Work Trends Of The Future

Trends and developments in the workplace that can affect your job and career development.

Up to the minute technology has changed the whole dynamic of the modern workplace. Work patterns and career paths are changing dramatically in response to the advances in communication, computers and technology in general.

There is also a prevailing attitude among employees today to abandon the belief that "a job is for life" and to go for several jobs within their working lifetime. Most workers expect to have at least two (often very different) careers. The first one, ideally, needs to pay well but the second must deliver personal fulfilment. There is a growing trend towards people making strategic career moves after approximately four or five years in a well paid job. The first job is viewed as an attempt to establish a high career profile with maximum benefits and earnings. There then follows a period of re-assessment and the undertaking of training courses designed to be a step towards a more personally fulfilling career.

Interesting job and career trends have recently emerged in the workplace:

Job assessment methods:

Although qualifications remain a significant indicator of ability, companies no longer assume that, by taking on a university graduate, they are going to get someone of high calibre and intelligence. Personality and communication skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace. Many employers now use psychometric assessment tests as a selection tool. These tests have proved to be an effective method of measuring a candidate's degree of motivation, values, problem solving ability and communication skills.


There is a definite trend towards outsourcing, short term contracting and freelancing. Permanent staff, as a percentage of the workforce, are decreasing in number. As a result, the traditional sense of company identity and loyalty is, in some cases, being sacrificed in the name of cost-cutting advantages and long-term efficiency.

E-mail "overload":

Workers, today, are becoming inundated with e-mail communications. The more e-mails we receive, the greater the distraction and the faster we tend work to try and make up for lost time. It is frequently impossible to reply to all messages and to weed out the junk e-mails. E-mail "overload" leads to frustration and mental fatigue. Workers' health will become increasingly affected by this worrying trend.

Domestic commitments:

Wise employers are latching on to the advantages of offering their employees the opportunity of carrying out electronic domestic jobs from their office. For instance, on-line shopping or e-mailing friends and family regarding domestic arrangements. In the long run, it saves the company time and reduces phone bills.

Desk rage:

This is a recent development. Computer power has unleashed an unpleasant element into the workplace. Arguments, irritability and a sense of being out of control are all affecting stressed-out staff to some degree or another. A recent business study suggested that rudeness and the effects of desk rage were a major source of stress at work.

Confidentiality and staff monitoring:

Many companies have sophisticated staff surveillance equipment installed in their offices. There is a trend, nowadays, towards employers routinely monitoring their staff and as a result, weaker employees are being confronted about their poor performance. E-mails are also monitored in many firms, making confidentiality a significant problem.

Aggression in the workplace:

For whatever reason, today's workforce is becoming increasingly aggressive in its attitude, in general. The positive effects of assertiveness training, so popular in the early "˜90s, are now being eroded to a certain degree and assertiveness is being translated, in some cases, into aggression.

Employees, nowadays, identify less and less with corporate image and feel very little sense of loyalty. There is a strong trend, instead, towards looking after number one, first and foremost and if that doesn't work, employees will have no qualms about moving on.

© High Speed Ventures 2011