1st July 2019 Steve Worland

The Future of Work (Opinion piece 2019)

“The Future of work” you may have seen this headline before, and yes the pastime we spend more time doing than sleeping is evolving and could look very different in 20 years time to what it did 20 years ago. The world of work is changing, people don’t just remain in one job in one company for the lifespan of their career. The worker in 2040 will have several jobs with several companies.

Work however will stay the same in its essence, most of us need to do it, to live and pay for the lives we enjoy, and regardless of what we like to think we will all still work for someone else.

So what is changing let’s put two sticks in the ground the office of the year 2000, the office now and what it could be like in 2040. Let’s all consider the impact on the CEO and their workforce.

Looking back at the workplace of  2000, it is very familiar as most of it still exists, however subtle changes include: emails have replaced phones calls, messaging apps are starting to replace emails/faxes. 

Retail on the high street was still dominant in the year 2000, the company’s retail presence was often an indication as to their success generally. The most important storefront was often a company’s flagship store in the heart of London, staff could see and interact with their customers.

The world of 2019, the flagship storefront is a company’s Website (like to our website ?) or Amazon’s presence (Link to amazon blog) Marketing people maintain the online presence instead of the store professionals of the year 2000,  The workforce may also be very different there may also be distribution managers for delivering e-commerce purchases and everyone needs to be a customer service manager. Job types are merging together, and specialist skill sets are rising to the top due to the scarceness of that particular skill set.

The CEO has now become a chief customer officer, everyone can complain to them, as more often than not a customer with a complaint goes straight to the top.

The retail storefront has to work in harmony with the website, the distribution team and the changing products and needs of customers.

Companies like Amazon, AirBNB, Netflix, Carwow, Uber, have disrupted how people go about their lives, industry’s are changing all the time, they are constantly evolving, so companies have to change or they disappear (Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, ToysRUs, Bathstore).

CEO’s, Marketing managers, and retail professionals have to evolve, learn new products, new skills, keep up with legislation, let’s say Amazon, Apple, Google come for your industry next, you will need to change/tweak/evolve your offering quickly in order to stay in business.

The way people interact with companies is evolving, brands use influencers to leverage old fashioned word of mouth into recommendations,  advertising is targeted down detailed demographics and online behaviour if people have an issue they go to Twitter. A company’s reputation can be obliterated in an afternoon, you only have to be reminded of Pepsi’s or United Airlines ’social media faux-paus’ in 2017, when their videos went viral for the wrong reasons. Companies on the stock exchange have to tread carefully,  Snapchat’s share price suffered recently by picking in-appropriate campaigns and Elon Musk landed himself in hot water for tweets that could affect Tesla’s share price. The world in 2019 is relentless in comparison, customers are dealing with your business 24/7, so you need to be able to respond quickly and intelligently in order to maintain your company reputation. 

You can see where this is going with 2040 in mind? I cannot predict what work will look like in 2040, but This ever evolving marketplace means the skill sets of workers need to change all the time. Marketing managers may need to change aspects of their main store front at a moments notice, so Marketing managers need to be able to code or at least know someone who can very quickly (hint) 

CEO’s need to diffuse information about their products and services changing quickly, or customer services standards, or simple procedures, inductions. There will be days when the CEO thinks to themselves: “I wish my product knowledge, experience, customer service standards could just be transferred to my employees. This is very difficult across the thousands of employees I have dotted across the country”. Perhaps the solution is an e-learning app that goes to all the workers own devices could be the key?

Whilst you cannot always spot trends in consumers tastes changing, Legislation changes often catch the companies in 2019 out, examples like  Article 13, GDPR, Brexit, National living wage changes, can contribute to the difficulty of running businesses and will continue to come in the next 20 years.

On reflection, the business of 2000 rarely had to deal with the 24 hour crisis’ that the companies in today’s world have to and this could increase in the future. Customers contacting the CEO about late orders or questionable service. Startup competitors are able to come and disrupt the industry from nowhere, and this combined with the political changes that legislation throws at the Modern CEO, makes their role a tough one in 2019 and it could become even tougher.

Soft Pauer feel a solution exists that allows an organisation to prepare for these changes, this same solution allows business problems to be shared and dealt with in the manner the Business leader would do themselves. We feel Soft Pauers’s e-learning capability ticks those boxes.

We have created e-learning apps and e-learning concepts for a number of clients. A Learning video or animation followed by a short quiz is a great way of ensuring the knowledge sticks, this combined with clever gamification can keep the workforce highly engaged with the information in mind.

E-learning is a consistent, scalable and efficient learning solution. Content can be changed, updated quickly, and the user can consume content at their own pace, this content can be repeated and their instant learning and longer-term knowledge can be assessed throughout the course. The recent regulatory changes, privacy policy adjustments or consumer rights/ approaches can be communicated across a wide workforce demographic across a number of different locations. This reduces the risk of companies falling foul of these changes.

Do get in touch if you’d like to find out more.