The world of paid work is changing dramatically and at a speed unprecedented since the outbreak of World War One; it is one of the biggest challenges facing society.

Diminishing Job Security

For the average young person today, the idea of a life-long career working for a single employer is unrealistic, which will seem a pretty daunting prospect for those approaching or collecting their pension.

The industrial age allowed workers to have stable employment throughout their lives, and offered opportunity to build a Life-Style.  In recent times the pattern of having a single employer for an entire career has rapidly diminished. Technology, changing consumer habits, concentration of capital, employee expectations are just some of the contributing factors to a world where paid employment with benefits is shrinking.  On into the future, only a small fraction of the population will find lifetime employment with a single employer.  Even if a person does manage not to physically move job, mergers and acquisition will likely bring change of work and conditions. 

Outdated Employment Model

In the UK, thinking and strategic planning around the place of work remains stuck in an industrial age mindset with a ‘systems and process’ perspective. Employment legislation still favours the employer and/or shareholder over the individual worker and financial reward being seen as the only real measure of value.  Employee happiness and the wider environmental impact from the activities of the organisation remain a secondary consideration despite the increasing importance of positive social impact. As with the political system, clear strains have emerged within the workplace.

“With research suggesting that employee disengagement costs the UK economy £340bn annually, bad leadership is eroding UK productivity […] Management strategies must evolve to meet the demands of employees if organisations are to retain staff.” – Happiness at work improves but nearly half of UK employees will look for new jobs in 2018, (Independent)

Future Employment Models

During the Haphazard journey and within the Innovation Hub I will be seeking to understand what the world of work will look like over the coming decades. The blog post Haphazard Self offers an insight into the risks if swaths of working age people drift away from purposeful work. Will the lure of material goods and wealth be enough of a Life Plan to keep a person seeking paid employment for 40+ years of their life?

John M

Little, Stephen. (Jan2018), Happiness at work improves but nearly half of UK employees will look for new jobs in 2018, Independent, online {https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-employees-job-search-2018-look-new-company-workplace-happiness-career-a8133351.html}

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