The top players in the corporate game know that for them to succeed, they need to nail the challenges that the workplace of the future will bring.

For leaders, policymakers, and employees, the future will bring shifts that’ll cause uncertainty and will most likely result in companies needing to rebrand their core values and technologies.

Let’s have a look at the major changes that we can expect the new decade to present to the table:

1. Distributed Teams

Here’s an indisputable fact: distributed teams are here to stay.

The Future Of Work report by Upwork revealed that by 2028, 73% of companies will function on distributed teams.

This ridiculously high percentage can be attributed to the skill shortage need that companies are trying to fill.

With the advent of the new age Gen Zers and millennials into the workforce, flexibility of work is a high priority demand. The great talents of the new workforce are no longer getting lured by higher pay. Quality of life and work flexibility has gained higher precedence for them.

The best argument for distributed teams was perhaps phrased in the book Rework where the authors stated that companies: “don’t need everyone physically together to create a strong culture since the best cultures derive from actions people actually take.”

Distributed teams will bring in more productivity and better business outcomes. Research reveals, distributed team members can save up to $7,000 a year and companies up to $11,000. These savings are accounted for by various factors such as transportation, childcare, food, etc.

However, with these new trends comes new complications. Distributed teams will bring forth hurdles such as:

  • Engaging an “out-of-touch” team.
  • Timezone mismatches.
  • Establishing trust and communication channels is hard.

Companies should be aware of the implementation and strategies of managing distributed teams, to truly thrive in the workplace of the future.

2. Changing Role Of HR

HR roles of the future will be dictated by the onslaught of technology and AI. The HR personnel of the future will have to prepare themselves for moving beyond their present skills and abilities.

The future of work will demand a redefined version of it. HR personnel will face pressure to prepare themselves as well as the workforce for the coming developments.

This means that HR professionals will need to re-learn the new technology and the issues surrounding them. Additionally, employees will turn to HR with questions like, “What skills are going to be relevant in the future?”, “Is my job safe from the adaptation of workplace automation?”. Whatever the next decade holds, you can be sure that HR will be the first to feel the impact of it.

Reportedly, HRs will be behind the major driving force of employee engagement, according to KPMG. The HR department will focus on achieving a better employee experience and additionally shift towards a data-driven workplace.

3. The Age Of The Machines

Debates have been going on about how machines will affect the future workplace. Though one thing everyone can agree on. It is inevitable. AI will operate to change the nature of the work itself. Machines will be able to carry out all the tasks that humans do, sometimes going beyond normal expectations.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, around 15 percent of the global workers could be displaced by automation in the period 2016-2030. As a result, some forms of jobs will grow obsolete while a different (and technically oriented) set of skills will be in demand.

This will call for transitions to new roles and jobs. Companies will face the challenges in these aspects when the impact of automation makes itself know:

  • Particular skill sets (mainly technical) will become more expensive. Expertise in data science and machine learning will see an unprecedented hike in wages due to its demand and skill shortage.
  • Training managers and supervisors to get on board with managing humans and machines will be non-negotiable.
  • With the skill shortage gap high, hiring will get more exclusive and more laborious in general.
  • Synchronizing future technologies to the already existing processes and systems; while making sure that both complement each other.

4. Employee Experience Will Gain Precedence

Despite common misconceptions, compensation is not the primary reason employees leave. The experience that employees have at their workplaces is continuously becoming more vital.

The workplace of the future will see a drastic way in which people work. The rising trend of remote working and flexibility will ensure that employees don’t even need to come into the office. For them, the workplace could be their home or a coffee shop.

For companies to create an employee experience that makes people want to stick out longer, the traditional methods like improving the office environment are not going to work. You need to dig deeper than that.

For a holistic employee experience, companies need to embrace it, understand it and make necessary investments. The long term future plan would use AI and machine learning to create a more personalized employee experience. Companies will need to leverage future technologies to formulate an experience that makes people want to do their best work.

With a better employee experience, even remote workers will feel engaged and excited about working for your company. So, unless you plan to re-plan your employee experience initiatives for the future, you will come face-to-face with an alarming rate of employee turnover.


These abovementioned disruptions will prove harmful only if not acknowledged. With proper measures and initiatives, the future of work will be no different from when the industrial revolution took place or when early humans made the first stone tools.

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