The workplace as we understood it in the 20th century is no more. What’s left are remnants of menial tasks that are mostly still performed by hand. However, these tasks will soon be overtaken by time to become a vestigial tail of a period that’s long gone. Today, it has become clear that the future of work lies in digital power; there is nothing anyone can do to escape it.
Don’t believe it? Companies such as Amazon are investing millions to train their workers so that they can in turn move into more highly skilled roles. Why are businesses going to the trouble?
Because these smart businesses have realized and accepted the realities of the future. Soon enough, advances in automation will soon allow machines to outperform human beings at certain tasks. This suggests that the most valuable businesses in the future are not those that have perfected the skill of running a specific field.
Rather, they will be those capable of regularly adapting and learning new skills. To support this rapid advancement and learning in the workplace, businesses all over the globe will need to ensure that they create a purely digital environment.
This environment is already allowing for flawless connectivity across devices, workflows, and data today. As a result, traditionally mundane office tasks have gradually been revolutionized by smarter, faster, and more efficient technology. As these changes become a reality, business leaders must do everything that they can to prepare for the future if they want to stay afloat.
Both you and your business need to be agile, more inclusive, and more willing to learn so that you can divert your attention to the future versus the present. Sometimes you have to make strides today to survive the waves that are already preparing to crash around you. So, to help you prepare for the future of work, here are 5 things leaders can do:
Diversity and inclusion should take center stage
Most companies fail to realize the damage that can stem from unconscious human bias. However, the only way that businesses can advance, while preparing for the future is to embrace inclusion and embrace diversity. Only by doing that will a company be able to truly connect and adapt to all the diversity present in today’s and tomorrow’s global marketplace.
When business leaders embrace diversity, they in turn create environments that consist of workers of all sexualities, genders, religions, races, as well as socioeconomic backgrounds. This is the only way the workplace, presently and in the future, can thrive and realistically see themselves as leaders within your industry.
Incorporate data technology to facilitate more fact-based decisions
Technology is essential and has become imperative not just for speeding up communication and automating work processes, but also for ensuring the future of survival for businesses. Technology enables forward-looking predictions of results, as well as allow critical decision-making assistance through advancements such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, as well as the Internet of Things.
It’s not enough to merely embrace technology in their operations. Business leaders also need to track their progress and measure their results. These metrics are critical as they can help leaders understand just how much and how effectively their workplaces are being transformed by technology.
From a career standpoint, business leaders and their employees also need to assess their own advancements and how future proof they are. It is clear that the pace of change is nowhere close to slowing down and these fast-paced changes will continue long into the future.
Retrofit your business model to allow telecommuting
If you want to move with the times, then it is a good idea to retrofit your business model so that it can accommodate telecommuting. The talent that will foster growth in your organization may not necessarily be within a driving distance of your physical office but this doesn’t mean that they cannot help you achieve your business objectives.
Whether they live in a different city, state, or country shouldn’t be an issue of concern. In the future, freelance workers will account for your organization’s workforce in the coming years. As such, you should adjust your business model to accommodate these workers if you want your business to flourish.
Prepare your staff to work hand in hand with digital labor
Studies now show that millions of jobs could be displaced in the future thanks to the onslaught of machines and algorithms. Even though some jobs could be displaced, this trend will also create millions of other new roles while forcing the evolution of others, and your team needs to be adequately prepared for them.
As such, it is considered good business to train your staff to think of digital labor such as AI, advanced data analytics and machine learning as not just a tool, but in many cases, as a coworker of sorts with various advantages as well as some notable weaknesses. Digital Authority says that you must do what you can to prepare for the eventual takeover by reading some books on artificial intelligence here.
Promote corporate wellness
Corporate wellness is a growing trend that has permeated the modern workplace by storm. As a business leader, you can take full advantage of this trend by incentivizing your staff to lead healthier lives both inside and outside the workplace. Consider allowing your staff to opt into wellness programs so that they can reap the rewards.
Although the benefits of corporate wellness cannot be denied, it cannot be treated as a band-aid for problems. For a corporate wellness program to be successful, business leaders must offer support and motivation to increase engagement and eventual success.
According to CoolThingsChicago, if you fail to involve your employees in the implementation stages, corporate wellness programs are also bound to nose dive. Here are great resources on corporate wellness and its place in the modern workplace.
By all estimations, the global workforce will primarily comprise of knowledge workers with disruptive skills that will be working hand in hand with AI. The day to day operational challenges can indeed kill your business if left unattended. However, so can your future.
So, what can business leaders do to create resilient workers capable of thriving in this new environment? Real planning for the future is the only way business leaders can adequately prepare for the inevitable changes that the future will bring.
Of course, nobody really knows what to tomorrow hold for sure but most experts agree that technological elements are a given. As such, business leaders need to address these changes today so that they can keep ahead of the wave.