Future Of Work

CEO Insight: What Are the Most Pressing Issues Facing Work Right Now?

How Do We Prepare Ourselves for the Future of Work?
Jenna Van Schoor
Written by Jenna Van Schoor

We talk a lot about the future of work, but how do we prepare for something that hasn’t happened yet?

One way is to understand what the most pressing issues facing work are right now, and make plans to address these. To get an idea of what these issues are, and how we plan to address them, we spoke to our CEO Claire Burge, who has just arrived in the US to take our company on the next stage of our journey: product development.

Here’s a summary of what she had to say:

To break down what the most pressing issues facing work are, it always comes down to This is Productivity’s company blueprint, which is focused on three core aspects that make up work as we know it: Humans (People), Technology and Space (Workspaces). This is because you can’t look at all the issues facing work through a single lens and expect to come up with a holistic and effective solution.

To understand this more fully, here are the key challenges in each area, according to Claire:

Humans (People): as we move towards a more automated future, for people to stay relevant in the workplace, their entire skill set needs to change to include skills like empathy, as well as creativity and critical thinking. This is because as yet, robots cannot replicate these cognitive skills, although they will be able to take on many of the tasks that society has placed so much importance on in the last while, for example, accountancy.

Claire has written a blog post that dives deeper into this issue on Medium, which outlines our upcoming collaboration with the Institute for the Future (which we’ll explore more in an upcoming post) and explains the need for trans-disciplinarity, and a “T” shaped set of skills.

Technology: the reality of work and digital tools today is fragmentation, and this is a very big issue. Not just because we get distracted at work and aren’t productive when we’re trying to manage a variety of tools, but because doing so actually leads to problems with what neuroscientists call cognitive load management.

It’s a scientific area of study that’s receiving a lot of attention, because now that we’re having to process more and more information than ever before, it’s becoming clear that our brains aren’t evolving to handle this information.

In short, this fragmentation is hurting our brains.

Space (Workspaces): with advances in communication technology, it’s not necessary to have all of your employees in one physical location, in fact, it actually makes more sense not to. This is because to compete in a rapidly evolving and fast-paced marketplace, and to remain competitive, the issue of geography with regards to work has to diminish, as geographical space is not as relevant.

How do you plan to prepare yourself for the critical skills needed in the future world of work? Contact Claire Burge to find out more about how we plan to educate employees on the skills they need for the future.

About the author

Jenna Van Schoor

Jenna Van Schoor

Jenna is Chaos and Rocketfuel's researcher and writer on everything related to the future of work.

Passionate about travel and new ways of thinking, she believes there is so much to be discovered when it comes to new technologies, perspectives and design.

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2 Comments

  • For me, the area of cognitive load management is really interesting; in an industry like advertising for example, information overload and analysis paralysis are becoming so common place that many agencies now offer “duvet days” as perks to help employees “switch off” instead of redesigning the systems that cause stress. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we resolve these challenges in the future.

    • Thanks for your comment Ivan, this is definitely something that everyone struggles with, so also look forward to coming up with practical solutions!