The original “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” based on Stephen R. Covey’s bestselling book, hold true across generations. It’s still important today to focus on being proactive, ambitious and synergistic. But as the digital landscape transforms the way we live and work, how do our traits and habits that keep us successful evolve as well? Below are tips to keep you ahead of the game in the workplace of the future.
Evolve your communication.
It’s not just about the smartphone anymore; mobile technology is integrated into our surroundings. Technology continues to evolve at a whirlwind pace, and it has changed the way we communicate with each other, and the way businesses communicate with their customers. We’re now connected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with people across the globe. Consider your audience, and throughout your workday (and beyond), focus on the most efficient, clear, authentic ways to communicate through every piece of technology at your fingertips.
Clear your mind (and workspace).
These days, you may work in an office—or you may work from home, on-site for a client, or even log in from a coffee shop. Boundaries around the workplace have changed, and we work much more autonomously than people did in years past. The flexibility can be great, but it’s important to hold yourself accountable and stay focused, no matter what distractions surround you.
If you’re in a position where you’re not at the same workspace every day, keep yourself on task. Have a set office space at home, keep distractions to a minimum and plan to work throughout the day just as you would in a traditional office. If you have the ability to work from various locations, make sure your “mobile office” is set up to work from wherever, whenever.
Keep your life balanced.
With every new wave of technological advances, we become even more interconnected. We can dictate an email by talking into our smartphones while in line at the grocery store, and we can check today’s weather with a tap of a screen on our refrigerator door.
It’s great to have the option to be connected 24/7, but it’s not always healthy. Technology can make it hard to achieve a decent balance between our personal and professional lives. Know when to turn it off. Just because you can check your work email while you’re sitting on the beach watching your kids build sandcastles doesn’t mean you should.
Now, more than ever, it’s vital to keep your skillset fresh. Don’t fall into a rut just because you’ve been doing the same type of work or working on a particular project for extended periods of time. Think of ways to innovate, to take things to the next level. Stay up with the latest business and technology trends. Follow blogs and social media accounts related to your industry. Find online courses or seminars to fine-tune the skills you need to take your career to the next step. You never know when your career path will take a sharp, unexpected turn, and you’ll want to feel prepared to take on whatever comes your way.
Today, we’re constantly plugged in and hit with information from all sides, and people are tired of sifting through “fake news” to get to the truth. The Fjord Trends 2017 report, developed by Accenture Interactive design and innovation experts, tells us that it’s the year of “post-truth”—the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year—which means people are past the point of being influenced by objective facts. It’s up to organizations—and people in general—to share messages that demonstrate authenticity with consumers and with each other.
Technology makes it easy to hide behind a façade and tell people what they want to hear. To be successful, build trust. Be yourself, and keep it real, whether you’re telling your personal or professional story.
Work your way up the ladder—when there is no ladder.
In past generations, many people started at the bottom of the corporate ladder, working their way up from an entry-level position to as high as possible on the org chart, within the same company. According to Trend 3 of Accenture’s Technology Vision 2017, we’re evolving to an era of a workforce marketplace, where businesses are transforming their organizational models to take advantage of an increasingly digital and on-demand workforce. So how do you keep advancing your career when there may not be a traditional hierarchy structure?
Embrace the new.
In the workplace of the future, especially in the technology sector, it’s vital to keep an open mind. Don’t fear change; embrace it. See opportunities where others may see challenges. Businesses of the future are mixing resources to form project teams to accomplish specific goals, which are then remixed and reformed to tackle the objectives of the next. Teams will be encouraged to experiment with new ways to collaborate to complete projects.
Stay flexible, stay fluid, embrace the latest technology and strengthen skills you can take from one project to the next.
Check out the latest career opportunities with Accenture, and build the skills you need to stay successful as the nature of work evolves.