What do employers need to know about the future of work?

Future Working

Post-pandemic working practices and changing mindsets have irreversibly altered the workplace and created a fundamental shift in the mutual expectations that exist between employees and their employer.

Yet we are still only at the start of this shift. Developing an understanding of the trajectory and pace of this change is key to ensuring employers can meet the needs of employees now, while also ensuring they are prepared for any ways in which the world of work will change in the future.

Skills in 2022

There is no doubting the fact that technology is disrupting the workplace and changing the way people do their jobs. The pandemic brought this movement forward, but it was change that was on the way regardless – we’re just, perhaps, going through it a little sooner than we might otherwise have expected.

There is no going back, and nor should businesses proactively seek this as an option. There are many benefits to digital transformation, it can help create innovative and accessible training opportunities (such as upskilling courses and apprenticeships), help to form a well-connected, agile workforce which can be continuously productive regardless of geographical restrictions and open up jobs to a wider range of people from varying socio-economic backgrounds. In fact, according to a recent report, 85%of employers believe that technology in the workplace has the potential to widen access to jobs and ensure career opportunities are open to a wider range of people.

Employers have faced many challenges in incorporating collaboration back into their working model, while at the same time the business landscape has given employees more autonomy and individual responsibility over their work. One way we’re seeing this happen is through the merging of responsibilities between sectors or departments, leading to hybridisation of skills at each level. If employers can learn to address these skills and requirements in the different entry routes into their business, leaders can be equipped for the long haul.

Drivers of Change

There are many societal, technological and economic changes happening right now that are set to influence the jobs market both in the short and medium term...

Technology and society

Remote working has fuelled the digitisation of the workplace – cloud technology and better cyber security have become tech staples that keep the cogs turning. But remote working also means that data is remote, and as a result cyberattack attempts were up by 50%  in 2021. This isn’t an easily-solved problem, and data breaches continue to be a serious, ongoing challenge for businesses.

Business and economic events

Post-pandemic financial crises, supply chain and inflation have rocked the world economy, and these effects ripple down to even the smallest businesses. Building business resilience is key here and this must start at the top. The most successful businesses during the pandemic were able to adapt quickly and efficiently and communicate this effectively with their teams. 

Resources and environment

Society is now placing a spotlight on environmental and sustainability issues – and it is coming with a greater focus than ever before. With the growing scarcity of resources, many businesses are tackling this through innovation. Optimisation of supply chain, processes and sustainability practises will not only propel a business forward, but also help fight climate change. 

Click above to hear a case study featuring the work one of our students was doing at HILTI

The changing nature of workplace skills

According to recent research by telecoms provider BT, 55% of companies are planning on embarking on digital transformation in the next five years, with almost one in four business planning on adopting 5G as a priority during this period. This kind of wholesale change will undoubtedly lead to a skills gap, which will be important to consider when hiring staff and training existing team members. 

It was also found that the need for manual and physical skills, as well as basic cognitive ones, is on the decline, but demand for technological, social and emotional, and higher cognitive skills will grow . This shift in desirable skillsets has already been occurring for the past few years and will continue to grow as businesses navigate their way through a period which is already being referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

While the key skills demand is shifting, so also is the need for soft skills to enable your teams to not only be successful, but also thrive on a personal level in their world of work. Adaptability, resilience and communication skills are all vitally important to the success of a 21st century business, and their workforce. To this end, equity and employee wellbeing should be inbuilt into the business model to enable more efficiency, supporting employees and enabling them to be able to adapt and thrive in this changing world.

Preparing employees for the dynamic world of work

In the face of a changing world, it’s important to do more than simply upskill employees for their roles now – rather organisations should be examining how they can provide them with the skills to equip them for the future and lead with compassion and flexibility.

A degree-level apprenticeship can take upskilling further. Arden University courses take into consideration the work commitments of our students which can often mean it’s impractical to take time away to study in a classroom. That’s why we provide degree-level apprentices with our innovative digital-first learning experience giving them 24/7 access to our virtual classroom, ilearn – plus a host of other resources, including video lectures, library resources and interactive content. 

As they’re hosted online, our courses are inclusive for all and deliver relevant learnings that are applicable to the real-world from any location. Easy access isn’t just for the employees – we’ll also give you as the employer access to reports, so you can easily track their progression and performance. 

To find out more about our degree-level apprenticeships and how you can harness the power of upskilling, visit our Content Hub for more insights.