Within 10-15 years, the workforce can change by a large proportion due to trends imported into companies and organizations. Due to technological advancements made in this era, trends keep on changing, and these can affect the workplace. Some of these trends are:
- Employing people from various backgrounds
In a tight labor market, employers can try to recruit groups with relatively low labor force participation. Changes in incentives associated with pension plans and reforms to social security may motivate older workers to retire later. Providing childcare may make it easier to recruit women with children. In addition, changes in technology and in the workplace described above may make it possible to recruit more people with disabilities into the workplace.
- Shifting demands
Rapid technological change and increased international competition spotlight the need for the workforce to be able to adapt to changing technologies and shifting product demand. Shifts in the nature of business organizations and the growing importance of knowledge-based work also favor strong cognitive skills, such as abstract reasoning, problem solving, communication, and collaboration. In this context, education and training becomes a continuous process throughout the life course of an adult, involving training and retraining that continue well past initial entry into the labor market.
Future trends in technology, globalization, and demographics will support higher wages and are likely to affect the distribution of wages, just as they have in the past several decades. In the absence of a strong increase in the supply of skilled workers in response to the higher returns to education, wage dispersion, particularly as measured by the gap between intelligent workers will likely remain at current levels or even continue to widen.
- Shifts in employment needs
We can also expect a shift away from more permanent, lifetime jobs toward less permanent, even nonstandard employment, such as self-employment and work arrangements like distance work. These arrangements may be particularly attractive to workers trying to balance work and family obligations or to the disabled and older people who would benefit from alternative arrangements.
The trends shaping economies, societies and the world of work have a direct impact towards companies in terms of who it includes, what it does and how it does it. Therefore, it is important for organizations and employers in general to monitor the state of the labor market and keep an eye on likely developments in the economy.2