Future of Work – Rejigging for a gig Economy
The global employment rates for skilled, and unskilled labor across the world have seen huge waves of volatility. A McKinsey report says that almost 46% of existing jobs will either partially change or completely cease to exist by the year 2021. That by itself is an alarming fact but when the same report also claims that about 40% of employees will have ‘non-traditional’ employee contracts, the real truth about the fragility of the employment market emerges.
If the world evolves, jobs need to evolve or give way to newer jobs that will keep pace with changes in technology and work practices. To show you the difference between a traditional worklife vs a technology led-life, we have evaluated them across a variety of spectrums:
- Visibility-Privacy Spectrum: From information opacity to information transparency, the world has rapidly moved to a place where visibility of data is not only accepted but encouraged. Collective intelligence has proved that the man-machine collaboration has transformed the way we analyze complex data.
- Collective Work-Individual Responsibility Spectrum: Drawing from the point above, individualism will likely get relegated in favor of collective creation. The future will see a large population of ‘floating’ contractual employees that will come together in virtual environments and pool in their collective expertise to create path-breaking products/services and then disband when the work is done. Instead of each member working in a silo, the process will now involve a high degree of collaboration using crowd intelligence to steer the project.
- Order-Chaos Spectrum: Continuing the same thread, individualism invites data chaos because the quality of that phase of the project is restricted to the best that an employee can be in his personal capacity. In a collaborative environment, everyone thrives on the deep diversity that the team achieves which in turn amps up the group’s intelligence quotient. This is what can create the most ideal lab of the future, where scientists and engineers meet artists and together they solve some of the most enduring, complex problems.
- Analysis-Intuition Spectrum: The impact of man-machine collaboration is best shown here when we see how neural network mapping is paving the way for us to better understand our mental processes. Consider our workplace; using science, user experience is eventually going to be less instinctive and more intuitive based on data and design. Organizations will acquire a sort of Neuroleadership – when brain science meets management, bringing structure and order to the chaos of human fallibility. Mathematics, analytics, and science will tag-team to implement a streamlined hiring process, where everything will be designed to achieve maximum process and personal optimization.
- Knowledge-action Spectrum: A sustainable enterprise is one that liberates its employees from financial burden by providing them opportunities for growth, learning, and financial freedom. The future of work will see a rise in personal sustainability, because their careers will have a definitive future too. Organizations will be able to attract the right kind of talent because as industrial ecology evolves as a concept, they will focus more and more on providing green, healthy workspaces, something that they can use as a viable hiring strategy.
- Healthism-Choice Spectrum: Continuing from the point above, providing a healthy workspace is no longer just an institutional responsibility, rather it is a strategic asset to have that can have long term ramifications when done right. As an HR resource, you might have the additional task of being the ‘health custodian’ of your firm; organizations could possibly look at offering DIY health practices or giving online health facilities, to let employees choose for themselves how committed they are to themselves be healthy. Companies could even appoint health coaches and give employees access to web-based health tools. Health data can be made visible to the employee for him to compare with a healthy person of his/her own age, so that they know just how healthy or unhealthy they really are. When a company takes interest in something as sensitive as the health and well being of each employee, it is but obvious that the employee will need a really good reason to move.
If this is a precursor to what work is going to be like in future, one must embrace the technology and let Human Resource Management be led by Information Technology Solutions that can guide your employees and organisation towards a bright future.