Workplaces are sacred. Not because that’s where you spend the majority of your day, but also it’s the source of your daily bread. Modern workplaces are becoming temples where ideas, perspectives, and insights meet to create electrifying results for employees and clients alike.
Technological advancement has reached an unseen height where workplaces and employment are no longer about the typical 9-5, linear path to promotion, but rather a path for extracting the greatest capabilities from employees as well as producing thought-provoking, functional, dynamic products/services. Let’s look at five modern trends that will shape the future of working and make way for satisfied, ambitious workers across the globe:
- Artificial Intelligence:
Human Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence will work together almost as equals to create a blended environment – one that has never been experienced. While AI is engaged in lesser but crucial tasks, workers can direct all their focus on resolving complex queries. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, played a recording of Google Assistant speaking with a human being. This type of artificial intelligence is capable of latching on to the nuances of conversation almost as a human being. It is nearly impossible to tell which individual one the phone is human and which is artificial.
- Data Analytics/Big Data:
Our online and offline lives are inextricably linked, via social media and professional platforms. Oftentimes, it’s hard to discern – to which ‘life’ we give more importance. The more we invest in our virtual lives, the more ammunition aka data we provide to those who seek to influence us at best and exploit us at worst. Big Data gives corporations more information on consumer behavior, habits, and their path to purchase. Have you ever noticed how a new advertisement follows you around? It’s likely because you showed interest in a similar area as you clicked on an article, or ‘googled’ a topic. This is the simplest form of information tracking. Cookies are often installed on your computer to monitor your online behavior 24/7. Cookie is a cute word, a euphemism for a virtual spy bug. This information on an individual can then be grouped in cohorts/clusters to draw correlations/trends on a group of individuals and their belief system, purchasing behavior, and political affiliations. At worst, this scenario can devolve into the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where millions of individuals’ information was exploited for political purposes. In short, the prevalence of big data analytics has altered our perception of privacy. We now have new social norms of privacy.
- Social Good:
Social Good is high on the value system of millennials. For companies that wish to cultivate a strong brand image among generation now and generation future, profit and contributions to society are equally important. Start-ups, small businesses, and local organizations are not exempt. Even if you cannot donate a six or seven figure paycheck to a charity, like Avon to Breast Cancer, you will be expected to incorporate some form of social good in your company. It can be as simple as allocating a web page to provide information on the importance of spending time in nature for employees that are constantly sitting in front of a laptop. This company can take it a step further to encourage a ‘technology cleanse’ every 6 days. More enterprise level businesses will provide more opportunities for charity and community building to employees, versus just writing a big check to a cause
There are two types of diversity. Diversity of thought, and diversity of race and cultures. Typically, you cannot have one without the other. Companies that want to establish themselves as forward thinking versus old-fashioned, must employ individuals from all backgrounds. We are starting to see companies such as AT&T create positions like ‘Diversity Chair’ to ensure diversity in the workplace.
Flexibility is one of the top desires for most employees. The days were constantly looking busy as a sign of importance is thankfully fading. In its stead, there is a budding respect for a balanced and efficient individual, who takes time for personal pursuits and self-care. A healthy work-life balance, flexible working hours, and the ability to take your work along with you as you travel or relax at home is what more employees are actively seeking everywhere. Offering short-term budgeted work through micro-consulting and freelancing as well as Virtual Workplaces will be the most sought-after means of employment for both workers and companies. Companies will rely on skilled Virtual Teams to get large amounts of work done efficiently and remotely. Thus, the future of working will be highly flexible for organizations as well as the workforce.