Calling All Engineers…Are You Ready for the Future of Work?

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In the dynamic and changing world in which we live, companies are evolving at a rapid pace. Businesses, especially those that want to be successful, are no longer being run the way they have been for generations.

Working in silos, little connectivity with others and feeling disengaged are all becoming a thing of the past. What was once considered a typical working environment for engineers is taking on new meaning.

Jacob Morgan, a speaker and futurist, refers to this as “challenging convention” in his Huffington Post article, “The Future of Work is About Challenging Convention.” Companies are looking at new ways to run their businesses and manage employees.

How does this apply to me as an engineer, you might ask?

By challenging convention, engineers have a huge opportunity to make the world a better place in which to live.

Engineers play a crucial role in solving the problems of the future. In order to achieve success, it will entail looking at work in a new light, taking into consideration the addition of better communications, increased connectivity and more collaboration.

Communications
 With the onset of the Internet and other technological advances, information is now at our fingertips. It is quicker and easier to research new ideas with information being shared worldwide. The addition of web technologies into our daily lives has led to a business environment that fosters creativity and innovation.

Connectivity
 The widespread use of mobile devices has led to a business environment where engineers are more connected than ever. Being part of a global community, it no longer matters if everyone is sitting in the same room. Meetings can be held virtually and it’s much easier to stay connected. Sharing information with coworkers builds a stronger team, encouraging more successes and increased morale among employees.

Collaboration
 Working in silos is becoming a scenario of the past. Teamwork encourages greater productivity and a stronger bottom line. A collaborative working environment leads to more engaged employees. When everyone is encouraged to speak up and share ideas, it promotes leading-edge thinking and ultimately better results.

The typical 8–5 job is no longer applicable in this new working environment. It is not unusual for employees to set their own hours, work flexible schedules and be based at home.

Recent studies conducted in the United Kingdom and by the consulting firm Deloitte, found that work flexibility — when, where and how you work — was an increasingly prominent consideration when choosing a job, according to research conducted by Knoll on “Five Trends that Are Dramatically Changing Work and the Workplace.

Working as an engineer in this constantly changing environment, it’s time to ask yourself: Am I ready for the changes ahead?

In his book, “The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization,” Morgan discusses five trends shaping the future of work, which he talks about in the Huffington Post article. He said they will challenge the way employees work, managers lead and organizations are structured. By paying close attention, engineers will be better prepared for the future.

  • New Behaviors: This includes finding information online and sharing it with individuals and communities. However, this can often be a challenge in the engineering profession as access to online communities and social media is not allowed in most cases.
  • Mobility: With the use of mobile technology, individuals have the same access to information no matter where they are located.
  • Millennials: Millennials are entering the workforce as Baby Boomers are retiring. They are bringing a new approach to the way we work with an emphasis on flexible hours, working in nontraditional settings and multi-tasking.
  • New Technology: The introduction of robots, the cloud and other new technologies are dramatically affecting how we do business and interact with others.
  • Globalization: Organizations are now able to interact with each other in a world without boundaries.

By incorporating these concepts into our day-to-day lives, engineers can make big changes in the world. A more prepared workforce will ultimately deliver better results.

Those in the engineering profession who are open to change and take a step toward challenging convention, will ultimately be rewarded with personal and business success in the future.

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Stacey Phillips is a writer and editor at iConnectEngineers™. At iConnectEngineers™, we use engaging content, creative design, and smart campaigns to bridge the worlds of business, marketing and social innovation with a primary focus on the engineering and technology industries.

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Originally published at www.iconnectengineers.com on March 27, 2016.