January 22, 2013
The changing nature of work and the workforce continues to transform offices around the world. And nowhere more so than in the United States According to a recent report from McKinsey – called Preparing for a New Era of Knowledge Work – not only are we seeing the final stages of the transition to a knowledge economy with all that entails, demographic inertia means that there may be a huge shortfall in the number of skilled graduate workers needed to service it. This pattern will be evident around the world, especially in rapidly developing economies such as China and India. This represents a range of challenges for the designers and managers of workplaces who must not only address the cultural, structural and technological challenges of providing workplaces for the new world of work but must also work even harder to address the best employees of the millennial generation in an ever more demand led market for their skills.
Other challenges described in the report include a shift away from support functions as firms look for new, technology based solutions to process and core functions. Companies will increasingly look to outsource a growing number of functions.
The result will be a further and profound loosening of the ties that attract people to a specific building to perform work rather than meet, so organisations will have to work hard to develop the physical, cultural and technological infrastructure needed to bind their valuable human resources to their bosom.