Changing times and workplace

Technology, business dynamics, social structure and economic situations heavily influence the way we are working in today’s workplace. It has always been undergoing a steady change over the year but we are seeing major change in our workplace due to changing times.

As work evolves, companies and employees will have to deal with the blurring of traditional boundaries between work and family life, between offices and remote locations, between manager and employee, and between nationalities and cultures in the global economy.

IBM has come out with a series on “IBM and Future”.In this series they podcasted a dialogue between Randy Macdonald and Eric Lesser. Randy heads Human resources for IBM; Eric leads human capital research for IBM's consulting practice.

Some of the interesting thoughts which came out the discussion was:

The Amount of social pressure that people are feeling at work. It goes beyond any particular industry. People are pulled between their personal needs and their business needs.

Blurring of lines between what has historically been the manager and the employee. The two are beginning to interact in ways that they are one. And that's got a positive and a negative.

There is an enormous pressure in the workplace for the constant upgrading of skills. Historically it's been there, but the rapid nature of how the world is getting flat and the workplace is changing technologically is driving people to have skills more quickly than they have historically.

Corporations today are making so many dramatic decisions because of the globalization of business, Drastic and dramatic action is being taken, and employees are uncomfortable with that. So they're going to find a great deal of safety is in the relationship that they create with their first line manager, if you will.

People are able to come together quickly around shared goals and objectives. And without both this relationship based trust and also there's what we call competence based trust, it's very difficult to get anything done especially in a knowledge-based economy where the sharing and the application of new knowledge and bringing knowledge together becomes a very important point. And without that level of trust on both levels it’s very difficult for these types of exchanges to occur.