Future of Work & Careers


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Emerging social, economic, and technology trends are changing the traditional models of work and careers as we have known them. Going ahead, these forces will significantly impact how, when, where, and by whom the work of the future will be executed, and result in work ‘travelling’ to people instead of the other way round.

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Future of Work & Careers

  1. 1. Insights The Future of Work and Careers - Girish Khanzode, Naveen Bakshi Emerging social, economic and technology trends are changing the traditional models of work and careers we have known in the past. Going ahead, these forces will significantly impact how, when, where and by whom the work of the future will be carried out and result in work travelling towards people instead of the other way round. We will witness creative destruction of jobs as current jobs give way to new opportunities. Companies and professionals that understand these trends and make strategic changes will be tomorrow’s winners. www.infosys.com
  2. 2. Advances in connectivity, collaboration and networks are blurring the boundaries between work and personal life and Technology enabling dynamic and global collaboration amongst employees, Trends contractors, customers, suppliers and partners. This will accelerate innovation and disrupt business performance.2 | Infosys
  3. 3. Enterprise CollaborationThe new model of social interactions using collaboration technologies has made it easier forindividuals to stay connected with friends, relatives and peers. It has also enabled businesses to shareknowledge within the organization, with suppliers, partners and customers. The enterprise socialnetwork has a huge advantage, namely the ability to preserve work knowledge, team interactions,decisions, work artifacts and processes even after an employee is gone.In time, collaborative social exchanges will speed up the development of new ideas and innovationby enabling sharing across the length and breadth of the organization.Ubiquitous CloudThe Cloud has made it possible for employees to work from any place, any time and using anydevice as long as they have connectivity. Its pay-as-you-go model has done away with the need forexpensive investment in technology infrastructure, and encouraged innovation. A cloud computingmodel providing low cost storage, processing and availability, supported by broadband networks,smartphones and collaboration networks will foster global collaboration and create new modelsof working.MobilityThe number of mobile subscribers will touch 6.5 billion by the end of 2012. Worldwide mobile datatraffic will exceed 130 Exabyte by 2020 due to new devices connected to the Internet. Smartphonesare growing four times faster than the overall mobile phone market and will become primary devicesfor work, education and health.Employees will increasingly use personal mobile devices like smartphones, PDAs and tabletsequipped with social networking capabilities to communicate with coworkers and customers. Theircompanies will have to support these devices on corporate networks.VirtualizationTechnologies facilitating easier virtualization and governance of data, video and other networktraffic for mobile workforces will allow workers to access corporate IT applications and operatingsystems securely in any workplace environment and over any network. It will enable workers toremain connected and enable organizations to launch work from home programs.This will accelerate the trend of moving work to low cost sites and result in the creation of regionalpockets of expertise. These regions will act like a magnet for skilled professionals of the relevantindustries.AutomationRecent advances in robotics, software and algorithms will result in repetitive or fairly well structuredwork becoming fully or partially automated. For example, robots can today install solar panels orclean floors. Software can perform some tasks – like analyzing images or understanding speech –more proficiently than ever before. Specialized versions of virtual assistants such as Siri are beingdeployed in customer facing functions.We will see more automation in assembly lines, investment decisions, complex legal processes, andlogistics to reduce workforce needs. Many middle layer transactional jobs will disappear. However,high-wage, high-skill jobs will continue to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 ofthe 10 fastest-growing new job categories between 2009 and 2011 were related to computers orsoftware. Infosys | 3
  4. 4. Economic Trends4 | Infosys
  5. 5. Digital FreelancingA new trend of online freelancing wherein skilled workers from allover the world collaborate online with other experts will intensify.Its growth will create a mainstream talent pool that companieswill be able to tap for urgent jobs, to delegate non-core work, tofulfill temporary requirement or acquire niche skills.Online employment is now a $1B industry. The growth of digitalfreelancing can be gauged from the fact that one of its leaders,eLance is growing 50% annually and has facilitated more thanUS$ 175 million in annual earnings for freelancers.Knowledge EconomySince more economies are becoming knowledge driven, theneed for workers to have appropriate skills to deliver work inthis new world will be on the rise and a growing number of jobswill require a significantly complex set of interdisciplinary skills.As more and more work becomes knowledge driven, newgeneration workers who can deliver a complex set of tasks anduse their tacit knowledge will be increasingly preferred. Already,this segment of workers is growing 2.5 times faster than thetransactional workforce. Infosys | 5
  6. 6. Social/Demographic Trends6 | Infosys
  7. 7. Ageing Workforce As 77 million Baby Boomers (aged 44 to 62) retire, only 48 million from Generation X will take their place, to create a knowledge and experience vacuum. Organizations stand to lose tacit valuable knowledge (which is more than 40% for a typical company) to retirement. Although ageing is a developed world issue at present, even emerging economies will experience similar problems in future. Advances in healthcare will increase longevity to beyond 100 years. This will result in many older people working beyond retirement age, either full time or otherwise, provided their companies support them with the right assistive technologies and policies. Changing demographics will result in four distinct generations with different values, beliefs and expectations working side by side at the workplace. This will create new management challenges for companies. Generation Y The tech-savvy hyper connected millennial generation has a different mindset compared to earlier generations, prefers collaborative problem solving, and wants to use “personal” technologies at work. Gen Y expects continuous learning, feedback, and higher responsibilities. By 2020, this generation will constitute half of the global workforce. Rise of Women in Workforce The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that women make up more than two-thirds of employees in 10 out of 15 