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The Future Of Work: Influencers, Impact And Benefits Is it time to jump onto the millennial bandwagon?

By Ken Scaturro Yorktel


he traditional workforce as we know it is undergoing a seismic shift, dubbed the “Future of Work.” Over the past decade, demographic and socioeconomic changes, plus advances in technology, have generated an evolution in the workforce. Global organizations are homing in on how to attract and retain top talent, particularly as automation and AI are changing the nature of the job pool.

The Influencers The rise of the millennial—According to Forbes, “By 2030, millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce.”1 The millennial generation (defined by the Pew Research Center as those born from 1981 to 1996) has distinct preferred work styles: They demand a work/life balance and a flexible schedule, and they expect to leverage consumer technology for their corporate experience. Thanks to their master y of technologies that might mystify previous generations, millennial workers have become key influencers in the Future of Work. Geographically agnostic IT—Today’s workforce uses the same robust technology at their corporate office hub to work from home or from the road. Reliable mobility enables peer collaboration via productivity tools specifically designed to facilitate virtual connectivity. So-called “enabling technologies” boost this geographical freedom. Cloud-enabled virtualization has eliminated bandwidth considerations,

and today’s teens have never experienced the pains of dial-up internet. Powerful transport, network availability, virtualized productivity tools and device-in-your-hand versatility have all shifted productivity into high gear, allowing today’s workforce to operate more quickly and more collaboratively, anytime, anywhere. Geography is largely no longer a barrier to a virtual work style.

The Impact Transforming the traditional office space—Socioenvironmental factors and millennial expectations eschew traditional office layouts featuring closed-door sanctuaries for the elite surrounded by cubes for the masses. The Future of Work embraces lesshierarchical environments, and instead reflects the free and open nature of evolving work styles. It’s still all about location, location, location—but the location has expanded to comprise anywhere with network access, which is generally…anywhere! Consider the domino effect of these physical work arrangements on the corporate bottom line. If workers operate remotely on loose schedules, perhaps coming into the office three or four times per week, corporations can reduce desk space and therefore real estate costs by approximately 20 percent. Corporations’ number-one cost is employees (salaries, benefits, etc.). The second-highest cost is real estate.2 A 20-percent reduction in a corporate hub such as Los Angeles CA, New York NY or Miami FL provides a big incentive to embrace Future of Work trends. Adopting flexible hiring practices and work styles—The technology and generational changes mentioned above have forced Human Resources (HR) departments to modify hiring and work policies to attract and retain the top talent of the millennial generation. A downstream effect of these modifications is that managers must adapt to overseeing a global, virtual employee base. Unfortunately, the shifts toward hoteling and virtual workers can depersonalize the workplace. Corner-office executives and cube-dwellers alike might personalize their workspace with family pictures or plants, but hoteling eliminates this possibility. Similarly, water-cooler conversations or the brief touchpoints with colleagues before and after meetings are extinct. Losing these brief interludes of live contact does have a social impact—another aspect today’s organizations should consider as they adapt to the Future of Work.

The Benefits The Future of Work promises tremendous benefits for organizations that adopt an intentional strategy addressing all the necessar y changes and their potential impact. From a numbers perspective, millennials are driving the Future of Work—the officespace redesign, the social and cost implications, the flexible work schedules and more. Companies must cultivate an attractive work environment embracing all these factors in order to draw in this highly sought-after slice of the workforce. Advancements in technology flow directly from this aspect of personnel driving the Future of Work. Cloud-based solutions and reliable, secure mobility are two of

1 “The Millennial Arrival And The Evolution Of The Modern Workplace,” Forbes, 2 “CFO Briefing: The Multiplier Ef fect of Corporate Real Estate Spend,” rifiniti, fect

18 Sound & Communications May 2019

Profile for Sound & Communications

Sound & Communications May 2019, Vol 65 No 5  

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Sound & Communications May 2019, Vol 65 No 5  

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