The concept of work has changed significantly over the past few years, and this looks as though it’s going to pick up the pace. This has been driven by a variety of key trends that have been affecting many industries over the past few years.
Despite this, there have been a variety of trends that have been much more prevalent than others. While some have only been a factor for a short period, others look to affect companies much more in the coming years.
This has meant that the future of work may be somewhat uncertain for many business owners, and even some workers. However, there are a few notable trends that look as though they’ll have an increasing impact on work in 2020 and beyond.
Top Trends Affecting The Future Of Work
Learning, Unlearning, & Relearning
With how fast the workplace has continued to change in recent years, businesses and their employees need to adapt to meet these changes. While this has been seen in a variety of ways, it’s meant that quite a large number of people have had to unlearn skills that may no longer be used.
Alongside this, a significant number of workers will have to learn new skills to keep up with the ever-changing market. While this has traditionally been something that many industries have had to face, it’s become increasingly more common.
A significant amount of this is focused on various innovations across a wealth of industries. As such, more experienced workers may have to re-skill or up-skill much more than they may have had to in the past.
Driving The Employee Experience
People remember experiences and look to have high-quality ones as much as possible. This is something that the majority of businesses have known, as they’ve often focused on the customer journey and user experience. While this is still something to focus on, many firms may have to place much emphasis on their employees.
Firms will have to place an increasing amount of time and effort into the experience that an employee has at work, with this being seen in many ways. Alongside this, they’ll need to do so across a worker’s lifetime with the business, from initial candidacy to retirement.
A lot of this may be focused on culture, although a significant amount will be driven by creating strategies that allow employees to do meaningful work.
Mobility & Globalization
Mobility has always been a factor for many firms, although this has become increasingly more prominent in recent years. Coupled with this has been the rise of globalization. In recent years, where an employee is physically located has become less and less important. There have been a variety of tools and technologies released that have allowed people to work from anywhere.
This has proven to be quite beneficial for both employees and companies, which is what’s driven much of its prominence. Because of this, mobility and globalization have become much more common among many firms, with this showing no signs of changing anytime soon.
Evolution Of Leadership
Because of the various changes in and around the workplace in recent years, how businesses operate has needed to change, too. This is seen especially with leadership, which has begun going through somewhat of an evolution over the past few years. With more changes expected on the horizon, this looks to continue.
For example, age-based seniority is decreasing extensively, with there being a large shift in generational shift with workplace majorities in many companies. Alongside this, many firms have changed their managerial structures for a variety of reasons, with a lot of this being focused on making a company more agile, among other things.
Better, Simpler HR
Human resources has typically been a task-heavy area, with HR professionals needing to spend a significant amount of time in various areas. This has often made it quite a cumbersome and time-consuming process, which many firms have wanted to change. The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), among other technologies, has meant that the niche has changed significantly.
This has allowed HR to become much more streamlined, with this looking to continue in the coming years. As various technologies are refined and released, HR should become much simpler and less time-consuming while being much more accurate.
Creativity, Communication, & Collaboration
Because of the large number of changes that are being made in the workplace, companies have naturally needed to adapt. This has been seen in various ways, although one common area has been changing the culture within an office. Much of this is seen in creating a communicative and collaborative firm where creativity thrives.
While collaboration has typically been seen through inter-departmental work between teams, it’s becoming increasingly focused on business leaders and various HR heads. As such, this collaboration and communication look to become much more common in the years ahead, especially as remote work becomes more attractive.
From Wellness To Happiness
Employee wellness has been a notable trend for a significant amount of time. However, this has been slowly morphing into worker happiness over the past few years. This is a trend that looks to become increasingly common, as more employees expect companies to focus on wellness and happiness in the office.
Much of this can be seen with younger generations, who not only expect it but demand it. However, this doesn’t mean that it will be a negative for companies, as they may be able to save money long-term with these initiatives through decreased employee attrition and much more.
An Increase In “Superjobs”
The lines between certain positions and roles within a company have become increasingly blurred, as many employees now have cross-departmental skills. This looks to continue, which may lead to a rise in “superjobs,” where employees are expected to fulfill various obligations that they may not have done before.
A significant amount of this has been combined with an increase in learning and upskilling across a wide range of companies. Because of this, more employees are capable of performing various tasks and responsibilities that may not have previously been in their job descriptions.
This looks to become increasingly more common in the coming years, with a variety of these “superjobs” expected to be created.
Large Amounts Of Data
Data has become an increasingly prominent part of many firms, with this now extending to almost all areas of a person’s life. This has had quite a broad range of implications for a considerable number of companies, although this trend is still just beginning.
As such, a significant amount of businesses may see themselves accessing increasingly larger pools of information. While much of this may be focused on consumers, it’s becoming quite prominent within the workplace itself.
A significant amount of this is focused on ensuring that managers and business leaders can make better decisions about various operational tasks.
Increase In Diversity
Diversity has been a buzzword for a significant amount of time over the past few years. This has naturally led to much more inclusivity in the workplace, as well as in a variety of other areas. This approach has led to quite a significant number of benefits for the majority of firms, which has led to continued success with it.
However, this has gone further than just speaking about diversity. In contrast, more actionable and meaningful initiatives have proven to be quite popular while also seeing a significant number of short- and long-term rewards.
Future Of Work Statistics Every Entrepreneur Should Know
With the trends set to affect the future of work, the majority of business owners will want to be as prepared as possible for them. While knowing what these trends are is one thing, knowing how they can affect a business is also mandatory.
Alongside this, many entrepreneurs may be able to gain an insight into upcoming trends by analyzing a variety of statistics. There are quite a large number of them that the majority of business leaders and owners will need to know, such as:
- The workforce in the United States is expected to reach 163.8 million by 2024.
- Approximately 65% of children entering primary school will go on to have a job that doesn’t currently exist.
- There will be roughly 1.4 million available computing jobs available by 2020, although there’s only an expected 400,000 graduates with the skills to meet them.
- The demand for cognitive skills such as creativity and critical decision making will continue to grow across the world, with an expected 19% increase in the United States by 2030.
- Companies that focus on ensuring a high-quality employee experience regularly outperform the S&P 500 by as much as 122%.
- Artificial Intelligence is expected to double economic growth by 2035.
- The number of people using co-working spaces is expected to grow by up to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022.
- Independent workers generated $1.28 trillion in economic activity in 2018 alone.
- The average income for full-time independent workers is $65,300 per year.
- The primary reason that people choose to be independent contractors is to be their own boss, with 77% saying that this was a large factor in their decision.
Preparation is essential for every company to succeed, regardless of the industry that they’re in. This should mean that the majority of entrepreneurs will need to know as much about potential trends as possible.
Each of the above looks to have a significant impact on a variety of areas. As such, preparing for them will be vital. While they may be tackled, used, or overcome in different ways, knowing what they are and how to do so may be one of the more important factors for entrepreneurs to look at.
Thanks for reading "The Future of Work – Redefining Work, Workforces, and Workplaces in 2020", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.