6 Predictions: The Future of Work

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

We are already on our way toward the future of work. The catalysts for this new world of work include: life changing events such as 9/11; technological advances; economic events; and the absurd behavior of corporate executives. The current workforce is starving for certainty, control, shared values, and meaningful work. Here are 6 predictions of what the future of work holds for us:

  1. The Skeleton Corporation. Organizations will maintain a skeleton staff and outsource 80% of their work. Not only will this reduce their risk and responsibility, it will reduce the financial demands for compensation, benefits, training and development as well as equipment, facilities, and management. Already being outsourced are support functions such as Information Technology, Finance, and Human Resources.
  2. Virtual Service Providers. Specialty organizations that provide outsourced services such as IT, HR, and finance will reduce their financial burdens by hiring virtual workers. Since these services are outsourced, there is no need to have everyone in one place. This reduction in financial burden will allow specialty organizations to stay competitive in the world market.
  3. On Demand Professionals. Professionals will maintain independent contractor status to regain control. They will have the freedom (and now the responsibility) to choose projects which best utilize their strengths, match their values, and have meaning for them. They will be responsible for their own personal and professional development as well as marketing their services.
  4. Boutique Talent Brokers. Highly attuned to the fact that not all individual professionals will have the skills to market and sell their services, talent brokers will begin to provide match-making services introducing organizations to their on demand teams. Tapping into their network of independent workers, the boutique will help fill the needs of both the organization and indie professional.
  5. On Demand Teams. Collaborative work will increase and individual professionals will need to pull together on their projects. These on demand teams will need to accelerate through the team development process in order to meet the demands of the market.
  6. Artistry As A Value Proposition. As individuals begin to design careers as unique as their strengths, values, and skills, they will demand similar originality in their products. Organizations will focus less on mass production and more on customization, craftsmanship, and artistry.

The future of work is already starting. Many of these changes are happening around us. Are you ready to take on these responsibilities as a business? As a professional? Do you have the skills? Does the next generation?