The future of the workplace has been thrown into uncertainty by the global pandemic. Predictions predating this crisis now need to be reconsidered in light of the adjustments humanity needs to make to ensure the safety and happiness of workers, customers, and the environment in which we live.
Future Workplace Changes and Trends in the Next Decade
Over the coming decade, we can look forward to the following changes in workplace:
An overhaul of the traditional office model
With serviced and virtual offices co-working and other models providing businesses with unprecedented flexibility, the old-school concept of leasing an office space is bound to become extinct.
Though many companies offering these more modern options did suffer losses during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, they are well-placed to make a strong comeback once the lockdowns lift and businesses look to reopen in a way that’s more affordable and sustainable.
Flexible work arrangements
Remote working was already on the rise before the novel coronavirus struck. With everyone forced into their houses, the shift is set to happen at a far more rapid rate. Flexible, work-from-home arrangements had been predicted to take over by 2030. However, we can now look forward to this being the new norm within the next few years.
2020 will be something of a test year, proving to business owners that they can indeed trust their employees to meet deadlines and be productive while working from home. Workers will gain more autonomy as they’re entrusted to set their own schedules and deliver value in the way that best suits them.
The rise of smart machines
From sophisticated chatbots who are indistinguishable from a human assistant to machines designed to take over the more repetitive and less appealing workplace tasks, the next decade will see a continual shift, across all industries, towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation.
Though many initially see this as a threat, automation is, in fact, an opportunity for human workers to upskill, cross-skill, and move into more value-added areas of their respective industries. Of course, the transition won’t be easy for everyone. However, there’s no denying that the changes are coming.
Meaningful employment opportunities
With AI taking over many roles, and flexibility becoming the new norm for human workers, companies will find themselves competing for top employees. There’s already a rapidly growing sentiment among workers that they need more than just a paycheck in exchange for the massive chunk of time they dedicate to their employers.
People want to feel that their lives have meaning and purpose. With so much of our time spent at work, it will fall to the world’s leading companies to contribute to a heightened sense of fulfilment in the workplace. Sustainable practices, community outreach projects and other opportunities to do socially meaningful work will be selling points that HR departments of influential businesses will offer prospective employees in the not too distant future.
Major upskilling projects
With all these changes rolling in fast, we’re going to need a significant amount of training to stay ahead of the curve. From learning how to use your industry’s latest tech upgrades to acquiring a new trade because yours has been taken over by automation, the coming decade will be one of immense professional skills growth for most people on the planet.
From 2020 to 2030, we can expect to go through some of the most rapid changes the workplace has ever seen. Though there will be plenty of difficulties accompanying these revolutionary changes, we can nevertheless look forward to more dynamic, creative, and flexible working environments in the future.