Understanding The Future of Work


The way we have all looked at work over the years has changed dramatically as time has gone on. The way we work; the technologies we use; and the equipment and tools we employ have all come a long way. As new developments are implemented into the workplace, the ways we once worked on a task is either non-existent, replaced by a machine, or accomplished in a completely different way now. What does this mean for those looking to change careers? Will the role you’re thinking of changing to today be the same in five, 10, or 20 years?

The way staff are motivated

Currently, a lot of workers are motivated to work for the pay at the end of the week or a lovely weekend off. But, as time goes on, this may not be enough to motivate workers to perform at their best. Employers will need to look at new kinds of incentives such as being able to work remotely, flexible schedules and even new and improved technologies and tools to get the job done. What does this mean for you? It may mean that the job you have in mind, the kinds of hours and the way it is performed may be different in the future if your employer looks at new ways to motivate staff. If a particular role has set 9am to 5pm hours each day, there may be a chance that this same schedule won’t be viable in five years time. With overseas clients, time zones and the flexibility afforded by online communications, you may be looking at a role that is mainly completed at home in the evenings.


Although a lot has changed in the way we work, the idea that education and training can help with our careers still holds true. There may even be more focus and attention on further education whilst working for an employer, especially if new changes come into effect within the field. Being flexible and ready to work on your education and skills is a must for any future role. You may be asked to complete a short course or perhaps even a degree in order to keep your job or perform better. Being able to take on this kind of responsibility will help you keep your career in check, please your employer, and further your job progression.

The entrepreneurial boom

Today, if you were to become an entrepreneur, you would need to form an idea, make it grow, build it, create it and hope that a payday will come that will be greater than the time, effort and money invested. If the future brings cheaper, more easily accessible labour from technological advances, then creating and building new ideas as an entrepreneur may start to become a lot easier. This means that there will be more unique products and services available, as well as the opportunity to be more creative and have a more autonomous role within your career. If you feel like you have ideas that seem a little too far-fetched now, you may find they’re a lot easier to achieve in the future.

The only way is no longer ‘up’

We often think of “climbing the career ladder” as a way of progressing through our careers. The idea is that we move up through the ranks to higher, more renowned roles that require stepping up the ladder to get there. However, this might not be the only way to progress in your career in the future. The “corporate lattice” is the new idea that people can work on their careers in other directions other than just “up”. Going sideways and networking to other career paths will be the norm in coming years, with many jobs having a more fluidity. This is why networking is of great importance and can mean the difference between staying in the same position and career for years, or moving through to exciting, new roles in different companies or departments.

Retirement age will rise

With the average life expectancy increasing as the years go on, it’s no doubt that we will all be working for longer. By the year 2028, we could all be expecting to retire at the ripe age of 67 (for both men and women). With this, however, is an increased need for people to take ownership of their careers, skills and knowledge. As we get older, there may be a need for us to transition to roles that are less physically demanding or perhaps require a bit more experience and expertise to complete. Older workers will be better suited to these roles, but they won’t be available to them if the individual doesn’t take charge and ensure they are skilled enough for a management role. Being responsible for your skills and knowledge is key to retaining your career if required to work for more years before retirement.

Better work-life balance

With working out what motivates employees, there will be a greater emphasis on providing better work-life balance to all workers. Enabling people to feel less stressed, burnt out and have more time with family and their kids, meaning people will stay motivated and happier whilst at work. Some employers and companies have already adopted better work environments and benefits for workers such as Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Branson has often thought of his employees as coming first, before the customer, in order to please everyone, including shareholders. The idea is that having happy employees means you will have happy customers. With more and more companies adopting this style of management, there will be an increase in the amount of employee benefits given to staff in order to increase the benefits to customers and shareholders in the long run.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.