While the "future of work" may feel like a phrase related to a far more advanced or revolutionary description of the modern workplace, the reality is that workers (and leading companies) already are embracing the futuristic trends shaping the way we think about work.
The momentum surrounding the rapidly changing workforce suggests business leaders have to start thinking now about how they will scale and respond to these trends to continue attracting and retaining the right talent. And this is absolutely true.
Here are three trends that are sure to shape your future workplace--if they haven't started to already.
1. Extremely Flexible Work Arrangements
The rise of technology and flexible work through the on-demand economy is putting pressure on companies to offer more appealing options when it comes to flexibility. That's why many companies have baked flexibility into their culture and policies.
At Dell, for example, 25 percent of employees work from home on a regular basis, and the company is aiming for 50 percent to work remotely by 2020. For the high-tech startup Treehouse, the normal workweek is Monday through Thursday--even the CEO only works four days a week.
While your business may not be equipped to offer such extreme versions of flexible work, understanding what the future of flexibility could look like can help you start thinking about how flexibility fits into your business.
2. Required Tech Skills for Roles Not Traditionally Related to Tech
Technology is at the heart of any rapidly changing business or industry. This is why software skills, or even just software experience, has become a key requirement for roles in nearly every industry.
Even jobs previously seen as relatively low skill or entry level often require specialized software experience. For companies thinking about the future of their recruiting programs, it means candidates with the right combination of skills will become increasingly hard to find and recruiting teams will need creative strategies to attract them.
3. Disappearing and Emerging Jobs
While many types of jobs have disappeared and others are endangered by automation, the future of work will include a slew of new technology-related roles and skill sets. Research may suggest that nearly half of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing due to automation, but this should inspire business leaders to think about what will come next.
The Internet of Things is the most recent example of the new types of roles needed to create the technology that is driving connectedness and creating massive amounts of data. Right now it's looking like virtual reality and 5G are gaining momentum, but when and how you respond to these technology developments depends on where you see them falling into your future of work.
No one can deny the workplace is changing, but keeping ahead of these trends can help position your company for success tomorrow and beyond.