I am probably sounding like a broken record. I apologize, but I think we are missing a huge shift in “what work is, how work gets done.” Too many conversations focus on “where we work from,” but ignore the profound changes in the work itself. Where we work from is meaningless until we understand what work is and means.
I’m sorry, I’m bored and uninspired by conversations about WFH, work from the office, virtual work, hybrid, work from anywhere. (Partly because I’ve been doing all for 30 years—been there done that, ho hum……)
We are in the midst of a massive “industrial revolution” that is profoundly changing the nature of work.
“We’ve” been here before. We’ve seen shifts from agrarian driven economies to industrial economies. We’ve seen shifts to mass manufacturing. We’ve seen the impact of the information revolution. We have seen how “personalizing computing,” changes work and how we work. We’ve seen the impact of the web and it’s ability to “shrink” the world.
We are going through a massive revolution we often label, digital business transformation. It changes everything we think about work. Where past revolutions have primarily impacted labor based jobs and enhanced knowledge based jobs. The current revolution is changing (I don’t think eliminating) knowledge based jobs.
At the same time we have a massive shift in people’s attitudes about work, jobs, careers. In my generation, rightly/wrongly, work and career has been the driving factor to much of how we live our lives. As I graduated from college and started my first job, the belief was one might work for two or three companies over their careers.
This has changed profoundly, it’s not that work is unimportant, but we view work, jobs, careers very differently.
We’ve also seen tremendous shifts in how organizations view their workforces. Outsourcing, freelancing, contractors are part of the nature of how we get work done. Often, we are organized more around projects, than functions and companies.
We are looking at work and organizations differently. Diversity/equity/inclusion–all in the most broad sense, is profoundly important in improving the work we do and how we grow. Values, culture, identity are drivers to why we work, where we choose to work, who we choose to work with.
There has never been a more exciting time to re-imagine the nature of work! It is as profound as the industrial revolutions we have seen in the past. We are just at the start of changes that may turn our worlds upside down over the next several decades.
All of this creates huge new opportunities for individuals and organizations.
Let’s focus on the future of work, not where we work from.