Sunday, 15 January 2017

The changing of the way we work

There is a well-worn saying about change and that is certain is that there will be change. In talking about change it is unusual to understand what is unlikely to change and there are elements that will not change in the near future.
Included in these elements are items such as certainty where we know we need assurance that it is possible to avoid pain and gain pleasure. A basic need is also that we need variety to keep up the levels of stimulation through continuous change as well the desire to feel significant through recognition and develop a feeling of belonging or being loved and respected. The need to continually wishing to grow and expand our capacities and capabilities will never change and the contribution that we make will satisfy the sense of delivering to the best of our ability. Building a feeling of trust amongst all those with whom we interact is a major factor. All these elements will remain static while the environment wherein we operate will without doubt keep on changing on a continuous basis.
The way we work in the longer term is highly likely to dramatically change. There is no dispute that the manner in which tasks are completed is rapidly adapting to suit a totally new environment. The advancement of technology, connectivity and the expectations of both employers and employees are demanding that the economic activities be radically reviewed.
There is an ever increasing trend to relocate resources from the traditional high density centres such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Paris and the like because of high living costs, fast increasing rentals, and salaries which are being outpaced by costs. As a result the purchasing power of residents is being severely diminished and therefore this tendency is forcing organisations to relocate to areas where it is cheaper to live and conduct business. Technology has aided this process as it is easier to operate from remoter areas and still have access through tools such as Google, Dropbox, Skype and the like which makes it just as easy to service customers as effectively no matter where the base location is. The base link ups could also be temporary in that desks could be rented with all the required technological facilities, boardroom or conference facilities supported by the appropriate equipment and catering requirements thus saving investment in permanent structures.
Apart from being able to conveniently work from different sites the necessity for a substantial portion of the workforce no longer have to negotiate the traffic or use public transport daily and therefore the surplus time saving can be productively utilised. There are instances  that those firms who find it difficult to adapt to this newer culture and stubbornly maintain a level of mistrust have experienced a depletion of suitable staff and productivity as the workforce prefer to pursue a flexible option. It is important that the mind shift of acknowledging that the quality delivery of tasks should be the measure of productivity and not the actual time spent in the office. 
The trend has evolved that an incumbent is no longer a specialist in one field all their life. With the ongoing development of new processes, technologies and systems in order to be successful there is a continual need for education and re-education. One big degree for a lifelong job at one corporation is being replaced by a culture of a repeatable cycle of learning then work, then learn again and work to sustain competitiveness in the labour market. It is fact that where in the past job hopping carried a considerable stigma, this is now more than ever becoming the norm.
In days gone by, the evidence of consistent job hopping on an applicant’s resume hinted that in all likelihood presented a negative perception that the candidate probably had a people issue and did not get on with others, could not hold down a job, was disloyal and could not commit to a long term relationship.
The reality is that the opposite is becoming the actuality especially with regard to advancing through a continual learning and relearning process and the new job hopping millennia’s are now perceived to possess a higher learning curve, perform better and deliver above expectations as they pursue the drive to make a favourable impression and assert themselves in a shorter time period with each employer.
Because such employees are continually challenging themselves outside their comfort zones they are typically over achievers who deliver a significant contribution to the bottom line which stands them in good stead before they move on to new opportunities every two to four years. It is believed that the learning curve tends to flatten after three years so in fact regular job hopping has become crucial to ensure a stable career growth.
It nevertheless can remain a concern for companies as there is a continual requirement to invest in new staff but the upside is that the rapid growth of the organisation and the worry of the loss of intellectual property to competitors is less threatening because the swift change makes the impact of the loss of such intellectual assets soon to be outdated. 
The world is also seeing an exponential growth of entrepreneurs who with their specialised knowledge, offer their services on a short term basis simply by working as freelancers or contractors. With a wide-ranging exposure they enhance their skills and are thereby able to raise their rates or acquire additional freelancers to assist them and consequently grow their personal wealth.

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