The future of work

The world of work is changing.  Cloud connectivity, the ease of global communication and data and file sharing platforms enable us to work whenever, wherever. Our physical workspaces are changing too, becoming less centralized, more open and increasingly mobile. These changes represent huge opportunities for talented employees to choose when, where and how they work.

To thrive in this dynamic and connected space, consider how the following trends might impact your work and how you can stay competitive in the workplace of the future.

Access to analytics.  The ability to use data to drive smart decisions is a competitive advantage for companies and the ability to recognize and harness the power of data is a key skill set employers want.  Whether you are managing a project, leading a team or supporting the roll out of a new product, understanding how data informs your business is critical. 

Expanded internal communication channels.  Many organizations are overwhelmed by email and an overflowing inbox is no longer seen as an effective or efficient way to communicate with colleagues.  Many conversations can be had via internal messaging services that enable real-time chat, file sharing and quick discussions.  Your workplace may already be exploring these kind of services, but the more you can make use of channels like Google Hangouts, Slack, Basecamp and even Microsoft Lync the more you'll be seen as an efficient communicator that only uses email when it's really needed.

A multi-generational workforce. From Millennials to Boomers and the generations on either side, there is a huge range in the ages operating in any potential workplace.  The ability to understand what different people bring to the table and bridge gaps in experience and expertise is valuable to not only managing a multi-generational workforce, but also thriving in it. 

The rise of freelance work.  The rise in freelance work to complete short term contracts or project based work has led to increasingly blended workplaces.  Freelance access is a great opportunity to leverage skill sets and expertise from all over the globe to complete a project, often enabling your company to work on a project 24/7.  For people in organizations working with freelancers, these virtual contract arrangements require project management skills that understand how to break a project into manageable, monitorable pieces with built-in check points to measure success and the right communication tools to ensure everyone is on the same page.

One thing is certain, the world of work is shifting rapidly and it's an exciting time to be working. By staying aware of the trends that are impacting how we work, you can continue to evolve with the workforce of the future.