The world of work is changing

As part of our mission to support talented individuals increase their exposure to increase the chance of finding their next career move, we work together with our candidates to write original content that will add value to their peers. This week we spoke with a Senior level HR professional who has been instrumental in decreasing employee turnover by 60%, increased engagement and has developed and lead a global talent strategy.

We asked them if they’d like to write a guest blog about something they are passionate about; they chose the changing world of work.

The world of work is changing. Across the world 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day since 2016. In addition we are experiencing a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. 

It is our actions today that will determine whether these changes will create new opportunities for our businesses. 

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country across the globe. The breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. 

What is the impact of this revolution and how is it affecting businesses? 

50% of growing businesses in the UK are planning to recruit more staff over the next 2 years

20% admit to having a problem with high workforce turnover

72% of UK employers have admitted to being affected recently by talent loss and talent shortage

69% of jobseekers are using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to gain insights into company culture

The average length of service with even the top global employers is shorter than you might imagine: Facebook 2.02 years, Apple 1.85 years, Amazon 1.84 years, Uber 1.23 years.

What does this mean for those still inhabiting the world of work? We now have 4-5 generations in the workplace. That means 4-5 different perspectives in the workplace from baby boomers who were born 1943-1963 and saw the technological revolution take hold through to Generation Z born in 1996 and were born digital natives.

According to a research study done by the World Economic Forum, there are few demographic and socio-economic factors that will influence the future of work. The research has been done on 1000 executives from different industries and different countries. 

When asked to what extent do you feel these are going to impact the future of work:

44% stated the Changing work environments and flexible working arrangements was a top trend. 

New technologies are enabling workplace innovations such as remote working, teleconferencing, virtual teams, freelancing, co-working spaces, online talent platforms will continue to shape the way we work. Organizations are likely to have an even smaller pool of core full-time employees for fixed functions, backed up by colleagues in other countries and external consultants and contractors for specific projects. 

23% stated the rise of the middle class in emerging markets would be an impacting factor.

The world’s economic centre of gravity is shifting towards the emerging world. By 2030, Asia is projected to account for 66% of the global middle-class and for 59% of middle-class consumption. Did you know that the population of Chinese millennials is greater than the entire population of the USA?

16% claimed new consumer concerns about ethical and privacy issues would also impact the future of work.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about a range of issues related to their purchasing decision: carbon footprint; impact on the environment; labour standards; ethical trading. 

13% claimed young demographics in emerging markets would make an impact.

Developing world experiencing rapid population growth; young population move up the skills ladder and improve access to higher education will lead to a dramatic rise in the number of college-educated and shift in the global distribution of talent. 

12% felt Women’s rising aspirations and economic power would have an effect on the world of work.

Women have made significant gains in labour force participation and educational attainment, resulting in an increasingly important role in the economy as both consumers and employees. As a market, women will account for more than 2 thirds of global disposable income over the next decade. 

8% said Rapid urbanization would also impact where and how we work. 

The world’s urban population is set to double between 2010 and 2050, from 2.6 billion to 5.2 billion. 

34% saw the continued adoption of Mobile internet and cloud technology making an impact

The mobile internet enables more efficient delivery of services and opportunities to increase workforce productivity. 

26% were clear that advances in computing power and BIG DATA would change the future of work

Realizing the full potential of technological advances will require having in place the systems and capabilities to make sense of unprecedented flood of data these innovations will generate. 

6% felt advanced manufacturing would have an impact on the way we work

A range of technological advances in manufacturing technology promises a new wave of productivity. 

14% The internet of things – (7% artificial intelligence and machine learning)

Advances in AI, machine learning and natural user interfaces (voice recognition) are making possible to automate worker tasks (that have been regarded as impossible or impracticable for machines to perform). 

Disruptive changes to industry sectors are already reconfiguring business models and skill sets and will do so at an accelerated pace in the next five years. Updated labour market regulations are emerging to complement these changes, and new organizational models.

While these changes hold great promise for future prosperity and job creation, many of them also pose major challenges requiring proactive adaptation by businesses, governments, society and individuals. 

Together, technological, socio-economic, demographic developments and the interactions between them will generate new categories of jobs and occupations while partly or wholly displacing the existing ones. 

They will change the skills set required in both old and new occupations in most industries and transform how and where people work, leading to new management and regulatory challenges. 

Countries will soon suffer from talent shortages. In 2020 the skilled workers shortages are significant. Yet these numbers will rapidly deteriorate to bigger deficits. The organizations set to experience the greatest squeeze on skilled labour. 

While Boomers currently make up a large proportion of the workforce, since the end of 2016 approximately 10,000 baby boomers retire every day globally. This means that the Millennial workforce now make up the largest group and are steadily taking over leadership and management roles. By 2020, Millennials and Gen Z will make up more of the population than Baby Boomers. 

Employers cannot ignore the needs, desires and attitudes of this vast generation. By 2030 studies show there will be more jobs than people, the war for talent isn’t going away. 

References:  WEF, CIPD, SHRM, Albion Growth report and Korn Ferry

Subscribe for more content