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Careers & Industry

Are you geared up for ‘Work Culture 2018’? – 5 new trends that are redefining our work culture

Nov 13, 2018

By: Student Contributor, University Blog Team

The millennial generation has brought over many changes to the prevailing social and work practices, that has led to a paradigm shift in the way people and offices work. The traditional 9 to 5 job, which was once thought as the most secure option, is now nothing more than a less preferred way of working. Traditional work options are getting outdated and replaced by more flexible and collaborative options defined by ‘shared’ and ‘gig’ economy. This has opened more opportunities for people, but nothing new comes without its own unique set of challenges.

Here are five trends redefining the work culture today, and their flipside:  

  1. Virtual work : In this digital world it is becoming more and more common for people to work from home or a Starbucks café, or any restaurant for that matter. According to a survey, 31 percent of respondents would accept less paid vacation and 25 percent would accept a reduction in salary if allowed to work remotely. Everything is going virtual from manual.  

Challenges: Unlike the traditional working style, there is no face to face contact and hence the current work culture lacks a much-needed touch of humanness and personalization. This issue could be addressed by spending 10% of the daily working time in video conferences building a rapport with the team members, helping humanize the virtual “resource”, which would in turn help build trust and hence increase the productivity.

  1. Shared workspace : In 2017, around 1.18 million people were working in co-working spaces worldwide (Source: Statista). Different businesses sharing a common workplace has become a trend mostly adopted by the start-ups. With India poised to become the next start-up hub, this culture will only burgeon.

Challenges: While co-working space gives an opportunity to network and communicate with other businesses, it can dilute a brand and its identity.  Workplace reflects the culture of a company and gives a sense of belongingness to its employees.  Multiple offices working on the same floor can create confusion of identities. This can be addressed by finding a way for success transfer. Different organizations working in a common workplace should have an agreement on condemnation of unprofessional and unethical behaviour so the employees grow to respect each others’ workspace.

  1. Multicultural, multi-time-zone work culture : The workforce is increasingly turning global. Business is happening across countries, cultures and time zones. 

Challenges: Working with people from different time zones can be stressful and can take a toll on the lifestyle of an individual. The best way to deal with this is to build a sensitive work environment where people take turns attending meetings at unusual timings. It is also important to understand the culture and language of co-workers for the smooth functioning of any business.

  1. Automated work environment : In a research conducted by McKinsey across 46 countries, 5 percent of current occupations stand to be completely automated if today’s cutting-edge technology is widely adopted, while in 60 percent of the jobs one-third of the activities will be automated. While this will make work easier and faster, it will affect the middle and low skilled occupations.

Challenges: Increasing dependency on robots and automation means lower dependency on the skillset of an individual. People may fail to understand their own skillset and area of expertise. To maintain an efficient team force, time to time reviews have to be conducted to establish the relevance of their jobs and roles and responsibilities. 

  1. Choice of non-traditional career : Gone are the days where Engineering and Medical were considered the only good options for a successful career. Today, more and more people are opting to pursue creative and/or “unconventional” jobs. The desire for a self-reliant and challenging career has led today’s youth turn towards entrepreneurship.

Challenges: There is a lack of professionalism and adequate training in these non-traditional career paths. Our education system needs to be geared to prepare the young dynamites for this changing culture by providing vocational and short-term courses relevant to the current industry and trends.