Workplace of Tomorrow

I believe the workplace of tomorrow will bear little resemblance of the workplace before the pandemic – there is no going back to the ‘good old days’

That’s not wishful thinking on my part: it’s a logical consequence of major demographic and social upheavals

And I don’t think we’re well placed to deal with either

The first reason is demographics, and we are seeing it all across the western world

In Australia, our working population is around 14 million people, and as many as 25% of those might retire in the next 10 years

In the United States, as many as 10,000 boomers reach retirement age every day!

And the ageing workforce situation in Europe is dire, particularly in the advanced economies.

You might be thinking that retirement is good because it creates opportunities for younger workers, and that’s true.

But there simply aren’t enough people to replace the boomers and the ones that do will have different skillsets

Remember, when boomers entered the workforce computerisation was at its infancy

Their skills developed alongside technology, which gave them incredible depth to their understanding

This can be good, but it can be bad, because familiarity makes us suspicious about new ways of working

So, with a changing of the guard, so to speak, there will be some conflict

Both might perceive each other a threat, instead of seeing it opportunity to augment their collective understanding

It’s really important that we find ways to respectfully learn from each other because both perspectives are valid

But don’t forget – not are the boomers our most experienced generation, they are also our wealthiest

When they joined the workforce, the boomers were promised a comfortable retirement in exchange for years of hard work and sacrifice.

Most leave the workforce financially comfortable, which means there no need for them to work

This changes the balance of power, and the incentives for them transfer knowledge

Whatever you do, please treat boomers with respect. You will need them!

As a Gen X, I have been an understudy to boomers all my career.

And certainly in the early part of that, I didn’t feel it was my place offer ideas and suggestion

Even if had felt empowered, there was no real way do to that because the corporate office is designed to reinforce power structures

The office culture promotes visibility, being seen to be doing, rather than doing

And that makes it incredibly hard to say no: working late and accepted tight deadlines.

You were expected to ‘suck it up’ because you’re at the bottom of ladder

Working hard was glamorised, because that was a generational value

I’m not sure that the new generation sees things in the same way.

Thanks to social media, they seem to be a lot more comfortable expressing an opinion, and pushing back where the demands are unreasonable

There is certainly a difference in the work ethic and the way they want to be heard. I don’t think its a bad thing

And here the balance is power is tipped in their favour

Just because we worked hard, and put up with a lot of crap, it doesn’t mean they should

Especially if they can work smarter, and find better ways at integrating their work life and home life together

Because businesses are not just paying people for their time – they are rewarding them for their contribution, their passion and their energy

This generation will have choice and they don’t feel bound by same rules we were

Whether you agree with it or not, generational change will undoubtedly reshape our concept of the workplace

The second reason why I believe the workplace will be different is because of broader social changes brought about by Covid-19

During the pandemic, many of us were told ‘if we could work from home’ we ‘must work from home’

In the early days, it was tough. We weren’t set up for remote work, but as the weeks turned into months, things started to change.

And began to notice that, we could make it work. Rather than spend 2 hours a day in traffic, we caught up on sleep, or took the kids to school

For the first time, many of us realised that we didn’t have the work-life balance right

And we wanted a change

And as a result, corporate offices are still empty

And this is causing major disruptions in the commercial property market

Because businesses have had little choice but to compromise

A recent Australian Government research paper showed that the overall effect of working from home was positive, people were happier in their lives

But there is also empirical evidence emerging showing knowledge sharing is reduced

We’re yet to fully understand how this will play out, especially for younger employees entering the workplace

Combined this, with boomers leaving the workforce, and I think you’ll agree the future workplace will be different

The question is whether have the tools and processes to mange the workplace of tomorrow

Or do we need to be thinking about a better way

In the next video, I’ll talk about the solution design and explain why our approach allows our customers to get access to advanced technologies

and how Knowledge Orchestrator levels the playing field, with the big end of town

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