Calling all business leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and managers! Unless you have been in a deep sleep for the past few years, you are probably aware that the workplace as we know it is shifting in a new direction.

The time to prepare for the future workforce has arrived. It’s time to get up to speed with the digital era that is pushing out the 9-to-5 grind as we know it, and ushering in a new wave of employees and office structures.


Here are 3 ways to prepare for this shift:


1. Change the workplace structure focus

Kick the corporate ladder out of your way and widen your horizons.

The digital age and rapid technological advancements create a demand for more collaborative and flexible workplaces. To encourage growth, the workplace needs to let go of placing the focus on “climbing the corporate ladder” one promotion at a time, and to shift the focus to the free flow of ideas and job roles that span across vertical, diagonal, and horizontal paths.

Employees acquiring new and versatile skills are better equipped to grow companies and to meet the demands presented by the digital age. Gaining these transferable skills will allow employees to move across roles, allowing teams to keep changing, and therefore allowing for more flexibility and collaborative work. 


2. Prepare for a multi-generational workforce

As many baby boomers prepare to retire, giving way to millennials, generation Z is on its way!

Preparing for a multi-generational workforce is a crucial step in working towards meeting the demands of the digital age. Millennials (born 1977 to 1995) are now moving into management roles, taking over from the many baby boomers (born 1946 to 1976) going into retirement. However, with the entry of generation Z (born 1996 and later), we are now experiencing a multi-generational workforce.

Prevent these generations from becoming separated by age groups by bringing together the valuable skills they have to offer in the workplace. Encourage training where baby boomers can share and teach from their experience, especially in management, and allow millennials and generation X employees to help navigate the technological advancements and to give suggestions for how to integrate new strategies with older methods.


Also read: Why workplace culture fit matters


3. Get clued up about the Internet of Things (IoT)

‘Work smarter, not harder’ is one way to think about the Internet of Things.

The reason why you should start getting clued up about the Internet of Things is simply to start shifting your thought processes to how the workplace will become more productive by automating certain tasks and processes. Simply put, the IoT is a huge network of connected devices. It collects data from the connected devices and allows them to communicate with one another.

The jobs that people have now don’t necessarily have to change with the rise of the IoT, but they will most likely be augmented. This technology has the potential to make things easier, and therefore to improve productivity in the workplace.


As the digitally savvy new kids on the block enter the workplace, and the millennials move up to take over from the baby boomers, the workplace will need to change with the times to meet the demands of the digital era. This will see a multi-generational workforce that will need to find ways to work together. What better way to prepare for this than by adapting the workplace structure today, and by embracing the Internet of Things, which will make life and work easier, and more productive?


Click here to read about which jobs will be highest in demand over the next 10 years.