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Everything you Wanted to Know about the Future of Work

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Everything you Wanted to Know about the Future of Work

Are you clued up about the Future of Work? Do you know where the Edge stops and the Cloud begins? Can you tell your bits from...

5 Minutes Read

Are you clued up about the Future of Work? Do you know where the Edge stops and the Cloud begins? Can you tell your bits from your Qubits? What about winning power by working the wirearchy rather than the hierarchy? If not, then fear not because help is here. Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work has created a spirit guide to help everyone understand the emerging mores for work. We call it From/To.

The title of our guide — From/To — represents our belief that the best way to understand the future is to take a hard look at our (quickly changing) present. None of us can escape the vast technological, societal, and cultural shifts reverberating through our lives today, but the ramifications on our working lives have been particularly intense. The changes are happening so fast that the codes of behavior and cultural norms of the modern workplace are, quite frankly, up in the air. But we think that, at last, they are beginning to settle down into something you can plan for. So From/To lays out the workplace of tomorrow that we think is under development today.

From/To represents a synthesis of the most powerful technological, business, and societal trends that will impact everyone, no matter what stage they’ve reached in their career. From the top of the organization to the bottom, we present a picture of the most significant trends in an easily digestible format so that everyone can get the picture. Leaders: use the guide to level-set expectations about where work has come from and where work is going too; Starters: benchmark where you are about to work with what the world’s leading employers are doing (and decide if you’ve got time to stick around and wait for it to happen).

Check out From/To and see if our thinking resonates with yours:

  1. The way we work, i.e., how we do what we do
  2. The tools for work, i.e., the apps, systems, networks, etc. that help get work done
  3. The aesthetics of work, i.e., what work looks like (and how it feels)
  4. The issues with work, i.e., What is and what isn’t work (yep, this one is deep)
  5. The meaning of work, i.e., What gets us out of bed and makes us feel proud

Why now? We thought it was about time to assemble this guide because we’ve been writing about the Future of Work for years, before it was fashionable (when we started, the word digital meant the Timex watch blinking away on your wrist!) Yet the center called the early days of the market with SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, cloud) a term that still resonates today. I joined up in 2013 to support Code Halos, and the follow on What to do When Machines do Everything (a book that continues to win accolades today.) Recently, we set out to answer the question posed by the book with 21 Jobs of the Future, 21 More Jobs of the Future, and 21 Marketing Jobs of the Future. We have form when it comes to signals on the future of work and why we think a From/To is a timely survival guide that provides a summary of all our best thinking. Enjoy.

PS. Hard to believe that I joined the Center nearly seven years ago. Located in London means my European mandate examines the future of work through the prism of the workforce. Right now I have an (ex-analyst) hunch that we are on the cusp of a renaissance in blue-collar work. Modern work is not all about gigs, apps, and knowledge work—vast swathes of the population work do procedural work doing jobs that demand physical dexterity. When a digital overlay gets added, then tasks switch up, and the need for worker autonomy grows. My hunch is we could see the rise of a highly-skilled, digitally literate workforce, delivering wealth for communities across Europe soon. Now under investigation, so watch this space…from blue collar to nu-collar!

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