The future of work

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The future of work

Is this the end of work as we know it today? A thought-provoking new white paper, ‘The Future of Work’, suggests it might be. Commissioned by Esselte Corporation to mark its 100-year anniversary, the paper looks at the current and future world of work and highlights key changes that employees and companies alike must adopt in the years to come.

Authors Richard Watson and Andrew Crosthwaite of Futures House Europe examine some of the key factors driving changes in the way we work and our management cultures and why these effects are accelerating:

‘As a result of the internet, new technologies, the huge increase in mobile or home working, part-time jobs and today’s ‘always on’, 24/7 culture, we found that most people now spend more time working than sleeping. In fact by 2015 around 40% of the total workforce will be mobile. The reason for this is that work is no longer where the office is but for mobile workers it is wherever they are - be that their car, home, coffee shop, the airport, customer site or even on holiday. This is just one area our report identifies as having a massive impact on the way we work.’ - Richard Watson

Insights from 'The Future of Work':

  • Tech-savvy works: Millennials and Gen Y master technology much better than previous generations.
  • The generational gap: Millennials think Senior Management does not relate to them with their autocratic commands and control structures
  • Gender equality: More women in the workforce, especially at senior levels, potentially mean a huge economic impact. Eliminating the gap between male and female employment would boost GDP by 9% in US, 13% in the eurozone and 16% in Japan (Goldman Sachs).
  • On-the-go offices: By 2015, new technologies will enable 1.3 billion people, or 40%, of the total workforce, to work mobilly or remotely.
  • Information security: Bring your own device (BYOD) and remote offices will create huge security and data storage/retrieval challenges.
  • Lack of qualified workers: Talent scarcities worldwide will lead to a need for 25 million workers in the USA and 45 million Western Europe in order to sustain economic growth.

What does this mean? ‘The Future of Work’ concludes that the traditional office is dying and will only remain intact in places where security concerns or face-to-face presence is paramount. Mobile working will become the norm as the traditional office transforms into a chameleon hub or meeting place.