespread change overnight across all sectors. As William Gibson would say, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed”. It’s unsuprising therefore that many of the businesses that are adopting the most innovative practices are often found within the tech sector.

The adoption of Holacracy by Zappo and Medium amongst others (“no job titles, no managers, no hierarcy”) is fascinating and I think author Daniel Pink pretty much hit the nail on the head when he describes a new world where “talented people need organisations less than organisations need talented people”.

I came across an interesting tweet tonight which summed up a few thoughts about the future of work. The list was as follows:-

  • no resumes
  • no annual reviews
  • crowdsourced services
  • gamification
  • 100% mobile
  • salary transparency
  • telecommuters

I agree with all of these, with a caveat around the point on gamification. That term has so much baggage around it that I’m taking a guess that it’s meant to refer to some kind of reward mechanism within the workplace in return for productive service.

Change in working patterns is inevitable as connectivity, technology and the job-hopping inclinations of a new generation of digital natives holding differing values and expectations about their working lives come to the fore. But the real question as ever is what should you be doing in advance to prepare.