Future, workplace, transformation, digital

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In the future, as now, work is likely to thrive in teams. Everyone will have the opportunity to showcase their leadership skills. 

The working world is now evolving more than ever. Between the digitalisation of the workplace, the introduction of hybrid work arrangements, and shifts in employees' perspectives, the workplace has faced major changes over the past several years.

These changes show no sign of slowing down. As such, many are left wondering: what's next? 

To answer this question, CBRE and Genesis conducted independent studies for a glimpse of what the typical workplace could look like in 2030, and the main findings are listed below:

1. Places to Work: Workplaces may provide different quiet areas so that workers have choices on where they want to work, thus eliminating assigned seating.

2. Smaller individual organisations: There will be smaller corporations. With so much opportunity for collaborations, there may be no need to build a costly big business.

3. Less hierarchyWork will thrive in teams. Everyone will have the opportunity to showcase their leadership skills. 

4. Big emphasis on wellness: With such a heavy focus on employee wellbeing recently, offices will strive to be much healthier environments. This change may even come in the form of good lighting, relaxation areas, sleeping rooms, music, pets at work, etc.

5. Need for a 'chief of work' role: The chief of work will set the culture in the organisation. As such, this role could feature amongst the best jobs for the future.

6. Flexible floor plans: When workers arrive at their office building, wearable devices will let them know what floor to go to, which can be changed based on sensor data.

7. Goodbye, desk: There may not be a need for physical desks - employees may just park themselves anywhere and have a simulated office before their eyes.

8. Your robot assistant: Workers at all levels may possibly use robotic helpers in the future - e.g. Siri or Alexa - to carry out manual tasks such as sorting through incoming email, scheduling meetings, and creating spreadsheets.

9. Smarter brainstorming: Most meetings will take place between different groups of workers in multiple locations, allowing seamless sharing of ideas and brainstorming across time zones - not too far off from our current norms.

10. The virtual water cooler: Informal get-togethers will take place via virtual and augmented reality headsets.


Besides these changes to the workforce and workplace, a study by Cognizant has also identified several jobs of the future:

1. Work from home facilitator

Prior to 2020, it’s estimated that less than 5% of companies had remote policies. Now, with the introduction of remote working, many employees have indicated their preference for hybrid work. Companies are pushed to apply lessons learned to optimise the work-from-home experience.

2. Fitness commitment counsellor

We often about the extra kilos packed on during months of pandemic-induced lockdown. To remedy the situation, predictive and preventative approaches to counselling, paired with digital wearables like Apple Watches and FitBit dashboards could couple human accountability to maintaining fitness. Per the report, this is a role that grew 28.7% in Q1 2021.

3. Smart home design manager

Our homes have been a safe space for many throughout the pandemic - everything from sleep to work can now happen within the comfort of our home. As smart homes are built – or retrofitted – with dedicated home office spaces, replete with routers in the right place, soundproofing, and separate voice-driven entrances, smart home design managers will be increasingly sought after. 

4. XR immersion counsellor 

As Zoom-intensive “Remotopia” (i.e. the remote working driven workplace) inexorably gives way to 3D realms of virtual space, XR immersion counselors will work with technical artists and software engineering, as well as training and workforce collaboration leads to massively scale the rollout of AR and VR for learn-by-doing workforce training and collaboration (using platforms like Strivr) or apprenticeships (such as Mursion) to get employees productive – fast.

5. Workplace environment architect

Post-pandemic, everything from health screenings to elevator commutes is about to go through a major rethink. With more people realising that human-centered design plays a part in employee wellbeing, a workplace environment architect may be highly sought after.

6. Algorithm bias auditor

“All online, all the time” lifestyles for work and leisure accelerated the competitive advantage derived from algorithms by digital firms everywhere. Given the increasing statutory scrutiny on data, it’s a near certainty that when it comes to how they’re built, verification through audits will help ensure the future workforce is also the fair workforce.

7. Data detective  

Data scientists remain the fastest-growing job in the tech-heavy 'algorithms, automation and AI' family of the report, and continued to see 42% growth in Q1 2021. Even with such high demand, this skill is relatively scarce - data detectives will help companies bridge the gap to investigate the mysteries in big data.

8. Cyber calamity forecaster

Along with the pandemic, 2020 has also seen an onslaught of massive cyberattacks and ransomware exploits. The ability to forecast events like these is critical to forewarn of cultural events. The report noted openings for cyber calamity forecasters grew 28% in Q1 2021.

9. Tidewater architect

Climate change and sea-level rise will remain an omnipresent challenge globally. Tidewater architects will work with nature in some of the biggest civil engineering projects of the 21st century. Per the report, openings for these jobs grew 37% in Q1 2021.

10. Human-machine teaming manager

The use of robots in the workplace has been a hot topic even prior to the pandemic. Human-machine teaming managers will operate at the intersection of people and robots and create seamless collaborations. Already, openings for forerunner roles like robotics technicians grew 50% in Q1 2021.


Image / 123rf

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