The Evolution of Work: 9 Trends That Matter
The traditional workplace has undergone a radical transformation in recent years.
Expectations of employees and employers have both changed dramatically, due to the impact of technology on the way we work.
From the traditional 9-5 job to remote work arrangements, the way we earn a living is changing.
What did work used to be?
Work used to be a physical space that employees went to every day to complete tasks assigned by their employer.
While this arrangement was based on the need for workers to be physically present in order to do their jobs, if we’ve learned anything over the past few years it’s that this arrangement is no longer preferable or sustainable.
9 new realities in the future of work
Although the traditional workplace structure served its purpose over the years, technology has made it possible for people to work from anywhere. That, coupled with the collective shift in employee mindset, has driven the evolution of work.
Top-Down Structure vs. Lateral Structure
Historically, the workplace has been characterized by a top-down structure, where decisions were made by those in positions of power and then handed down to employees.
However, with the ability to communicate and collaborate online, employees are now able to work together to come up with creative solutions to problems. This shift has led to the rise of a more lateral structure, where decisions are made by groups of people working together.
Strict Working Hours vs. Flexible Work Schedules
With a shift towards a more “results-based” management style rather than “time-based”, employees can now enjoy more flexible work schedules and choose when and where they work.
“Need-to-Know” Information vs. Transparency
When it comes to the sharing of information within a company, employees historically only had access to the information that was dubbed “necessary” in order to do their job.
While this arrangement was meant to keep people from getting overwhelmed or from sharing sensitive information, it often leaves companies feeling siloed and disjointed.
Now, many companies have learned that offering more transparency in the workplace makes for increased employee engagement and builds trust among the ranks, leading to everyone feeling more seen and heard.
Location-Specific Tech vs. Cloud-Based Tech
The use of location-specific technology, such as desktop computers and landline phones has historically kept employees tethered to a specific location.
However, the rise of cloud-based technology has made it possible for people to access work-related information from anywhere in the world meaning employees are no longer tied to their cubicles.
Email Communication vs. Convenient Communication
Until fairly recently, the use of email was the primary form of communication between employees and employers.
However, the growing prevalence of tools like Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangouts has made it possible for people to communicate in a more convenient way without being completely reliant on their inboxes.
Climbing the Ladder vs. Creating the Ladder
Employment trends like The Great Resignation have made it possible for people to create their own opportunities.
With the booming job market and the ability to start and grow their own businesses, employees are no longer tied to a specific company or career path.
This shift has put pressure on companies to offer more flexible opportunities for employees to pave their own paths to success and grow based on their strengths rather than sticking to a defined linear path to career advancement.
Disjointed internal structure vs. Interdepartmental engagement & collaboration
The workplace structure of employees working in silos, with little to no interaction with other departments is quickly coming to an end.
With the ability to connect with co-workers and clients through instant messaging and video conferencing, employees are no longer sheltered within their own department, leading to more interdepartmental collaboration.
100% on-site work vs. Remote Work
It appears that remote work is here to stay…
And though certain employers like Elon Musk are resisting this transition by threatening layoffs for anyone who doesn’t return to the office full-time, most employers are keeping up with the times and allowing their employees to continue working a remote or hybrid schedule.
Homogeneity & Exclusivity vs. Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity
In recent years, there has been a shift toward diversity in the workplace and away from the idea of employees fitting a specific mold, keeping people from being themselves at work.
The rise of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives has made it possible for people to feel comfortable being themselves at work and has led to the rise of more diverse and inclusive workplaces.
What will the future of work be?
The traditional workplace has undergone a radical transformation in recent years. The expectations of employees and employers have changed dramatically, thanks to the impact of technology on the way we work.
What was once the norm is now being challenged by a new generation of workers who are demanding more from their employers.
Since the traditional workplace is no longer adequate for the needs of today’s employees, companies must be willing to evolve and meet the changing demands of the workforce in order to stay competitive.
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