Today it’s a challenge to manage the fast pace of the workplace. Technology and changing demographics create the rapid need for change, and businesses and employees are scrambling to keep up. But even more changes are on the horizon as we transition into the agile workplace of the future.
What does this future world of work look like and what skills will be required to survive and thrive in this work environment?
Alison Maitland, coauthor of the updated book, Future Work: Changing Organizational Culture for the New World of Work, recently joined me on GPS Your Career radio to discuss the upcoming changes in the workplace and how both leaders and employees will need to adapt.
According to Maitland,
The work place itself will be much more varied. It could be that we work in a mix of office some of the time, home some of the time, other locations, cafes, smart work hubs, libraries, trains, etc. A lot of people are already working in that way, so I think that’s just going to increase, and we’ll see more of these sort of smart work hubs, like little satellite offices that have all the technology infrastructure – where people can work, but they’re not necessarily working with colleagues from their own organization. They’re working with people from other organizations who may be strangers, but it can lead to fantastic, serendipitous exchanges as well – and innovation.
Offices themselves will continue to exist as locations where people meet. But they will increasingly be meeting places, rather than places where concentrated work is done.
How will these changes affect employees?
Maitland and her coauthor Peter Thomson believe that the positive impact on employees will be being better able to manage their lives — both personal and professional. That should lead to greater well-being and less stress. They also address the fact that the importance of your location will decrease. Employees will be able to decide the where and how and when they work. This will be very helpful to women who have so much to juggle in their lives.
Maitland and Thomson also foresee that people will be managed more by results than in the present work environment.
Managing by performance and results brings new challenges for employees. They will need to build relationships virtually in order to further their careers. Those employees who are better at the “virtual water cooler” behavior and who make it a point to dedicate time to nurturing relationships in the absence of face to face encounters will do well.
What are some of the other challenges for employees?