THE FIVE TRENDS FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK

This week, in my workshop for HR Leaders, I asked them what factors will influence the future of the work. Here are the top five.

  1. Working with a more diverse population: According to Census.gov, the American people are projected to become more racially and ethnically diverse over the next decade, which means that it will be less homogeneous in the workplace. This will be particularly true in the larger urban cores around the country. Diversity is not only about race and ethnicity but also about sexuality, religion, ability, and age. There is a greater demand to recognize and value an employee’s authentic self, even if they differ from our point of view.  The tension between treating coworkers as unique individuals and working together as a team to reach company objectives will intensify over the next decade.
  • Technological Advances: The speed of technology advances continues to push organizations into new territory before they are ready. Two interrelating forces in technological advancement, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation, will play an essential role in defining the future workplace. Companies have long embraced automation to reduce costs, speed up production, and create consistency. The advent of Artificial Intelligence will provide employees with the same opportunities to minimize time spent on tasks, create consistency across business units, and improve productivity. However, the road will be fraught with issues as we learn how to use this technology to help our businesses grow.
  • Remote and Hybrid: Covid pushed remote work to the forefront. It was faster than most companies were ready for, and we can’t put the genie back in the box. Remote and Hybrid work in many industries will not go away. When done well, hybrid work balances the needs of the employee with the needs of the employer. According to Gallup, many employees like the flexibility that hybrid work offers while at the same time helping them to connect to coworkers. For those who need more direction, going to an office place helps them get the support they need to be successful. For those who need less guidance, remote work helps them be more productive.
  • Focus on Mental Health: The other day, I was listening to Freakonomics Radio, and they were discussing the survey the NFLPA did with all the players. And one comment got me thinking: many NFL teams provide food to their players because what they eat matters. And it got me thinking about what if a business thought the same way and treated the employee holistically; how would this change our benefits and perks? We know there is a mental health crisis in the United States, with over twenty percent of adults experiencing some mental health symptoms. According to the Mental Health Alliance, depression and anxiety cost the global economy over $1 Trillion. Companies will need to take mental health conditions seriously and provide employees with the assistance they need to be productive members of our organization.
  • Preparing Future Leaders: Baby Boomers are retiring. Generation Xers are leaving the workforce as well. Who will fill those leadership roles? And more importantly, are they prepared to lead? In my work, I find that many supervisors and managers are not ready to take on additional responsibility and lead the company into the future. For organizations to be successful in the future, this is a high priority for your organization. Becoming a leader doesn’t happen overnight; having the experience and building the skills and understanding to lead people takes time.

What future trends do you think will impact work? Let me know in the comments.

John Thalheimer is an award-winning management consultant, organizational management thought leader, sought-out workshop facilitator, and author who has helped hundreds of businesses and thousands of professionals transform their potential into extraordinary performance. (Learn More)

Engage with John today at john@johnthalheimer.com

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