Considering the social and technological leaps our working lives have taken in the past decade alone, it’s daunting to think what the workplace could be like in 20 years’ time.
But that’s the reality many are facing, as Millennials enter the workforce and older employees face a prolonged working career and later retirement.
The Future of the Workforce, a report commissioned by UBS Wealth Management, looks to paint a picture of the future of work - setting out the four main ways in which the workforce is "set to significantly change in the coming years" – City AM reports.
“The workplace is becoming far more complex," said Jürg Zeltner, President of Wealth Management at UBS.
"The relationship between employee and employer looks set to change significantly in the coming years, especially among workers who are currently only a short way into their careers. It is important that we prepare for these changes. Not only could they impact us, but also a number of our clients who run and own their businesses.”
The four predicted areas of change are set out below.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
The report states that the number of middle-skilled workers will potentially be reduced, as roles will be replaced by AI. Lower-skilled workers will likely only be partially affected "as designing AI will prove too expensive to replace their roles".
The end of the unified corporate culture
Three-quarters of managers in companies see leading a multi-generational workforce as a significant issue. The report says this divide is most likely to be witnessed between Generation X, who will run companies in a similar way to their predecessors, and Millennial and Generation Z workers, who will attempt to run companies based on different ideas and values.
Less loyalty to employers
Millennial workers will demonstrate less loyalty to employers and be more inclined to work as freelancers: this trend is already happening, with HR already occupied with the task of retaining younger workers for longer.
Companies will have to cater for this, the UBS report states, and change the incentives they offer, moving away from traditional financial rewards to supporting employees' lifestyle pursuits. Removing the unconscious bias regarding the type of people they employ will also become more important.
Employees will expect a strong wellness programme to come as standard in the same way a pension plan and vacation time is expected today.
UBS' data shows that staff productivity rises by an average of 13% in businesses which introduce strategies to boost levels of wellbeing from low to moderate.