The future of work? A time for change

Robin Ridgley

Over the past few years the question of what the future of work will look like has become one of the hottest topics for organisations across the UK.

The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, offers unparalleled opportunities, but also significant challenges.

At a national level the central question of the UK’s ability to rebalance its economy and deliver sustainable prosperity for all is strongly dependent on creating an “agile, demand-led” skills workforce that can respond rapidly to this transformational agenda.

In addition, new operational business models and evolving worker preferences are contributing to the emergence of new forms of work.

Technology has transformed our homes in ways we could not have dreamed of only a few years ago, and these same technologies are re-shaping the workplace and how we work and interact.

This has major implications for underlying business models and the way in which work is organised.

For those who know Sysdoc well, you will know we are incredibly passionate about helping and understanding how technology in the workplace combined with cultural and behavioural change can lead to successful adoption of new ways of working.

We are firm believers in the power of human-centered design which provides a valuable framework for organisations to transform themselves by harnessing the greatest asset any organisation has, its people.

The future of work: The four different scenarios

A report by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (The future of jobs and skills in 2030) concluded that there are four different scenarios for the future of work:

  • Forced Flexibility (Business-as-usual) Scenario: Greater business flexibility and incremental innovation lead to modest growth in the economy, but this flexibility often results in fewer opportunities and weakened job security for the low skilled.
  • The Great Divide Scenario: Despite robust growth driven by strong high-tech industries, a two-tiered, divided society has emerged, reinforcing the economic position of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.
  • Skills Activism Scenario: Technological innovation drives the automation of white-collar work and brings large-scale job losses and political pressure, leading to an extensive government-led skills programme.
  • Innovation Adaptation Scenario: In a stagnant economy, improved productivity is achieved through a rigorous implementation of ICT solutions.

Each of the scenarios highlights distinctive implications for the jobs and skills landscape in 2030 - but there are also implications, and therefore action needs, that are common to all four. 

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Leadership

By 2020, over 50 per cent of the workforce is expected to be Generation Y members who have grown up connected, collaborative and mobile.

The future workplace will be a place where traditional hierarchies and seniority will become less important.

The skills for leading and managing in this new future of work requires a different type of leader, one where collaboration across multiple generations and their values will be in increasing demand.

Developing capabilities

Developing the capability to manage skills and talent in this new future of work requires organisations to adapt to new business models and to have more fluid employment arrangements.

Organisations will need to develop resilience and an openness to collaboration to address key skills challenges.  

The ability to attract, develop and retain world class talent will increase in importance as a differentiating factor for successful future organisations 

Culture and behaviour 

One of the issues we face in managing change is effecting changes in culture. The role of leadership in relation to culture is central.

Leaders have been described as the culture founders, which means they are responsible for leading any change to organisational culture by installing new values and beliefs.

Culture is one of the most complex and important concepts in any organisation. A strong culture  helps to keep colleagues motivated and loyal to the management of the organisation. 

If colleagues view themselves as part of their organisation’s culture, they are more eager to want to contribute to its success.

Learning 

Future organisations need to focus and invest in the development of development of key skills and attributes including resilience, adaptability, resourcefulness, enterprise, cognitive skills (such as problem solving), and core business skills. 

Organisations need to be open to and take advantage of new and different approaches to learning, for instance self-directed, bite-sized learning, peer-to-peer learning and technology enabled training opportunities.  They need to encourage their people to become lifelong learners, recognising and taking advantage of the plethora of both formal and informal learning opportunities available to them.

Organisations that embrace learning and are willing to think beyond traditional siloed ways of building knowledge, developing a blend of technical training and ‘softer,’ collaborative skills will have the advantage in the developing future of work. 

At Sysdoc we pride ourselves on both our innovation and flexible ways in supporting organisations to deliver on their aspirations for the future of work.

What sets us apart is how we apply the core principles of aviation placing people at the centre of every process to improve business performance.

Why do we believe this is so valuable?  Sysdoc's human-centred approach recognises that whilst the future of work is driven by technology, its success is reliant on people, organisational and cultural change. Our approach makes the journey to the future of work easier to navigate and ensures a safe and successful landing in the business.

So why not come and find out more about the future of work at www.sysdoc.co.uk 

Thanks for reading.


About the author

Robin Ridgley is a Senior Consultant at Sysdoc. He specialises in transformational change, with over 15 years of working in the social housing sector, his passion is to help organisations understand how they can adapt their organisational structures and operating strategies/operating models.   

Robin has a successful history of planning and driving large-scale transformation programmes, in both the public and private sectors across all levels of the organisation, maximising colleague engagement through innovative and collaborative approaches, helping to ensure brand stability and programme success.

If you think are looking to understand the impact of the future of work  in your organisation or would like to know more, find out more about the future of work at www.sysdoc.co.uk 

You can contact Robin direct at [email protected] or through LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ro... 


About Sysdoc

At Sysdoc, we work with organisations to transform their businesses and to build the skills and capability essential for the future of work.

Applying our 33-year track record in process simplification, innovative learning, change management, and user experience, we lead organisations through digitally driven transformation and enable people to work in simpler, smarter ways.

Our Business Transformation methods deliver future proofed organisations who are obsessed with customers, digitally enabled, operationally excellent and confidently engaging their teams in new ways of working.

We support this through our multi award-winning learning which applies powerful use of technology, experiential techniques, and intelligent data analytics to ensure people are engaged, retain knowledge and learn.

Rapid digital change is driving today's businesses. Our Digital Experience solutions take a design-led approach providing customers and staff personalised, trusted and immediate access to information and tools using web, cloud, mobile, social, and artificial intelligence technology.

For over more than 30 years, we have delivered sustainable business solutions that can be characterised by quality, integrity and commitment. A proven track record and honest ways of working have led to numerous long-term partnerships with global clients. Our people are passionate about doing the best for you.

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