The future of work is no longer a vision from the novels of Philip K Dick. The future of work is already here and impacting on businesses, communities and individuals.
Changing social values and business needs have combined with the new digital economy and technology evolution to create a new kind of worker. This new worker is agile, mobile, creative, demanding and unwilling to accept outdated ways of working.
And businesses need to embrace these changes in order not just to survive, but to thrive and grow. There is ample research that shows that engaging with these new workers leads to improvements in performance, staff attraction and retention, reduced costs and competitive advantage.
The future of work is not what it was.
In the past, everyone worked in set places at set times, in highly controlled and closely managed environments. They also undertook repetitive, unimaginative tasks, the success of which were measured in hours spent rather than quality or output.
But this is not what the future looks like. We want to work for who we want, when, where and how we want. We need jobs that require creative input, with limited oversight, where we are measured on output.
Some started on this journey nearly two decades ago (organisations like BT and the AA have long used flexible working to improve performance and reduce costs). Others have only recently embarked or have yet to see the need to change.
However, momentum is growing. Locally, Go Green host a range of events talking about many of these issues, including transport, energy, resource efficiency and agile working. There is a new Workstation hub in Clevedon, just off the M5 and Desk Lodge is in the old Bristol Post building. Nationally, organisations like B Corporation and Forum for the Future are working in communities to develop local business engagement. Problems like congestion and public transport are hot topics for local authorities and think tanks alike.
The future is already here
Sustainability has become a real imperative and the ideas behind changing the way we work feeds directly into these environmental issues. Resource and waste management, reducing traffic congestion, improving building efficiency and increasing levels of re-use and recycling go hand-in-hand with the new ways of working.
So this change is good for us, good for business and good for the planet. The future will not be the same as the past and it is not waiting round the corner…the future is already here.
For more information:
Staples Workplace Index Slideshow Summary: Staples Workplace Index 2016 Slideshow
Staples Workplace Index Full Report: Staples Workplace Index 2016