The workplace is being redefined, as closed office doors give way to open spaces, and people enjoy more shared experiences at work. The rules of yesterday rarely apply in today’s environment. New rules backed by new ideas are springing up and expectations are hardly the same.
However, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) new report ‘Workforce of the future: Competing forces shaping 2030’ says the digital era has more up its sleeves with the ‘Red World’. The Red World is one where few rules exist.
PwC also describes this new world as the “perfect incubator for innovation.”
The Red World is part of ‘Four Worlds of Work’ identified by the study. Others include The Blue World, The Green World and the Yellow World.
In the Blue World, the global ‘corporates’ take centre stage; consumer choice dominates, and a corporate career creates a “haves and have-nots” dichotomy. The Green World recognises corporate responsibility as a business imperative. The Yellow World sees workers and companies searching out meaning and relevance in what they do.
For the Red World, the report suggests that by 2030 many more workers will prefer non-permanent positions in companies. The workers will challenge for more hours outside work leading to greater creativity in the work place.
The consequence will be that new products and business models develop at lightning speed, far more quickly than regulators can control.
“Technology encourages the creation of powerful, like-minded, cross-border social ‘bubble’. Businesses innovate to create personalisation and find new ways to serve these niches, there are high rewards on offer for those ideas and skills that best meet what companies and consumers want,” PwC noted.
The innovation could also come with high risk and possibly land most companies in court for breaking rules.
The Red World will also prioritise speed and agility. Today’s tech and smart businesses are already displaying this in the industries where they operate. In human resources, digital platforms are helping match potential employers with suitable workers and skills with demand. While in the tech ecosystem, investors with capital are able to locate the innovators that match their requirements.
PwC notes that in the Red World, pressure to compete could compel big employers to fragment to create their own internal markets and networks to cut through old-style hierarchies and encourage and reward workers to come up with new ideas. The pace of development and testing of new products and services has accelerated, increasing the risk of brand damage and failure.
On the part of workers, specialisation becomes a prized commodity. They are not defined by their employers or the institutions.
“Near-zero employee organisations are the norm. Organisations of a few pivotal people use technology, the supply chain and intellectual property, rather than human effort and physical assets, to generate value,” PwC stated.