job categories that are likely to grow the fastest in the next few years. As women constitute a higher percentage of the workforce, they will prefer job opportunities with flexible work policies to enable them perform their dual duties towards work and family.SuccessStrategies for Future Workers In the coming decade, workers will see traditional careers being replaced by new areas of opportunity. Physical presence will no longer be the measure of productivity. As work will travel to them, their residence location will not be a barrier to choose the work they are passionate about. These workers will see outdated hierarchies and fancy titles crumble. Automation and other advances will see the world moving from the information age to the conceptual one. Left-brain skills will continue to be necessary, but will not suffice. The ability to network, collaborate with dispersed teams, think creatively, grasp abstract concepts, and create a personal brand will be critical success factors. Workers of the future will need to become specialists in more than one area. Although generalists will still exist, their compensation will stagnate. Infosys | 7
  8. 8. New Technology Opportunities8 | Infosys
  9. 9. Emergence of new models of work and the need for new type of workers will giverise to a new set of technologies to help companies operate in the new world. Thisopportunity for technology companies will primarily be in the following areas: • Next generation Knowledge Management Systems that capture and share the knowledge of experts using new types of data like videos and interactions. These will automatically provide relevant information to new workers based on the context in addition to leveraging smart search technologies. • Enterprise collaboration software, communication tools and social networking applications that encourage employee interactions; work allocation, tracking, measurement and execution from any device. • Hi-definition advanced video-conferencing capabilities from multiple devices that eliminate the need to travel for work. • Avatars and virtual worlds for a virtual global existence wherein work is completely virtual and remote. These will support devices residing in the developed world to be controlled via Internet from the emerging one, to bring cost advantage. • Specialized virtual assistants (software algorithmic agents) for mundane tasks such as customer support, which parse a user’s question and craft an answer by plugging relevant data to create a set of readymade replies. • Enterprise mobility applications. • Robots for mechanical tasks. For example fly-like small robots to secure homes and buildings • Cognitive assistants for professionals that help organize daily tasks, filter information flows, prioritize commitments, and manage work and life. • New work measurement technologies that provide statistics about the quantity of work that a remote worker has put in along with measures for privacy control. • New performance measurement tools with dynamic goals that can collect measurement data by scanning the enterprise collaboration network to improve quality of evaluation and avoid recency bias. • Innovation management tools to foster and reward the culture of innovation. • Hiring tools to: attract and connect to millennials at their hangouts, identify potential candidates; track and provide complete visibility to all participants during the entire hiring process, in real-time. • eLearning tools for anywhere anytime learning Infosys | 9
  10. 10. Recommendations for Companies Companies of the future will need to compete for skilled talent in order to win in the new world driven by innovation as the critical differentiator. They will need to focus on quality rather than numbers to meet the demands of new work. Some suggestions are listed below: • Latest tools, policies and application deployments that cater to demands of the ‘bring your own device to work’ culture and satisfy the expectations of better mobility support and improved collaborative application experience. This will enable employees to work wherever, whenever, and take charge of their life and work. This initiative is important since millennials say that technology is vital to their employer selection. • Customizable choices for career paths, benefits, work arrangements, contracts and skill building programs to help retain the best talent by addressing individualistic aspirations in new generation employees. • Mentoring programs with seniors for opportunities to learn, retool and reinvent. • Flexible work policies to attract new generation male and female workers. • Ideation systems that capture innovation ideas from employees and reward the best ones. • New performance evaluation practices that value employees based on their ability to create intellectual capital and innovate. Performance evaluation with dynamic goals to ensure that evaluation is aligned to the work performed and the workforce to organizational needs. • CSR activities promoting sustainable practices and community welfare, visible in social media to attract the younger, environmentally conscious generations. • Encouragement for employees to build online identities as individual brands, through blogs, participation in online forums, and professional profiles on sites like LinkedIn.10 | Infosys
  11. 11. About the Authors Girish Khanzode Products & Platforms Innovator for Futuristic Technologies, Infosys Girish is a veteran in Enterprise Software Product design and development with more than 20 years of professional experience. He has built and led large product engineering teams to deliver highly complex products in multiple domains, covering entire product life cycle. Currently, he is engaged in innovating and building the next generation products and platforms in emerging new technology areas like Enterprise Data Security and Privacy, Collaboration technologies, Digital Workplace, Social Analytics, Smart Cities, Big Data and Internet of Things. Girish holds M. Tech. degree in Computer Engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Naveen Bakshi Principal and Head, Digital Consumer Institute, Centre of Innovation for Tomorrow’s Enterprise, Infosys Labs Naveen leads the Digital consumer Institute at Infosys, where he helps enterprises to understand the ever changing demographic of Digital Consumers and advises on how they need to transform to cater to their needs. Naveen has around 16 years of experience in various areas of IT particularly focused on Product Management, BPM and understanding user needs. Infosys | 11
  12. 12. About InfosysMany of the worlds most successful organizations rely on Infosys todeliver measurable business value. Infosys provides business consulting,technology, engineering and outsourcing services to help clients in over30 countries build tomorrows enterprise.For more information, contact askus@infosys.com www.infosys.com© 2012 Infosys Limited, Bangalore, India. Infosys believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date; such information is subject to change without notice. Infosys acknowledgesthe proprietary rights of the trademarks and product names of other companies mentioned in this document.