The Changing Face of the Workforce

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As recently as two and a half decades ago, for some jobs computer literacy wasn’t mandatory in a job description though it would’ve been an asset. Fast-forward to the 21st century and we find ourselves in a world where in-depth knowledge of how to use a computer and navigate the internet often goes without being said.

The workforce, as well as the workplace has changed and it’s obvious that it won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

Millennials – also known as Generation Y – have begun to herald a new way of life and work. In fact, they can aptly be called a new generation of employees. This group, identified as having birth years ranging from the 1980s to early 2000s, is characterized by an immersion in technology and digital media as well as a key set of traits that could both positively and negatively influence an organization. Millennials are inherently confident and actively seek fulfillment from their jobs. When their need for creative solutions to problems and variety on the job, and desire for teamwork are added to the equation, we get a group of employees that create innovative methods of completing their assigned tasks, and even create new jobs altogether.


Working from Home – The Millennial Way
Millennials have also spearheaded a relatively new phenomenon – working from home and telecommuting. In fact, in 2014 within the United Kingdom alone a record 4,200,000 people – or 13.9% of their population – telecommute. These days, an organization can employ people working anywhere in the world without having to expand their operations to that country, simply through the use of the internet. And even if employees live in the same country or geographic area, there’s no need for them to be present in office everyday – they can telecommute and complete their assigned tasks from home.


Undeniably, technology has become a key part of every task within traditional organizations, and has even led to the creation of an entirely new niche for businesses to capitalize on. Social Media – popularized by millennials – provides businesses with a “global storefront” and the opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of people relatively easily. Just Facebook alone manages to pull on average 1,550,000,000 users monthly. Therefore, entirely new jobs had to be created, and in the majority of the instances these slots were filled by millennials. This has created a budding market for web developers, content writers and graphic designers.

Simon Roberts, GraceKennedy’s Chief Information Officer offered his take on the changing face of the workforce, and what it means for newcomers into the world of work: “Millennials are already a majority of the workforce in the USA, and this will soon be true across the world. Their complete comfort with computer-based technologies has already led to real changes in how work is done, how commerce is conducted and how life is experienced. Their inventiveness and openness to change, coupled with the exponential increases in the availability and power of information technologies, will certainly lead to as yet unimagined disruptions that will impact daily living.” Mr. Roberts continues, “We can anticipate significant improvements in energy, education, communication and health care, at least. However, these technologies may also lead to significant negative outcomes, with cybercrime and terrorism being two obvious current examples. Ultimately, it will be the Millennials that determine what sort of future the peoples of Earth will have.”
The changing face of the workforce – thanks largely to the accessibility of technology and frequent use of it – is something that we can hope will continue for the foreseeable future, and might just pick up speed the closer we get to the future. New skills need to be learned and honed, as well as different approaches to working – approaches that can take us out of our comfort zone. What do you think this means for you as an individual?


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