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[TrendTalk] The future of work

Do you remember work before the internet? When did we become so wired and connected to everything that work no longer has set working hours?
Do you even recall when it started changing? I remember life BI (Before Internet) clearly, but as and when email became so pervasive and mobile technology started to dominate our now very public lives - that's a bit of a blur! The pace of life certainly seemed a lot slower, even on a daily newspaper, where I was at the start of my career.

As we change the way we communicate, so our new behaviours spill over into the organisations we work for or interact with. The workplace environment is changing radically and rapidly as technology enables us to work smarter and faster and other societal pressures come into play.

Jacob Morgan, the co-founder of the FOW Community, a members-only network that helps prepare individuals and organisations for the challenges and opportunities related to the future of work, has come up with five trends that are shaping the future of work: new behaviours; technologies; the millennial workforce; mobility and globalisation.

Workplace trends

1. New behaviours: Social media is hardly even a decade old and we are sharing our entire lives online. The way we communicate now, build communities online, share and access information and collaborate is also creating new behaviours in the workplace, forcing organisations to change.

2. Technologies: New technologies are changing the way we live and work. "The cloud puts the power of technology in the hands of employees, robots and software are forcing us to rethink the jobs that humans can and should do, big data gives us insight into how we work and how customers transact with use, and collaboration platforms give us the ability to connect our people and information together anywhere, anytime, and on any device," explains Morgan.

3. Millennials in the workplace: By 2020 our first truly digital generation, the millennials, are expected to make up 50% of the workforce. By 2025, it will be 75%. Says Morgan: "They are by all accounts going to be the largest generation to ever enter the workforce. This is a generation of employees with technological fluency that is willing to live at home longer until they find a company that they truly want to work for. In other words, organisations must shift from creating an environment where they assume that people NEED to work there to one where people WANT to work there."

4. Mobility: Where you are these days matters less than having access to information and data in order to do your job. As Morgan says, as long as you can connect to the internet, you have the same access as anyone in an office.

5. Globalisation: The world is one big city now says Morgan, where boundaries no longer matter. "The language you speak, the currency you transact in, and where you are physically located are starting to matter less and less. Boundaries to working with anyone and anywhere are being crushed and this trend will only continue."

About Louise Marsland

Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is Founder/Content Director: SOURCE Content Marketing Agency. Louise is a Writer, Publisher, Editor, Content Strategist, Content/Media Trainer. She has written about consumer trends, brands, branding, media, marketing and the advertising communications industry in SA and across Africa, for over 20 years, notably, as previous Africa Editor:; Editor: Bizcommunity Media/Marketing SA; Editor-in-Chief: AdVantage magazine; Editor: Marketing Mix magazine; Editor: Progressive Retailing magazine; Editor: BusinessBrief magazine; Editor: FMCG Files newsletter. Web:

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