Technology and The Next Generation Workforce
Advanced technology is impacting changes in the 21st-century workplace and is likely to continue. It allows businesses to function efficiently and expand quickly, targeting and maintaining a more extensive customer pool.
The Industrial Revolution caused a paradigm shift in worker methodology. Cottage industries expanded to production companies. However, workers were still required to be at their workstations during daylight hours under the supervision of a manager who managed their production.
Whether they balanced account books or turned out products in a factory, the worker, and the workstation were tightly linked. If they were not at their workstation, the product was not being turned out.
Then it all started to change
Technology advanced to include smartphones and computer networks so that workers could communicate with other workers who were not in their immediate vicinity.
That allowed development of mobile operating systems, virtual offices and cloud-based applications that allowed workers to move about the landscape and hook into their virtual office. Workplace boundaries were removed.
Expanding customer bases soon demonstrated that not everyone was in the same time zone and workers needed to work flexible shifts or work at remote offices to coordinate with their clients in different regions. Workers, wherever they are, could still log into their virtual offices as if they were sitting at their home workstation.
Don’t get left behind
The next generation workforce is mainly knowledge workers who may feel more comfortable in a coffee shop or a table outside. They may also feel inspired after the 5 p.m. workday ends or the 9 a.m. workday begins. Web designers are an example of knowledge workers. They receive assignments and deadlines. The web designer turns over the finished project on or before the deadline. The client does not care when or where the web design work was done, just that it fills the need. The same principle can be applied to many of today’s office-bound jobs that have required a worker to be fixed to a workstation or an office.
If senior executives do not address these old management practices and behaviours where:
- Managers receive comfort from workers sitting at their stations as if they were manufacturing widgets.
- Who always equate time-at-desk to number-of-widgets-made.
- Managers who need the visual that “if I do not see you working, you are not working.
could mean the very difference between a business taking full advantage of advanced technology, providing products and services faster and more efficiently to a business that just remains local. As for the next generation workers, they are not going to waste their career time working for a company that refuses to move forward.
Imran is a Senior Project Manager – Helping Global/Pan European FTSE 500 companies deliver multi-million-pound IT Transformation Projects. Supporting high-profile and complex strategic change covering Digital and IT Infrastructure. Outside of work and since 2009, Imran has been publishing free articles to help organisations and professionals keep up to date with Project Management, Technology and Innovation trends through his blog CALLTHEPM.COM
#Next Generation Workforce, #Collaboration, #Cloud Computing, #Industrial Revolution, #Management and #Leadership in HR
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