Even the best corporate strategists can’t be certain, but they can look at some of today’s social, technological and business trends and countertrends to see which way the proverbial winds are blowing.
How do you envision the future of work? Maybe you think the future will be a lot like the present, with a few more gadgets, a little more globalization, a smidgen more flexibility and a bit less job security. Perhaps you imagine that most employees will be skilled, telecommuting, well-paid free agents who work for the highest bidder in a super-flexible, highly connected global
network of employers. Or maybe you visualize a more dystopian world dominated by a winner-take-all toxic capitalism in which a group of super-rich Haves lord it over a majority of Have-Nots who work longer and longer hours for less pay. Possibly you foresee the day when employment-based work will be replaced by government provided living wages, worker-owned enterprises and volunteer associations.
These are just a few examples of what may come to pass, and none can be written off as impossible. The future may contain aspects of each (or none) of these visions, or each one may arise in different regions of the world or at different times. Even the best corporate strategists can’t be certain, but they can look at some of today’s social, technological and business trends and countertrends to see which way the proverbial winds are blowing. By engaging in such an analysis of the business environment, managers can develop a variety of ideas about how work and the workplace will change in coming years.