The boundaries between work and personal life may disappear as companies assume greater responsibility for the social welfare of their employees, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Report, ‘The future of work: A journey to 2022.’
This is just one outcome that may evolve in the workplace of the future driven by radical changes in technology and social and demographics of the workforce within the next eight years.
New technologies, data analytics and social networks are having a huge impact on how people communicate, collaborate and work.
Many of the jobs of tomorrow have not even been created.
Workforces will become more diverse as generations collide, with people working longer in their careers and traditional career paths set to become a thing of the past.
Organisations are already grappling with skill shortages, managing people through change and creating an effective workforce and creating more sophisticated people management techniques, increasing the importance of social drivers and relationships as crucial to business success, are other key issues that companies will face.
HR is at a crossroads. Once perceived as service-oriented and only reactive to business needs, the demands of tomorrow’s workplace and business environment will force major change.
It is not just HR that will need to act, business leaders should lead their organisations through these seismic shifts.
The HR function will go one of three ways: they will take on a wider people remit incorporating and influencing other aspects of the business, become the driver of the corporate social responsibility agenda within the organisation or be seen as transactional and almost entirely outsourced.
The Report identifies three future ‘worlds’ in which workers of today would want to engage; this provides a lens through which we can examine how organisations may operate in the future.
The characteristics of these ‘worlds’ will be shaped by the coming changes in recruitment, reward and employee engagement strategies as they evolve over time.
While things will happen that we cannot predict, we can still be prepared and plan ahead for long-term viability.
Organisations must prepare to undertake new learnings and adapt to these coming challenges to succeed.
Whatever path you follow, work will look different for everyone in 2022.
Debbie Francis is Partner and HR Transformation Specialist at PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand based in Auckland.
The three future ‘worlds’ of work
Blue World where corporate is king there would be relentless pressure to perform, these elite organisations push back the borders of innovation and possibility, employ only the best, and offer long-term job security and reward. Only 10% saw this as their ideal employer.
Green World- the caring companies that rethink their values and goals have a powerful social and environmental conscience, and whose values closely match those of their employees. 53% of those surveyed chose this as their ideal employer.
Orange World, where small is beautiful, these organisations fragment into looser networks, brought together by technology, with social media heightening the connectivity. 33% opted for this as their ideal employer.