Welcome to another captivating weekly article. This week I would like to introduce to you the new employee of the future. Can you imagine a working week where you are not bound to the usual Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm routine? You are seen as a valuable team member without spending time in an office? No more early get ups and spending hours in rush hour traffic to get on time to work? Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The first industrial revolution was about engineering, the second about electricity and production lines in large factories, the third was about technology and information, and the fourth industrial revolution is about machines who support humans.
In the past, economic growth meant hard labour work in mines and factories, in exchange for money. It is well documented in our history books that miners and factory workers were exposed to hazardous conditions, which most of the time resulted in illnesses and an early death. The concept of paying workers not just for their time working but also for their health risks is equally well documented.
Over the years, high tech machines took over the production lines from humans, which enabled companies to maximize their profits by manufacturing 24/7. A study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) analysed that we perceive work time as the time dedicated to economic growth, while life is the time spend outside those working hours, dedicated to our private life. A lot of people feel that their time working is lost time to enjoy life. Life starts at the weekend and finishes Monday morning.
As we have entered the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this concept of working during the week and enjoy our private lives on the weekend seems to fade away or actually not work at all. To entice the concept of work to employees, large organisations tried to be more flexible in their rules on working hours as well as allowed employees to work from home. This resulted in an enormous pressure on employees, who welcomed the time off work to pick up children or take available doctors’ appointments, however, in the end, those employees still worked nights and at the weekend. This new idea of employers offering a more flexible working week ended up in stress and a feeling of being available for the company 7 days and at any time of the day. Instead of taking the stress and pressure of employees, it ended up creating more stress.
Another attempt was to create an open plan working environment. Instead of feeling boxed in a little work cubicle or office, the employee could feel part of the office environment. Very soon this idea backfired as the constant noise level and far too easy interruptions by other employees created stress and mental illness. None of the above ideas created a more productive employee nor a healthier one.
With the start of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, another solution came to light. The remote employee who is working towards realistic deadlines, while still utilizes the comfort of communicating with the group. One employee can have contracts with different employers, which allows the individual to be in charge of how many hours he/she wants to work. Most of those contracts are casual employment contracts, which allows the employee to create a well-balanced work-life environment.
While some people see the future in self-employment, personally I do not. Self-employment requires a wide variety of business skills like Marketing, IT, Finance, basic commercial law, etc. The majority of people are highly skilled in their field of expertise, which makes them thought-after employees. The stress of operating a business is not everybody’s taste.
With robots and artificial intelligence taking on more of our manual or time-consuming work, the future employee will be encouraged to utilize his/her creativity in their job and do the kind of ‘human’ work a machine can’t do. The concept of a Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm working day, will be exchanged for a remote employee who can produce his/her best work at a time most suitable to the employee. An employee will be no longer a commodity of a company to work as many hours as possible, but instead, a valuable Team member.
The big question is, what steps must a company take to start moving from an old way of looking at an employee to one which will stand the time of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
One of Synergy Consulting Australia’s services is to provide a business diagnostic, followed by a Fourth Industrial Revolution strategic plan. We highly recommend booking one of our presentations on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This presentation will be tailored to your business needs and is suitable for business leaders and employees.
Synergy Consulting Australia provides a large range of business consulting services, which includes 4IR, Legal, Accounting, Marketing, Project Management, Migration services and many other tailored business solutions. This also includes a full market research and feasibility report before investing. www.synergyaustralia.com.au
Synergy Consulting Australia is led by Ilona Solinska. Ilona has over 18 years’ international business consulting experience. She is a successful Business Growth Strategist, Educator, Keynote speaker and Writer. She has coached hundreds of businesses in the area of Marketing, Finance, Legal, Compliance, Operation, Change & Project Management and is a highly sought-after presenter on a wide variety of business topics.