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How the Workplace Changed in 50 Years – and How to Prepare for the Next 50
The modern workplace has changed dramatically over 50 years.
New technologies have to lead to new jobs, and advances in civil rights and equality have meant we see a very different work environment for the next generation.
50 years ago, computers took up an entire room and had maximum storage capabilities of our smallest USB’s today. In recent years, it’s become a compulsory part of working life to have a laptop, and much of our workplace communication is done via technology.
Not to mention the gig economy which relies almost entirely on apps. Social media like LinkedIn means that our online lives become just as important as our in-person work, and many people choose to engage in remote working in an effort to improve their work/life balance.
The number of jobs created by
Across Europe from 1999 to 2016
The difference between then and now in terms of employee engagement is significant. Nowadays, mental health and the idea of doing what you love is prevalent, as opposed to doing a job because you have to for survival.
Today, many people quote “do what you love and you’ll never work a day of your life” as a motivation for choosing careers. It means that employees are more engaged with their work, and companies actively try to find ways to inspire employee engagement, including:
- Yoga or other fitness classes
- Donating profits to charities
- Giving staff a percentage of shares
- Providing social assistance to those from low socioeconomic areas
- Helping small businesses through mentorship programs
- Encouraging coworkers to socialise through Friday night drinks and other social events
the approximate economic impact of google drive being released
in America alone is
A Safe Work Environment
In the past, the health care of employees was often seen as irrelevant. In modern workplaces, occupational health and safety are incredibly important.
How a worksite uses machinery, technologies, and other work tools is now done in such a way that staff stays safe. Many companies are now also taking an active interest in employee’s mental health.
After world war two, women who had been working were expected and legally forced, to give up their jobs to men. Today, there are high levels of female workplace engagement and employment, with some even introducing a specified number of women to ensure equality in the workplace.
Lawyers, doctors, and engineers are no longer exclusively middle-aged white men – we’ve seen leaps and bounds in terms of reduced racism and ageism, although we still have room for improvement!
In 1950 men made up two-thirds of the workplace, by 2024
is how much the gender gap is expected to reduce by 2024
Unfortunately, one of the costs of an improved work-life balance is that there are less full-time positions available. In today’s world, while you can work from home or return to work part-time after childbirth – it’s harder to find work that includes a contract.
The implicit contracts where you’d work for one company your entire life are less and less common as people are forced or choose, to change jobs more often due to lifestyle, travel, or circumstance.
Where do we go from here?
We’re moving into a globalised world where it’s not uncommon to travel and work with an American company in Australia. With business trips to Europe and Asia commonplace, consider learning another language to improve your circumstances in the workplace.
Technology will also become more important, with experts warning that the amount of data out there is likely to be a big issue for companies in the future, so learning about cloud computing and data storage is another great way to get ahead. Find cloud computing and other useful technology-based courses here.
Finally, companies are always looking to reduce training costs by promoting staff who already have management experience and training under their belt. With promotions no longer guaranteed by time spent at a company, some extra management training is always a good way to ensure that hiring managers and HR consider you for promotions in the future.
There are some fantastic benefits to our work lives today that we didn’t have in the past. With the benefits of technology, we can communicate faster over longer distances and can also keep ourselves and our work more organised.
Employers care about the health and wellbeing of staff and are coming up with ways to ensure that employees have a proper work/life balance. Plus, the workplace is a more diverse, equal place with more opportunities for everyone.
However, the rise in technology means that data security is a concern, and a more global world means that we need to understand each other better. Plus, with murkier pathways to promotion, studying management is now a necessity for people who are looking to be good leaders in the future.
But all of those issues can be addressed by further training and experience, so get out there and enjoy the workplace environment that modernity brings!
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