Massive Change Ahead for Corporate Cultures

top_contentpage_bg_12Much of what we associate with today’s typical office, replete with cubicle rows, will soon be a fading memory (or at least less prevalent) by 2030, according to a recent research report prepared by CBRE Workplace Strategists and property developer Genesis. Experts, leaders, and youths were surveyed for the report and all expressed the need for holistic workplaces (those that support overall wellbeing), with offices and rooms and other quiet places where employees can focus and have needed private time.

Increasingly, employees also feel they have more of a choice of who to work for. They also want jobs that provide happiness and fulfillment, more so than material rewards and higher salaries. A good life/work balance is very important, even though 85 percent of interviewees believe that the two will gradually become more intertwined by 2030.

According to the report, Fast Forward 2030: The Future of Work and the Workplace, there is a sea change coming years: experts predict that half of occupations in U.S. corporations today will no longer exist by 2025. Many organizations attribute major changes to artificial intelligence; in the U.S., data shows that technology already destroys more jobs than it creates. Also, according to a recent article in The McKinsey Quarterly, the GDP has been able to grow faster than employment since 2000.

Companies must be open to these changes and begin stepping up their game to help the next generation thrive. Following are the top three sources of competitive advantages in 2030, as identified by the 70 experts and business leaders in the Genesis study:

Attraction and retention of key/top talent (18 percent): Almost half (45 percent) of workers in the U.S. are already described as contingent (e.g., freelancers, independent contractors), and this trend is spreading to other global regions. Companies will have to make an effort to attract talent outside their organization. And if workers are contingent, they won’t be working “for you”, but instead opt to work “with you.” According to a survey in the report, 77 percent of responders said that “the physical workplace environment will become more important, even though the ability to work virtually increases.”

Innovation, or “thinking outside the box” (12 percent): This should be driven down to the scale of the small, creative team, study participants believe, so “the desire for responsibility, personal influence, and control can be satisfied.” And even though today’s workers are adept at gathering information from many sources and networks, face-to-face meetings still play an imperative role in developing interpersonal skills – companies that employ this practice will have a competitive advantage.

Adaptability to changing circumstances (12 percent): In the future, lean, agile and authentic corporations will adapt quickly. A strategic core group will manage the brand, stay alert to changing customer needs, and identify market opportunities. The group will also direct creative projects, some with a clearly defined purpose and others speculative, but which both provide the potential for companies to seize opportunities.

Nick Roylemsi