How ICT will change next generation working life

Working life is changing for millions of people around the world. Mobile and digital technologies are expanding into increasingly more areas of society, business and private life, changing the way we work and how work is organized. As people become more mobile they expect greater flexibility in their work, placing greater demand on their work environment.

In the report "Next-generation working life", Ericsson Networked Society Lab wanted to explore these changes and understand the most important trends. It will be crucial to understand and adapt to the changes taking place. But what are the main challenges that organizations need to address, and what are the benefits? How do you thrive in this new game?

Mikael Eriksson Björling, Expert Consumer Behavior, ConsumerLab at Ericsson says: "Each historical era has its main source of value-creating activity. During the 'hunting and gathering' period, for instance, this involved finding food, making fire and creating clothing. Today, new behaviors and emerging technologies are changing how work is organized. We believe ICT will be a fundamental driver of this transformation and, for us as a company, it is important to see the opportunities and be a part of this transformation."

Here are the 8 trends identified in the study:

1. Quest for Meaning - Instead of only focusing on compensation, benefits or the job title on a business card, it is increasingly important to contribute to society. To play a meaningful role is deemed crucial.

2. From Tasks to Missions - The shift to focus on value-creation marks a major change in working life. Both employers and employees focus more on actual value creation and end results, rather than on exactly where, when and by which methods the work is done.

3. Cultural Gravitation - People tend to seek companies with a sense of community and internal culture with which they can identify.

4. Two-Way Flexibility - Flexible working hours in combination with constant connectivity. People are now expecting flexibility on their town terms.

5. Do-Ocracy - People take greater individual responsibility for solving problems and achieving goals.

6. The Power of Serendipity - Organizations "plan for" random encounters between people with different backgrounds and competencies in order to increase the opportunities for innovative ideas.

7. The Exchange Place - There is a shift from storing and controlling employees in the workplace to ensuring that the exchange is meaningful and rewarding. The working environment should primarily be designed to optimize the quality of interpersonal exchange.

8. Consumerization - People want their work environment to be adjusted to their individual needs, with preferences and experiences from the private sphere being applied at work.

The findings in this report are based mainly on primary research. Ericsson Networked Society Lab has done a Delphi study with international experts and thought leaders from various fields of competence related to working life. We have met experts in HR and organizations as well as leading architects and business thinkers. We have also visited a number of both small and large progressive businesses in the US to see how they are organizing work.

(via The Wall Street Journal)

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