What Does the Future of Work Look Like?


As we are now approaching the end of another year, and we wonder what we can expect from the next, we can’t help but notice the abundance of research and industry news about what our future workplace might look like. We were intrigued to hear what the experts thought might be in store for organisations, and employees, as technology continues to blaze ahead and global boundaries are pushed.


The current state of work:

  • Employees no longer place as much value on sacrificing so much of their lives to employers

  • With job security less of a reality, employees do not feel as loyal as they once might have

  • Employees are seeking better ways of balancing work, family, and a sense of personal purpose

  • 70% of workers in the U.S. – and 87% of workers worldwide – are not fully engaged and personally invested in their work

  • In Asia Pacific, 42% of employees are disengaged

  • Employees want more choice over their own workplace devices, with predictions that by 2017 over 50% of employees will use their own devices at work

  • Traditional full time roles are becoming more elusive as organisations work to a leaner framework – more than $900 million is spent on freelancers annually, 86% of hiring companies surveyed say that hiring talent online will soon be “common.”


Why does this matter?

It might once have been easy for organisations to assume they don’t need to worry about their employees and their work/life balance. But as the world becomes more connected, and our interactions become more open and social, the tradition of an office-based, 9-5 job, where a micro-managing boss allows little flexibility, is becoming less and less attractive.

Additionally, with less job security in the global economy, organisations are having to transition from keeping their employees happy simply by supplying a paycheque, to more sophisticated engagement initiatives.


What does the future hold?

According to experts, the following three trends will forever change the way we work.



Of course, technology plays a huge part in the way our work will change; both in the devices as well as their application for employees.

In-memory computing. Mobile apps. The cloud. Social media. Business networks. The Internet of Things.

Equipping employees with the right tools, and enabling them to do their work the way they choose will become increasingly important. Keeping employees stuck to a PC in an office when they could be working on a tablet, on the go, or from home, not only limits their creativity but can also damage productivity.


Change in demographics

For the first time ever, we are seeing five generations of employees working together. Younger workers opting to work earlier instead of burdening themselves with university debt, and older employees wanting to add to their diminishing retirement funds combine to make it the most diverse and eclectic workforce yet.

Years of experience balanced with a fresh way of thinking can bring a lot of benefits, as well as some interesting challenges to the workplace of the future. The most important thing to remember is how to bring together and embrace these varying skills to ensure all employees feel valued for their input to the goals of the organisation.

Companies are also relying more on contract temps and freelancers to fill the skills gap, instead of taking on permanent full time employees. Some studies predict that as many as 50% of all future employees will be hired this way.


Small big players

SMEs now, and in the future, no longer need to wait to grow and expand into new territories because the agile, lean and affordable technology now available means that they can easily compete against the bigger companies.

Enterprise Resource Technology (ERP) plays a big part in this trend and, according to research, 96% of top performing companies (the top 20% of growing businesses) have implemented an ERP to streamline their processes and manage growth.


How you can prepare for the future of work

How well your company is set up for the future will depend on how well you can embrace diversity, engage employees in new ways and use organisational data to make quick and accurate decisions.

The infographic below to discover how the future of work will impact you and what you can do now to prepare.




If you would like to learn more about how SAP Business One can help your organisation to succeed in tomorrow’s world, contact Blue Ocean Systems today.



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