Fast Forward Workplace 2030

Reflection Research

Reference Link

Some key learning pointers

  • The ideas, trends and behaviours that will shape work and workplace in 2030 are already perceptible today.
  • It is already evident how game changers such as artificial intelligence, crowdsourcing and the sharing economy are combining to rapidly transform business structure and the way people work.
  • 85% of interviewees believe that work and life will become more enmeshed for more people by 2030.
  • Work has become a consumer experience. People seek a holistic life: they want to work with intelligent people on exciting and rewarding projects where they can be creative and left alone to get the job done; values and purpose are as important as money; working for social good is an option; and they want to be a part of ‘the next big thing’. Not only are youth seeking happiness over money, but study participants reported that a majority of parents now aspire for their children to have happiness over money1.
  • “Hyper-driven, multi-talented young people aren’t picking tech over finance because it pays more. They’re picking it because the lifestyle is better, because it’s just as competitive to get into (if not more so), and it allows them to feel better about themselves. In their eyes, going into tech is a way to remain among the cultural elite without selling your soul29″
  • In fact, youth in the Singapore focus group explained their vision for the future workplace being “like a shopping mall where you can pick and choose places that represent not only functionally what you want to do, but also that represent what kind of person you are.
  • Interview participant Train Luo observes “the current knowledge workers will have to turn themselves into more creative workers to be able to think of how to best use and evaluate information, and relate this correctly to what the client needs.“60
  • As Sir Ken Robinson eloquently articulates: “My contention is that creativity is now as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status. We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it. You were probably steered away from things at school when you were a kid, things you liked, on the grounds that you would never get a job doing that. Benign advice – now, profoundly mistaken. The whole world is engulfed in a revolution.”61
  • The greatest areas of opportunity for new sharing businesses are those where there is large desire to share (latent demand) but small number of people currently sharing (market saturation). One of the best new opportunities is sharing time/responsibilities; whilst workspace is a well developed sharing model.
  • Young workers acknowledge that work at university is still very much “about the individual” and the workplace is collective. They like their anonymity at university and miss it in the workplace and the way they learn has changed to become much more “trial and error” than theoretical; they believe that their needs to be more “room to fail”. At university, students get very good at seeking out the expert to advance their knowledge – and they generally have a direct line of communication to that purpose. In the office, the formal management layers inhibit this – and the physical work environment exacerbates the problem. “Relationships at university are far more horizontal”.
  • Universities have better access to public places to study, there is a “much stronger sense of community” and at the same time there are many places to “escape and focus and do private work – around the campus and in the dorms”.
  • For a generation that media sees as “buried in their devices and the virtual world” the young workers were very clear in articulating how “face to face meetings and activities at university were far more effective” than the experiences that they are having in the workplace.
  • One of the more insightful comments was the “mourning of the loss of being able to study with people with the same interests and hobbies”. This desire for identity and to be part of a community of interest is really evident in the co-working spaces outside the corporate workplace and there is absolutely the potential in high performance workplaces to incorporate these new ways of organising how people work together.
  • In the future workplace “Everyone is a leader, it’s about teamwork and not dictatorship.” Freedom to choose, mobility, and ability to work in the third place were common themes
  • It was perhaps no surprise that young workers in Singapore see the future workplace more like a shopping mall – a place to meet with a diversity of choices to suit interest groups and undertake different work activities.
  • If three people get together, you get the wisdom of not just three, but that of ten people.
    Japanese Proverb
  • “The physical work environment will still be high in efficiency –especially when we are moving towards more workshop type work – more collaborative style working. It’s all about meeting together to solve a problem together – workshop to be creative together – to be in a physical space together – when a lot of companies are moving towards co-creation working – right brain visual kind of working – this will not work on a conference-call. So the physical workspace will still be very high in demand”. Kevin Lee, Chief Operating Officer,
    China Youthology, China
  • In 2030 corporations will take an active role, engaging with their workers and partners, to pro-actively manage or ‘curate’ the experience of work.

Reflection on the report

Fast Forward 2030 is a research report on the future of work. How worker perceive the future of working.

After reading the report, I have a few thoughts about how I should move the project forward. Initially, I feel that what I should be looking for, is how to make people learn better with connected devices. By looking at the available digital solution and explore how workers can maximise their learning experience. This somehow lead to the usability and user experience issue of the digital platform.

What I might overlook is , How workers want to learn in the future?

Shopping has changed. Expectation of the shoppers has changed and it has evolved to retail experience. What about work? What is the consumer experience of working?

Expectation of work has changed as well. They are looking for a holistic life, work life balance, with a greater value and satisfaction in work. Work is not silo anymore. People want more collaboration and teamwork.

What should I be investigating is, how do I make digital learning a part of the future working experience.

In the future of work, mobility will become the new change master and staying in front of the desktop to go through e-learning courses might not be feasible. As Seth Godin mentioned, the dropout rate of massive online courses is higher than 97%.

What next.

I be creating a customer journey map (I think in this case, it will be worker journey map) to evaluate the user experience of the worker. Understand what is their pain point and investigate how digital learning could be part of their journey.