Over the next 20 years, a transformation in the way we work will create whole new categories of consumer needs for brands to cater to – based on the desire for flexibility, the pursuit of wellbeing, and the quest for self-improvement, says Senior US Analyst, Alison Gough, in her keynote: The Work/Life Revolution.
Exploring the threats and opportunities in this new flexible post 9-5 world of work, Gough laid out how to develop products, services and messages that meet a diverse range of working habits.
This new breed of dynamic worker was introduced in part via Stylus’ own “Wild Duck” AKA Strategic Account Manager and current Remote Year candidate, Emily Mitnick.
We’re in an age of pliable professions, and businesses need to adapt their offers to suit unpredictable work patterns, yo-yoing incomes and shifting community dynamics, said Gough, adding that these changes are being driven by job polygamy and the emergent blended lifestyles that rule the roost in the future of work.
Whether forming the growing ranks of freelancers and 'gig' workers or hard-working parents, a portfolio model of employment, where people take on multiple contracts and jobs at the same time, will become the norm.
By 2020, half of the US and UK population will be freelancers, stated Gough. Now is the time to reboot financial services for the expanding self-employed workforce, while brands and businesses should start catering to nocturnal working habits - fuelled by cross-border business transactions and this juggling of multiple jobs.
How to attract, empower and retain a superhero staff who will make your business more innovative, agile and effective, was laid out via a number of best practice case studies.
Continual experimentation is key for employees in building the products and services that consumers want. But Gough says a crucial second piece to this is that new ideas come from diverse perspectives, and you cannot be an innovative company without a diverse team.
According to Glassdoor (2017), 67% of jobseekers say a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. These are strong incentives to foster an inclusive company culture.
Blueprint for a Better Workplace
The growing popularity of flexible and portfolio careers are creating a need for workspaces – from offices to transport and service-related spaces - that can facilitate a variety of tasks, and that make switching between jobs easy. Gough says diversity in how our workspaces look and where they are located is set to only increase.
In tandem, wellness is entering the workplace to not only soothe stress and anxiety, but stimulate and improve cognitive focus. Agility is also being incorporated to discourage sedentary lifestyles, while increasingly businesses are deploying spaces and products that consider sensorial elements like scent, touch and sound.
We know that a key challenge facing brands is keeping up with the speed of innovation in a fast-changing consumer landscape. At Stylus, we help you to not only anticipate these changes, but to maximise the opportunities they present.