THE WORK OF THE FUTURE
What we now understand by work has little to do with what was in the 20th century.
The industrial age has passed, we live in a service society and have already taken the next step into the information and knowledge age. Work processes and content are digitally controlled and handled by complex algorithms. Intelligent robots, the Internet of Things and affordable 3D printers are no longer utopias today. And the pace at which these innovations progress, also changes our world of work.
Future researchers already identify these trends: Versatility
Technical innovations are changing the world of work rapidly. As new areas and forms of work emerge, new abilities are demanded from people. In many areas, there is a need for complex skills that the labor market is finding it increasingly difficult to quench.
Above all, one thing that is required of employees is to familiarize themselves with new skills as quickly as possible. This requires a high degree of personal responsibility and the willingness to constantly improve.
In addition to specialists, people who think and work across fields and disciplines are becoming increasingly important. Their careers are no longer linear, but change dynamically between field of study, occupational field and job portfolio.
The fact that a specialized training leads to a concrete job is more of an exception than the rule. New jobs are created every day, others disappear or are done by intelligent machines - faster, more accurate and cheaper.
Employers try to reduce their workforce and instead work with small core teams and - depending on their needs - external experts. Long-term employment contracts are becoming rare. In your place are project-related and flexible alliances.
Employers are demanding more flexible work-life models: not only those with children have turned away from the old, full-time model. So micro-entrepreneurs, in addition to the regular job with a self-responsible, additional business to achieve an additional income, also experience more fun and meaning.
Because they are no longer concerned about financial success. They are establishing a new currency: time for things that are important to them. We call them modern "nouveau riche".
Working no longer means being in the office. Many jobs are no longer done only at the employer place and at the agreed times. Work will no longer be a question of place or time in many occupational fields.
Whether in the home office, in the café or in the co-working space: Thanks to the Internet, theoretically we can work for virtually every employer in the world from anywhere in the world.
Working with the same colleagues for many years gives way to cooperation in networks that are organized according to job and needs.
The end of the higher-faster-further
That work can ever be more than just earning a living is an invention of modern times. The idea that work can have meaningful dimensions is just a few decades old, if at all. In the 80s and 90s, the principle was "higher, faster, further". These were the years when work-life balance became the defining formula in companies and organizations. Status and prestige were the motivation.
Today, people no longer measure a successful life by the title on the business card or the sports car in the garage. People naturally ask the question that has meaning of their actions, especially with regard to their work. The job becomes a place where meaning arises.
Instead of taking and consuming, they give something back to society, making them happier and more satisfied.
It's not about subordinating the work to fun. In fact, it is even more radical: The real revolution of recent years is the desire to lift the old separation between work and life - the work-life balance. Today, people of all milieus and ages say: A meaningful work life is possible!
Think work again
The goal of a happy life is no longer work-life balance, but work-life-sense. Work and life do not represent opposing poles that must neutralize each other and be balanced. They enter into a close connection and interpenetrate each other in a variety of activities, which may soon be called not work but life.
What matters is not the one job. It is the entire construct of life and work in an individual design that is fluid and dynamic and that is designed according to one's own ideas and rules. Satisfaction arises precisely through this combination, through work that is more than just earning a living and activities that are socially relevant.
The creatives come
Creativity is not a privilege of an elite class, writes Richard Florida in Rise of the Creative Class, but it is - more or less - a trait of all of us. Of course, it must always be promoted and renewed so that it is preserved, otherwise it will wither away.
Florida distinguishes three classes, each of which can be found in three different economic systems: The working class in the industrial age, the service class in the post-industrial society, and the creative class, which will bring a new creative age.
The main difference between the Creative Class and the other two is that the workers and the service class are paid to perform certain predetermined orders, while the Creative Class is paid to make something new; moreover, creatives would have more autonomy and flexibility in their work. Among the creatives are not only those who are traditionally regarded as creative such as musicians, sculptors, painters, writers and actors, but also scientists, architects, engineers, software specialists, a.o.
In contrast to the traditional principle of people going where work is, Florida's book attempts to show that it attracts the new emerging class of "creatives" to those places that are tolerant, open-minded and have certain amenities, which enable and promote a corresponding lifestyle.
The goal of the creative worker is to discover the potential he has created and to develop as well as possible for himself and others. What creative workers do professionally is always linked to the aspiration to further develop their individual uniqueness.
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