Workplace changes are coming at us hard and fast. Here are 3 trends I’m tracking that signal the future of work and how to not only survive but thrive in the workplace of tomorrow.
Trend 1: THE OFFICE
Law Firms Loosen Up (Source: CBRE/Huff Post)
- Law firms are reducing square footage by 27% on average.
- 29 million sq. ft. of law firm leases are set to expire between 2018 and 2022
- More than 70% of these expirations will include space contraction.
Strategies being adopted or considered by law firms include:
- Shift from two-sized offices (typically 15’ X 15’ for partners and 10’ X 15‘ for associates) to glass-fronted, one-sized offices with seniority recognized by location, not size.
- Less emphasis on grand, ceremonial client spaces and more emphasis on functional meeting spaces (see above right).
- Orienting the reception area around hospitality, with concierge services and hosted events.
- Transitioning cafeteria space from a place to eat to a place to socialize, in a prominent area along a window line.
- Creating smaller, on-demand meeting rooms with interactive technology scattered throughout the practice area.
- Adopting a paperless file storage strategy.
Apple’s New “Pacific” Chair Reflects a Rethink of Work (Source: Fast CoDesign)
- Apple became the first customer for the Pacific Chair (12,000 ordered)
- For younger generations, work represents who they know and how they socialize, offices are starting to have a more residential vibe. (NOTE: to me, the Pacific chair looks like an office chair, no more, no less but who am I to argue with Jony Ive)
- Offices are also being designed to reflect how millennials see themselves: Not as office drones, but creative types with side hustles and Instagram followers.
- Companies want offices to look creative and make workers feel like they’re part of a creative organization.
- #Influencers don’t clock in. They make #impact from a lounge chair, not the confines of a cubicle.
Read on below for more on the Paperless Office and why in today’s work environment, it is CRITICAL to become a “Lifelong Learner.”
Trend 2: THE PAPERLESS OFFICE (Source: ZDNet)
Workfront conducted a survey in 2017 of over 2000 workers to determine what the US office will look like in 5 years.
- 15% of the work day is currently spent dealing with email
- US workers have an average of 199 unopened emails at any given time.
- Of the 68 emails received per day, 21 are junk, and 27 demand an answer or action.
- 20% say email will no longer be used as a primary collaboration tool in the future
- 31% say collaboration software will eliminate most conference calls.
- 28% believe printers will become obsolete because everything will be digital.
- 50% say mobile phones will become the mobile office
- 28% believe fixed desk space will become a thing of the past.
- The average worker works from home one day per week.
Trend 3: THE FUTURE BELONGS TO CURIOUS, LIFE-LONG LEARNERS
Per the Harvard Business Review, fundamental human capabilities such as curiosity, imagination and leadership are becoming more important in the workplace.
- Companies want workers at all levels to exhibit a “growth mindset” – without it, no promotions.
- Employees, similarly, expect companies to foster ongoing learning by providing training, online courses, conferences etc.
Both Ray Dalio and Mark Cuban have written about how their success came from a commitment to life-long learning.
The No-Collar Workforce (Source: Deloitte)
The rise of automation, artificial intelligence, and cognitive technologies requires on-going training
- Organizations are rewiring talent management for the new hybrid human-machine workforce — simultaneously retraining augmented workers and pioneering new HR processes for managing virtual workers.
- The Deloitte report features case studies, perspectives from industry luminaries, and insights from Deloitte professionals. The full Tech Trends 2018 report can be found here.
Retail Workers: What’s In Store For 2018? (Source: PYMNTS/ US News and World Report)
Ringing up goods is giving way to customer service specialization and service offerings that digital retailers can’t match.
- Best Buy employees are leaving stores and arriving on customers’ doorsteps to help them pick the right products for their homes.
- Walmart workers are handpicking customers’ grocery orders as they move to fill digitally sent grocery lists that will be delivered curbside.
A typical retail worker has seen her/his commission rate rise to 6% from half a percent, but hourly wages have dropped from $19 to $14.
- The net result, with fewer shoppers in stores, is more active competition among workers for sales.
- As many as 60% of retail jobs will evolve into new types of roles.
- Jobs for workers will get more interesting and be more impactful on the company’s business.
- But there will be fewer entry-level jobs and there will be more pressure to perform.
Marketing Skills You Need to Remain Attractive to Employers (Source: Adweek)
A recent study by Richard J. Vaughan at the University of St. Francis examined marketing job listings in the top six metro areas and found:
- 39% required big data skills—and this number is rapidly rising.
Those who enthusiastically begin a new journey of learning will be the most sought after. Examples of learning include:
- Reading the latest analytics news
- Reading books
- Taking courses and familiarizing yourself with data tools.
Bottom Line: The only thing certain is the inevitability of change. And the only way to stay ahead of the curve is to commit to being a curious, life-long learner.