Workforce Trends of the Future

Technology is no longer a ‘supporting’ function for most businesses. Technology is increasingly seen as the business itself. With the evolution of business models comes the evolution of workforce. The demographic shifts, growth of telecommuting, contract based roles, crowd-sourcing are on the rise in most organizations.

Similar to how the organizations have evolved with the BYOD trend, there will be an increasing shift in the trend to change and evolve the workforce. I am very passionate about this phenomenon and truly believe that organizations that embrace it will be the leading organizations of the future. Here are 3 things that I believe will change the way the workforce will operate in the future:

Blended Workforce: The ability to use temp workforce, contractors and crowd sourcing along with full time employees will be the norm of the future leading organization. In the past, contractors were always hired on a fixed term basis but this trend is increasingly changing to ‘workload’ based contractors. Take for example an organization trying to do Quality Assurance for a product release. There could be a mechanism that this organization could either crowd source the task or hire temporary workforce from or similar online portals just for that workload. It can range anywhere from manual mundane tasks to strategy and corporate development and sales enablement training.

Autonomous Team oriented organization: Gone are the days where we will have large organizations with monolithic team structures. The new way of looking at teams will be very similar to the DevOps culture and the micro services way of building applications. There will be independent teams performing and specializing in what they do and will have a strong collaboration across the various other teams. Sales teams for instance, instead of just being an organization of sales people will consist of a diverse group of people from strategy, product management, engineering all focused towards specific type of ‘workloads’ and trying to help solve specific customer problems while at the same time ensuring there is a quick and efficient way of getting the product feedback back to the engineering teams. Technology will play a very big role in facilitating this cross functional collaboration.

Emergence if Automation, AI and Bots: This will probably be the single biggest trend to hit the organizations in the very near term. The emergence of Virtual assistants will ensure that it’s not only the Managers or ‘Vice Presidents’ who have access to assistants but the entire teams will be able to leverage the power of ‘executive assistants’ to ensure management of their calendars, meetings etc. There will be team bots that will ensure cross functional team collaboration. Emergence of automation will make the mundane tasks redundant and ensure that the employees are not drowned in meetings but focus most of their time in innovation and creation.

While I must say that it is an exciting time to be part of an age that will see a drastic shift in the workforce trend, it is also true that people who are not able to keep up with these trends will eventually be made redundant. It is our tasks and duty to ensure that we do not leave them behind and create a division, instead we must ensure that we focus our efforts on building a culture that will help train and enable the entire teams to leverage and evolve to the new way of doing things. This ‘culture’ is ultimately what makes an organization ‘great’.