Technology In The Workplace
A digital revolution
The young adults who took part in our workshop are part of the first generation to grow up as part of a new digital revolution. These tech-savvy “digital natives” have grown up with increasing internet access and a proliferation of smartphones. And it is this technology, and the internet in particular, that appears to have transformed the way they approach education, work, and social, cultural and political engagement.
Next generation mindsets
To be ready for the future we need to understand the mindset, fears and opportunities that tomorrow’s workforce believes this new technology will create.
The Millennials we spoke to had fears about the impact of technology on their lives in a changing world. They told us that they were worried about being overwhelmed by technology and vast amounts of information. Their personal information was an issue too, with personal data safety being a genuine concern.
Young workers also worry about their work/life balance, with technology creating a constant connection to work. They also felt that the rise of remote working could lead to a lack of human contact and superficial relationships.
Will robots take our jobs?
Whilst tomorrow’s workforce clearly has a close connection to technology, they are worried it might replace them over time. They see less stability in the workplace. They believe that the more technology a company introduces, the more dependant they become on it, making people less important.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Millennials are keen to use new technology to benefit them. They’re eager to learn, and to use new devices for development, learning and work. In fact, having the opportunity to develop their skills and the concept of life-long learning are some of the main factors that this generation consider when they examine a new job proposal.
Fortunately, when it comes to technological development our participants told us that they see more opportunities than threats.
New technologies mean new jobs. It also means new relationships, with new ways to communicate and stay in touch. Millennials are incredibly positive about the flexibility that technology offers. The freedom of movement it allows and collaborative environments it creates means they can work in jobs with more of a community feel.
Though technology is increasingly impacting the way we work today, future generations are looking for guidance that’s far broader than how to use that technology. Perhaps sensing that automation can free them from repetitive and mundane tasks to focus on assignments that require a more personal touch, young professionals are especially seeking help in building confidence, interpersonal skills and ethical attitudes (Deloitte, 2018).
Technology takes the dirty work
The young adults we spoke to felt they needed to develop creative thinking, leadership, empathy and humanity, and the ability to work more collaboratively. It is their view that tomorrow’s workers should be eager to learn, be more flexible and should be able to work in a multigenerational environment.
When talking about skills necessary for a future worker, participants of the Workshop emphasised the importance of a mentoring community. Young professionals are especially seeking help in building confidence, interpersonal skills and ethical attitudes.
Personal responsibility coupled with the shared accountability of communities will help people embrace changes equitably and sustainably. But even with the best technologies, available for free, it can be very hard to do this alone. People need to harness the power of communities and data science. Peer-to-peer skill sharing can help people discover themselves, and then build careers that have purpose and meaning.
The Future of Work Report: Latest Findings
The Future of Work Report: Infographic
The Future of Work Report: Initial Findings