Digital technologies are rapidly changing both the workplace and the skills needed for modern employees. They’re not only breaking down barriers of communication and collaboration globally, but are fundamentally changing the way we work and the jobs we do. Workers who can adapt and stay ahead of the curve as these technologies evolve will be highly sought-after by companies in the future.
Future Skill #1: Embrace Digital Communications
Social networking is teaching us a new set of skills for interacting and collaborating with people around the world. While it’s easy to dismiss much of what we do on social media as entertainment, using these tools helps us build the communication skills that tomorrow’s workforce will rely on. These tools are also powering large and complex organizations that rely on close collaboration with teams that are distributed across the globe. Join Twitter or Snapchat and start learning how to share and tell your stories effectively on those networks. Even setting up a family calendar that you share among the devices in your home is an effective way to begin to use tools that will make your life easier working with enterprise teams in the future.
Future Skill #2: Learn to Function with Ambiguity
Jobs that require repetitive tasks with simple instructions are high on the list for being automated. Prepare for the future by seeking out projects and teams that are less defined, and allow you to not only be creative, but learn problem-solving skills too. Situations where both the problem and the solution are poorly defined will always be difficult for machines to deal with – ensuring career stability in light of increasing automation.
Future Skill #3: Be Sociable
The teams of the future are incredibly diverse, and are no longer comprised of coworkers you see every day. Your teammates might be from across the globe, and are likely to be different from one project to the next. Flexible and agile teams will form with the right employees to solve problems or complete projects as needed, fundamentally shifting the way we relate within our teams. Social intelligence that helps workers relate and work effectively with their team will become a valued skill in efficient teams.
Future Skill #4: Employ New Ways of Managing Teams
As you might expect, with innovation changing the fabric of teamwork and collaboration, the way teams are managed will change significantly, too. The managers of the future will be comfortable crowdsourcing ideas and solutions, and managing diverse and remote teams across different time zones. Developing thought leadership in your field will become a requirement for management positions as companies seek not only skilled managers, but employees who can help drive the future of their industries. Because of this, the ability for professionals to be “findable” – via thought leadership content they post online and the audiences they’ve grown around their personal brand - will become even more important.
While the workplace of the future will require workers to be flexible and pick up new skills, it will also come with new benefits. Greater democratization will allow employees to create custom work experiences that work well for both them and their employers.
Interested in what else the workplace of the future holds, and learning more about how you can get ready? Check out our latest thinking on the Workplace of the Future, and then find forward-looking positions with Accenture as we help make the Workplace of the Future the workplace of today.