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As part of a campaign looking at the workplace of the future, experienced businessman, Eugene O'Sullivan, predicts three ways businesses will change by 2030.

It doesn’t seen that long ago that we were celebrating the millennium. Time flies, but in the world of technology, change happens at a far greater speed than we could possibly imagine.

15 years ago we didn’t have Facebook, or digital cameras, nor did we have iPods or smartphones. In the last decade alone Blackberry cell phones have seen a rise and fall, online dating for the younger age bracket has boomed and, unfortunately, Crocs have become a fashionable brand of footwear.

Some of these advances we could not predict, but some were pretty obvious, like the rising role of the web in business and the increase in e-commerce. So what about the next 15 years’ Here are my top three predictions for how businesses will change, and we can already see signs of each in the way we work currently.

1. Increased connectivity

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) over 4.2 million* people now work from home. In the UK alone that’s nearly 14% of the workforce. Without the use of technology working from home would simply not be an option.

I predict a rise in working remotely, not just from home but from any location. More employees will travel as transport systems improve, maybe not by hoverboard as predicted, but transport will be quicker and more accessible.

The use of Android and smartphones means we are always connected so the barriers between work and leisure will erode and set working hours will no longer exist. It is not uncommon now for people to work flexitime, and if this improves output it will undoubtedly increase.

2. More incentives and greater benefits

At present, a set salary draws us to most positions and is the negotiating point in most interviews. However, in the future, I predict that this will change and the added benefits and incentives a company offers will play a much larger role in our career decision making.

Some large organisations offer private healthcare, private dentistry, pensions and even small time loans. This will grow so that all companies, regardless of size, will present a menu of benefits that the employee can choose from. Access to these will be either mandatory, like the pension, or work-performance based.

This will in turn tie employees to companies. If your only incentive is your wage then you are more likely to go elsewhere for a higher offer, but if you have the added benefits of first-class healthcare, shares in the company or loans then you may give more thought to staying.

This caring nature of businesses will extend into the workplace as more and more health and safety legislation will be enforced. Expect to see greener workplaces, offices with open spaces and generally nicer and less corporate or sterile environments.

3. Less hierarchy

It has been proved that giving power and responsibility to those lower down in the organisation increases productivity above maintaining management at top level.

As more people work at home or remotely they will become their own boss. Employees will work towards the added incentives.  As the nation becomes more knowledgeable and internet savvy the new generation of employees will enter the working work as a team. There will be less of a hierarchy and employees will be seen as equal. This collaborative approach is currently running in small businesses where many job titles are the same and no one individual is a director or manager.

In recent years, the Government apprentice scheme has really taken off once again. More and more teenagers and adults are choosing apprenticeships to build their careers over spending years in university. I think with the added benefits and incentives people may well go back to staying in their positions longer than we currently see in the market.

Emma.Catlow
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