“Eighty percent of the jobs we will be doing in the future don’t exist yet.”
A popular factoid from Mark Lautmann, but also surprisingly true. There weren’t data scientists, or social media gurus in Richard Scarry books when I was growing up (although someone has started to change that… Welcome to Business Town blog)
It’s not just the work that is changing, but how we go about it. We’ve thousands more information sharing channels than before. And since it’s easier to communicate, we do it several factors more: in 2014, the US postal service only mailed 140 billion letters in a year. We now send approximately 100 billion emails every day.
This is causing its own problems: information overload, lost communications, and more hours working, wherever we happen to be. There are however, solutions:
- Slack – the “email killer”. The digital team are playing around with this. Verdict so far? Being used like just another chat app… ;-/
- Meetings: there’s nothing less productive than spending all day in meetings. Sometimes we have to fight for calendar space just to get a few things done. US company Asana have even set up “no meeting Thursday’s”.
- Diary bots. Bunchapp.io is also here to help and looks awesome.
Whether you rely on software or good old fashioned self discipline to get through the day, there’s a bigger revolution going on. We’re seeing companies reinvent themselves, how they operate, and even what it means to have a job:
- Companies like Spotify are breaking into a series of small intermeshed teams and disciplines: a matrixed organisation
- Agile working methodologies focuses teams on quickly achieving small goals / building working prototypes, allowing them to iterate rapidly. Essentially it’s an adaptive system.
- And for adaptive systems, feedback is essential. Here’s how global design and development agency USTWO approach sharing feedback.
- The concept of holacracy is removing management structures and pushing teams to be entirely self-organised.
Finally, the makeup of the workforce is shifting from boomer generation to Millennials:
“Millennials expected to comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, the way companies communicate internally needs to change.”
Just when you thought the world of work couldn’t get any more complicated…
But there’s a lot of good in these ideas and approaches. Ultimately, it’s for us to decide what the future of work will really look like.