by Sharon Jones
It’s not something that you might have noticed, but the world of work has changed dramatically over the past decade, and especially over the past five years. And indeed, we’re not finished yet: there are going to be many more changes to come. It’s possible that the coming workforce revolution will be comparable to the dramatic changes that were experienced during the industrial revolution. But what are the ways in which the world of work is shifting? We take a look at a few ways below.
Working From Home
The internet has touched virtually every sphere of our lives, and nowhere has it had as big an influence than in the business world. Now, people can launch a company from the comfort of their own home, with relative ease. But perhaps the biggest change is where people with traditional jobs are working. Though some companies have been slow to adopt the practice, many businesses are allowing their workers to complete their tasks from home. Studies have shown that this boosts employee happiness, which in turn boosts employee productivity. There is one downside for the worker, though: in the old days, a snowstorm would mean a day off work. Now they have to complete the work!
Another big shift, the biggest since who knows when, may be just around the corner. Multiple studies over the past decade have shown that adopt a four day week rather than a five day week can have a host of benefits: productivity remains the same (or goes up), workers are happier, and the costs of running the business are lowered. This will, most likely, be the way the Western world goes in time, especially after a successful trial was held in New Zealand, but it might be a slow time coming.
More Flexible Employee Relationships
In the old days, a person got a job, and that was it - they had the job for life. That is not the case anymore. Companies are less inclined to keep a worker, even if they've been there for a long time; on the other side of the coin, workers usually feel it’s time for a change after a while, and try their hand at something else. Many companies are also using contingent workers, rather than hiring full-time workers, and need to incorporate contingent workforce management into their operations. All in all, the worker/employer relationship is more casual than it was in the past.
Integration of Automation
The rise of automation in the working world is going to have big effects; what kind of effects, we don’t really know yet. Though it is sometimes predicted that 40% of the workforce might lose their jobs to AI, it’s more likely that worker and AI will work side by side.
Greater Worker Freedom
The workforce in general is demanding more freedom with their work. They want to work on projects that interest them, in a space that they feel comfortable, and on their own terms - as this generation becomes the trendsetting generation, this type of working world will be more common.