The office is changing, but so too is the future of work, or the future of what we call “work”. Technology is a major part of this, but the perceptions of what constitutes a regular work day are shifting dramatically as well. In fact in Australia, part-time work is on the increase, as is freelancing, which many Australians have picked because of the freedom and flexibility it offers. It’s not just about working conditions, but rather how we perform our jobs, removing ourselves from the desk and shifting the workplace so that it works to our needs, not the other way around. This all forms part of what is redefining the future of work, and it’s one where the world has engaged digital transformation en masse. How long until it affects you?
The immediate future
With the age of digital transformation well and truly upon us, the future of work offers mobility where the workplace can be anywhere you want it to be. With services pushing platforms and work environments to the cloud, employees can take those laptops and conduct their business anywhere, and when paired with a solid mobile internet connection, that anywhere is literally the truth. The magic that makes this a reality isn’t magic, either. Rather, it’s digital transformation, the opening act in a long road to constant business transformation, where companies acknowledge that technology has the potential to fundamentally shift the way they do business, and act on it. This is a future of work where the benefits can be enjoyed now, and is one that will see businesses grow, as digital transformation is a constant process that never really stops, allowing businesses to be in a permanent state of evolution.
The not-too-distant future
A little further off, the future of work could be dramatically different. As the world of telecommuting pushes teleworking into the possible as opposed to the far off, the future of work enters the virtual world. We are a distance from augmented and virtual environments, and yet that is one part of the world that is being explored, with virtual headsets able to project not just a virtual working environment, but a reimagined workspace where lateral thinking applies. The future of work as it stands is one about defining the optimum work-life balance, and it’s one technology can aide. Many of us already take our work home with us, but once integrated with the virtual space that can be realised in VR, that workspace can be at home and work simultaneously, delivering our own definition of balance in a digital environment. It’s a reality that isn’t so far fetched, and as virtual environment start to blend with reality to become augmented, the future of work could include the ability to turn working from home into a more interactive world, or even make the actual workplace more innovative again.
Recruiting for the future
The future of work isn’t just a vision of a virtual environment and the workplace untethered; it’s about how recruiters will find and manage talent; and with this, shifting the nature of how employees work. With telecommuting and true workplace mobility shaped by digital transformation, worker procurement is shaped by business needs, and the changing shape of business transformation. It starts with the disruption of talent acquisition in an employer evolution, which like modern day services can change the employee to be acquired on an as-needed basis, adding them to a company on a project-by-project basis with a managed platform. This approach is more economical for projects at companies, as it provides the most amount of control for hires that may not be needed full time, though it’s also a strong option for employees as well. With the option of projects provided to them, service-based workers can enjoy a better work-life balance, deciding when to work based on their own needs. It’s a part of the future of work that’s already in place, and it’s only going to get better, as more companies join in and make employment something very different than the traditional nine-to-five.