The Future of the Workforce in 2027
With 2019 just around the corner, the future is understandably on everyone’s mind. Technological innovations continue to bring new understandings of how to better work, communicate, and collaborate, as digital transformation creates new possibilities for the digital workforce.
With these major shifts in mind, Gartner recently released a report on “Work in 2027,” focusing on the trends and changes taking shape now that will have a significant impact on work in the near future.
“We Working” and the Rise of Decentralized Teams
In 2027 Gartner predicts the dominance of “We Working,” which is defined as “a work philosophy that depends on ensembles of autonomous and high-performing teams fulfilling crucial outcomes.” We believe We Working is an eventuality directly tied to the development of unified communications technologies like Fuze, that eliminate the traditional barriers between team members caused an increasingly distributed workforce. We Working teams are predicted to be decentralized and comprised of independent team members, working as needed rather than based on set schedules, exercising personal control and flexibility on how they handle projects. We find this to be a prescient prediction as in our recent Workforce Futures report, we found that 57 percent of workers prefer a job with no set hours, and 89 percent prefer a job that offers flextime.
Gartner also predicts that digital businesses will “increase the distribution of work across communities of people and across businesses globally.” We can expect that businesses will expand their workforces beyond physical boundaries, bringing on team members regardless of where they are based with a focus on productivity because of the availability of communication technologies. We’ve found that 83 percent of workers feel they do not need to be in an office to be productive, supporting Gartner’s conclusion about the decreasing association between physical proximity and quality of work. In fact, we already see many of our customers embracing this philosophy, and believe it is only a matter of time before such organizational habits are adopted more broadly .
The Work-Life Equation
Work-life balance is part of the DNA here at Fuze, and so we understand the challenges that come with increasing flexibility. As Gartner notes, the increasing prevalence of remote, independent work on fluid schedules will “force us to recalibrate work arrangements.” Because we are able to work wherever and whenever we want, it is possible that we will try to work whenever we get the chance. In other words, the time that we spend “outside of work” will become harder to define, as what is considered “outside of work” becomes a much less rigid concept. This is a significant challenge, as 95 percent of workers we surveyed cited work-life balance as an important factor when searching for a new job. Given such a high preference, identifying how to achieve this balance in the workplace of tomorrow will be of utmost importance.
2019 is set to be a big year for digital businesses, but keeping an eye only to the year ahead is not enough in today’s fast paced tech landscape. Looking ahead to 2027, providing the right tools and technologies to enterprises will be even more important to ensure businesses reach full productivity as they go through their digital transformations.