The Future of Work

The future of workA new study suggests that the old ways of working are being replaced fast by new methods of working…

In a white paper entitled The Future of Work, commissioned by the Esselte Corporation, the authors make a number of interesting observations and curate much evidence on the changes in current day working practices.

One of the most important findings published in the white paper is that by 2015 as much as 40% of the world’s workforce will be mobile. The drivers of this direction include innovations in technology, forward-thinking companies and businesses willing to improve employee satisfaction, cost saving and cutting down on commuting.

One highlight of the study is that workers in Thailand have the longest commutes in the world, averaging 2 hours per day. By encouraging remote working in a situation like this, more than a full work day in time can be saved.

More Flexible, More Hours

The authors of the white paper also looked at the amount of hours that modern day workers were doing. 25% of mobile workers said they were working an additional 15-20 hours a week because mobile devices allowed and sometimes forced them to do so.

The demographic of workers was also changing with an increasingly aging workforce across the world. The authors conculded that by 2050 over 50% of Europe’s workforce would be over 65.

The number of mobile devices employed by workers was also interesting; The "mobile stack" was, on average, 3.5 devices with tablets driving the increase in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) gadgets.

Ultimately the white paper by futurist Richard Watson and his business partner Andrew Crossthwaite, focused on the scenario of what future working will be like:

"Rather than work is where the office is, for mobile workers, it is where you are – whether it is at home, in the car, in an airport, a service station, a coffee shop or the office of a client. Or on your holiday"

The working landscape is changing and companies that embrace change and technology will be the best prepared for the future. Adopting more open source, beta testing of ideas, 3D printing are just some of the innovative directions that businesses will need to take in order to survive and thrive and, of course, make their workforces more mobile.

So the "career portfolio", once the staple of artists and designers, could become the norm for other workers.

Read the full white paper at The Future of Work.

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