The 20/20 on 2020 Workplace Trends

We are living in a world shaped and driven by profound change. Technology is turning the global community into a constantly connected, vibrant network, business cycles are moving at accelerating speeds and economics, politics and society are undergoing tremendous structural changes. By 2020, the workplace will see significant transformation in almost every aspect. Global research by authors Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd and futurist Graeme Codrington has outlined several major trends that will shape the 2020 workplace.

Workforce demographics will change. Employees will stay longer in the workforce, with five generations of workers from diverse backgrounds working together in collaborative teams. Globalisation and virtual workplaces will mean shifts and flows of talent, with research pointing to a migration of workers to BRIC countries.

As digital information mounts at unprecedented speed, there will be strong demand for workers who can securely handle huge amounts of data. Mobile phones will penetrate deeper into our work and personal life and will be extensively used as educational and training tools. Hyper-connectivity will continue to rise and will rule the way we live and work. As knowledge is doubling every three to five years, demand for communication, relationship building and technical skills will surge. Consumers and employees will join hands in online collaborative groups to drive improvement of products, services and business.

 The current decade will see booming social media, networking and learning, and corporate social responsibility will gain increased importance. Millennials will flow into the workforce, making up almost half of it by 2014, and lifestyle and work patterns will blend and flex, opening up huge opportunities for workers and companies that embrace flexibility.

Lastly, employees will demand and employers will provide opportunities for constant and virtual learning and for sharing, communicating and collaborating at all levels. Companies will survive and thrive on innovation.