The Office is Dead,
Long Live the Office!

What does the future of work look like?

By Annet Kloprogge
Strategist at VBAT



Remember that job where you were stuck in a grey and mind-numbing office with a powder coffee machine and the 14.00 o’clock chat at the water cooler?

That’s probably (and hopefully) a long time ago because the office has been changing for the better. Office benefits have been popping up everywhere in the last few years, which is a trend that is largely created by Google.

From a coffee bar with full-time barista, who makes whatever drink you request, a free shuttle to work, maternity and paternity leave, to 25+ cafes around the Google headquarters that you can visit for lunch, and so on.

But, these benefits are all based on an existing office area, something that is currently not a necessity to have anymore.

How will this keep on evolving in the future?

Jacob Morgan, contributor at Forbes.com, made a diagram to demonstrate the changes in a visual way:

‘Work as we know it is dead and the only way forward is to challenge convention around how we work, how we lead, and how we build our companies.’ — Jacob Morgan

Millennials

And talking about challenging convention, you might want to prep your workplace for Millennials. Despite growing up in a world filled with student loans, recession, and the job crisis, millennials — who will account for 75% of the workforce in 2025 — are not motivated by money.

This is an important insight. Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey says that 75% of the Millennials believe that businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society as a whole.

So, why bother moving into a corporate office? Enter the age of the Digital Nomad. With platforms such as Google Hangouts, Slack and UpWork, it has never been easier to work from anywhere.

Future Jobs

But what about our current jobs? Will they all be replaced by Robots?
Yes, and no. A lot of jobs are easy to automate, but that said, with the rapid pace of technological change disrupting industries faster than ever before (think: robotics, 3-D printing, the sharing economy), a lot of new jobs will arise as well.

Ever thought of becoming a Professional Triber? — A freelance professional manager that specializes in putting teams together for very specific projects.

Or how about becoming an Urban Farmer? — With the number of people living in urban areas rising rapidly, the increasing awareness surrounding sustainability and more and more people turning against industrial farming, this will be an important turn-around and will become a significant part of the farming industry.

And last but not least, maybe your future job will be End-Of-Life Planner — By 2025, the World Health Organization predicts that 63% of the global population will live over the age of 65. As that average age will keep on growing upwards, the last phase of your life will become more important. Especially now that we can use euthanasia to choose the moment to pass away ourselves.

Conclusion

It was, and is, very important to listen to your employees and see what methods fits your company best. Managers need to be savvy about how to connect and communicate with their teams (Yammer and Slack are already replacing email), hiring systems need to be re-imagined or at least updated, and leaders need to be transparent.

Websites like Glassdoor can assist you and will help you see what needs to be improved or help you show what is actually really great about the company you work in.


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Annet is a Hyper Island alumni, currently living in Amsterdam and working as a Brand Strategist.
Also gives workshops in various creative methods, productivity & team development.