What does the future of work look like? Today, digital disruption drives transformation across the entire global marketplace.
Today, we’ll look at some of the chief trends that drive organizational change.
In the coming years, these will continue to transform every aspect of the digital workplace.
Expect ongoing changes in:
- Our workflows
- The tools we use
- Workplace training
- Business models
And many more.
Below, we’ll look at a few of the top trends that will shape the future of work.
Digital Disruption and the Future of Work: Top 5 Trends
Today’s most prominent trends – such as automation and digital skills training – will continue to gain steam in the years to come.
In a few years’ time, we should expect workplaces that are more automated, more digital, and more experience-centric.
Let’s examine some of these trends in detail.
The automation revolution has already arrived, with the introduction of AI, RPA, IA, and more.
There is a great deal of hype around automation – both positive and negative.
While many are optimistic about possible returns, others predict widespread job displacement.
Some predict widespread, disastrous automation…
- One widely-cited study predicts as many as 47% of jobs could be eliminated in coming years
- Another claims that 25% of low-skilled American workers could be at risk, but that geography will play a role in unemployment
- Other reports are more modest, claiming net losses of under 20%
Although automation will certainly have a negative impact on certain roles, some deride the doomsaying.
One tech analyst firm suggests that much of this attention-seeking is just that – an attempt to grab headlines. Instead of sensationalism, we should focus on “the type of jobs we need to create, not the ones we could protect.”
As we’ll see below, this mindset is one being adopted by today’s most adaptable, successful companies.
Artificial intelligence already fuels many of today’s most advanced technologies:
- Search engines and recommendation engines
- Image and voice recognition
- Natural language processing
- Data analysis
These applications of AI are already in use by today’s major tech companies, such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
AI is also being used by cutting-edge products to enhance their end product.
Digital adoption platforms, for instance, use AI to understand users’ behavior, gain insight into their needs, and offer better contextualized learning in the process.
The end result is a better user experience, decreased learning curve, and increased ROI.
In the coming years, expect to see AI applications expand into more industries, from finance to ecommerce.
According to IDG’s 2018 State of Digital Business Transformation, 89% of organizations have or have plans to adopt a digital-first strategy.
Digital transformation does have its challenges. Budgets, lack of key skills, and cultural issues make the list.
However, enthusiasm for digitalization is clear.
Respondents to the survey said that a digital-first approach entails:
- Enabling worker productivity through tools such as mobile, data access, and AI-assisted processes
- Analyzing, understanding, and meeting customer expectations
- Providing anywhere/anytime access to assets
- Digitally modifying businesses and/or processes
These initiatives that are driving today’s digital-first businesses will define the future of work tomorrow.
Clearly, we can expect workplaces driven by technology.
Another hallmark of successful digital businesses is innovation.
A survey by Altimeter found that nearly half of its respondents were “building a culture of innovation, with in-house innovation teams becoming the norm.”
4. Digital Skills Development
The continued advancement of technology is driving up the demand for digital skills.
Today, there are many terms being used to describe this trend:
- Career Development
- Workplace Training
Career development will accelerate for several reasons.
On the one hand, automation is decreasing the need for low-skilled jobs.
On the other, workers themselves demand the training. Employees prefer jobs that are engaging, and they would rather work at jobs that assist with ongoing employee training and career development.
Also, companies themselves recognize the ROI of education.
Trained workers are more productive, loyal, and engaged.
5. Experience-Centered Business Practices
As mentioned by the IDC report, among many others, the customer experience has become paramount.
Today’s users have more options than ever. Bad experiences can drive customers away.
However, there are more experiences to pay attention to:
- The customer experience
- The user experience
- The employee experience
These may seem different at first glance.
Under the surface, though, they are describing the experience of a user. That is, a person who uses a product or service.
In the context of a business, employees can also be considered users, or even customers.
For this reason, many companies are starting to realize the ROI of creating great workplaces.
Digital technology drives innovation, disruption, and transformation.
Organizational change is certainly inevitable in any economy.
Today, though, changes are coming faster than ever.
To stay agile and relevant, companies need to embrace change, innovation, and digital strategy.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.