Creative Intelligence is the New Normal in the future workplace…

where Insight is the new currency.

The ideas, trends, and behaviours that will shape work and the workplace in 2030 are already perceptible today. Some are clearly evident while others are quietly – and not so quietly - emerging around us. How will these all impact business? How will they evolve work practices? How will they continue to revolutionise how, when and where work happens?

Current future projections indicate that, in the coming years, the many places where we work and live will be diverse and entwined, and where humanity, creativity, culture and community will be integral. “Research shows that significant changes are happening across the world, not only is business changing, but people are reflecting on the very meaning of work in their lives and how to be a part of vibrant virtual and physical communities that bring joy and high quality of experience to their lives,” says futures analyst.

Some of the key findings in studying future workplace projections include areas of Personal Fulfilment; the importance of Creative Intelligence; Workspace and the Way We Work

  • That artificial intelligence will transform businesses and the work that people do
  • The sense of purpose in the workplace will be more important that financial success alone
  • 50% of occupations today will no longer exist in 2025, with a vast amount of ‘process work, customer work, and middle management will disappear
  • New jobs will require creative intelligence, social and emotional intelligence and the ability to leverage artificial intelligence
  • Office workspace, such as rows of desks today, will be obsolete because they are no longer fit for purpose
  • The 9-5 work routine no longer applies as our lives become more 24-7 in a connected world
  • Businesses and corporations need to be lean and agile, but also authentic, and workplace culture will play a key role in attracting and holding onto valuable talent (our previous blogs of Intrapreneurship, Workplace Culture, and Shapeshifting-Shapemaking cover some of these)
  • On current trends, the UK workforce in 2030 will be multi-generational, older, more international and female. Technology will be pervasive, jobs more fluid and the global labour market highly competitive

Four Scenarios

According to a Future of Work study by UKCES on how to prepare for the future UK labour market, they explored what would be ‘business as usual’ and what would be ‘disruptive developments’.  Out of this, four scenarios were identified:  The Great Divide; Skills Activism; Forced Flexibility; and Innovation & Adaptation

UKCES also found the following trends which will influence what work will look like in the future:

  • Society and the Individual
    • Demographic change
    • Income uncertainy
    • Desire for work-life balance
    • Growing diversity
    • Changing work environments
  • Technology and Innovation
    • Converging technology
    • ICT and Big Data
    • Digitalisation of production
  • Business and the Economy
    • Changed economic perspectives
    • New business ecosystems
    • Shift to Asia
  • Resources and the Environment
    • Growing scarcity of resources
  • Law and Politics
    • Decreasing scope for political action

Ways the Workplace will differ in the Future

Quoting from an article ‘Ways the Workplace will be different in 2030’ by Erika Rawes, she used information from reports by Global Workplace InnovationCBRE Workplace Strategy, and UNUM, to create a list of some of the changes the workplace will more than likely undergo over the next 15 years.

“More and more workers work “with” companies, instead of “for” them

In 2030, we’ll probably see more consultants and freelancers. “An increasing number of freelance individuals, small groups and partner businesses won’t work for you. Instead, they will opt to work with you…45% of workers in the US are already described as contingent and this trend is now spreading to other regions,” explains CBRE.
Both workers and employers value quality over quantity

In its report on the future of the workplace, CBRE identified the top five sources of competitive advantage in 2030 as rated by 70 different experts and business leaders. The future workplace seems to focus more on quality metrics, like the acquisition of top talent, innovation, and culture. And, of course, when a company holds these competitive advantages, profitability is likely to result. But more and more corporations will achieve this by increasing quality, rather than cutting costs.

Employees of the future may value a quality workplace, over a higher salary as well. “Not only are youth seeking happiness over money, but study participants reported that a majority of parents now aspire for their children to have happiness over money. Companies that fail to respond to these trends will do so at their peril,” reports CBRE.

Work and life become more intertwined

We often hear about how it’s important to have a good work-life balance. “Leave work at work” and “check your problems at the door,” are common phrases that are used to convey the theme that a healthy separation between work-life and home-life is key. In spite of these suggestions pertaining to today’s workplace, “85% of interviewees believe that work and life will become more enmeshed for more people by 2030,” according to CBRE.

A changing work environment: collaborative, virtual, global, and flexible

The work environment is already changing and taking advantages of technological resources. According to Global Workforce Analytics, the “growth of Multiple Days per Week Employee Teleworkers (not including self-employed) telecommuting increased 79.7% from 2005 to 2012.”

In the future, the need for a physical location will be reduced, and a virtual workplace will become commonplace. Many corporations will require both a physical and a virtual space, but online space will be predominant, and the value of the corporation’s virtual space should be higher than its physical space, says the Global Workforce Innovation report.

Employers may offer more flexible work arrangements, as well. In efforts to cover all time zones and meet virtual demands in a Global economy, things may shift away from the 8 to 5 day and more towards a 24/7 type of setting, where corporations use virtual employees working flexible schedules to cover all of this ground.

Technology takes the workplace to new heights

The first generation iPhone was announced in 2007, which was ten years ago. For most people today, their smart phone is like an extension of them; they use it for work, socialising, entertainment, and for a wide variety of other purposes. Fifteen years from now, one can only imagine the types of technology that will be available. Across all fields ranging from virtual reality to robotics, technology is evolving at a rapid pace, blurring the lines between science and science fiction.

Global Workforce Innovation describes the 2030 workplace as a “context-specific, dynamic, living entity that transcends the physical boundaries of the office and offers fluid interaction possibilities among on-site and off-site workers alike.” What exactly will it look like? Well, we’ll just wait and see.”

According to a Deloitte Futures report, dealing with the here and now is critical, but Prediction and Adaptation are key to sustained success in the future workplace – with the changes being influenced by Mega trends (trends that will fundamentally reshape our lives, much like disruptive innovations that currently experience but on a larger scale).

The differences in work between now and the future is that it will become driven by changes in workers and the nature of work itself – and the power will shift from institutions to individuals, ideas will move between people, not institutions.

It will become a borderless knowledge economy, powered by big data and global networks where Insight will be the new currency.

Shapeshifting and shapemaking one’s self and one’s business will help to be ahead of the curve with the vast step changes that are already starting to emerge – are you ready?