My Thoughts on The Future of Work

I’d like to thank Luc for the opportunity to write a guest post over here on Workplace Prosperity.

I’m a big fan of Chris Brogan and I’ve been reading his blog on a daily basis for the last 2 years.  His blog is very difficult to narrow down to one central theme, as he writes on a variety of business topics.  My attention was initially caught as he had (and still does) have a lot of useful insights to share about Social Media, the future of business communication, and how to build online community.  These are all topics that I’m passionate about, and reading Chris’ blog helps me keep up with some of the latest trends and thinking in these areas.

In this blog post I’d like to share with you my thoughts after reading one of the recent posts on Chris’ blog, entitled “The Future of Work”.  Please go over and have a read of it before reading about how I am experiencing some of these changes in my working life.

WORK WILL BE MODULAR
I find the point about work becoming more modular and using “project” as the measurement of work to be quite relevant. I’m a recent convert to the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology, and I’ve been learning the importance of organising as many of our tasks as possible (both at work and home) into projects. In my day job, I increasingly find myself, and many of my colleagues, stepping outside our primary roles, and working on projects that we are either passionate about, or that we think will help develop our career in a way that our existing role can’t. For example I’m a trained Facilitator, and while I use these skills in my primary role to facilitate online meetings, I have an agreement with my manager to set aside a certain amount of time each year to facilitate in person After Action Review sessions. I benefit from developing my facilitation skills, and the rest of the organisation benefits from having a neutral facilitator to host their session.

WORK WILL BE MOBILE
Another point I’d like to focus on is the statement that work will be more mobile. Again my experience during the last 6 years would suggest that this is true. In 2005 I moved house and due to a longer commute I started working from home. In 2007 I moved again, this time even further from the office, and I increased my time working from home. Four years later I am working almost exclusively from home, and have even been able to transition into a role in which I no longer have any of my direct colleagues based in the same country. One thing worth qualifying is that there is still a bridge of trust that needs to be crossed before managers are prepared to have people in their team be more mobile. This is reflected by the fact that it is difficult to find opportunities where you can move employer and have the same level of mobility.

WORK WILL BE CAUSE-BALANCED
The final point that I’d like to reflect on is the trend of work becoming more cause-balanced. This is something I’ve come across in my research into Social Media and specifically looking at the new generation entering the workplace. It would appear that there is an increasing expectation from one’s peers that it is unacceptable to work for a company that has a poor track record when it comes to Social Leadership.

YOUR THOUGHTS
I hope this gives you a taster of how I see the workplace changing, fueled by Chris’ post. Let us know via the comments your thoughts on the future of work and what changes you have seen.

Image credited to http://www.flickr.com/photos/krupptastic/

4 thoughts on “My Thoughts on The Future of Work

  1. Hi Frank, you’ve chosen an intriguing topic for your first post on this blog, well done!

    I would like to think that the future of work lies in 3 pivotal areas. I’d hope that in the next decade

    • Work is fun. I think there are far too many people who simply don’t enjoy their jobs. A point well-made in Don Miller’s post.
    • People are driving their jobs, rather than jobs driving people. Patrick Mayfield puts this rather nicely here. Technology can help, but without proper work methods and management models the effect will be limited.
    • Networks are formed on the basis of ability and talent, rather than social class. This will e.g. lead to gender inequality disappearing from the workplace, greater opportunities for minority groups, etc.

    In all 3 areas we’ve still got massive steps to take.

  2. Great post Frank. Indeed, mobile work is in everyone’s mind but managers are still to let go. I really liked the idea of you basing your post on crystalizing general thoughts coming from another post. Nice approach

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