New Landscape of Work

by Jennifer Donovan-Faubert

From the outset of the 20th century, we were in an Era of Industry. Physical mass production; hierarchical management structures; efficient production and processes were sought after for the production of goods; limited networks and technologies for communication restricted businesses to be more localized. The office landscape gave way to paper production and featured office staff aligned in large, open bullpens, and managers in enclosed offices. Each person had one task or role, and that is it.

The 70’s saw the onset of the Era of Information. The next couple of decades saw work driven by the flow of information; more efficient production and international expansion followed. A matrix design of organizations resulted from the development of global business strategies; middle management became more necessary; panel-based systems, or cubicles, were introduced to efficiently house workers, work, and tools. Each person still had their own role, even though the company itself was expanding beyond our borders.

Welcome to today! We are now in the Era of Ideas. Democratized management models and digital interconnectivity are driving an organic model of organization; individual work is diverse and interdependent; today’s technology allows for ultimate connectivity; collaboration is key; digital tools enable a virtual experience throughout the landscape of work; work now happens anywhere, at any time. (Trying to find an open table to drink your coffee at when in a Starbucks, nowadays, is a prime example!)

Offices struggle to reconcile what they were with what they are becoming. To succeed in the new landscape of work our tools and technologies must support groups, enable creativity, and allow for natural collaboration in the workplace. To illustrate this, a global JLL poll reveals that there is a staggering disconnect between the work that people spend their time doing and those activities that create value for their organizations; “74% of respondents indicate that thinking, talking and brainstorming create the most value for an organization, while only 24% spend most of their time on these high-value activities.”

While offices struggle, organizations that support our young professionals in the way they need support to do their best work, become even more integral to the workforce of today and tomorrow. JCI is poised to fill this gap. It is an organization that provides opportunities for natural networking, professional and personal development, community involvement and international contacts to further the future career goals of today’s professional.

Join us at a JCI Winnipeg Month End Mixer to meet our members, learn more about the impact we have and discover opportunities that await you. Visit http://www.jciwinnipeg.blogspot.ca for details.

Jennifer Donovan-Faubert is Treasurer for JCI Winnipeg.

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