The Background Buzz Insider
March 11, 2010

Predictions for 2010: Five Changes in the Way We Work

This year will be marked by five changes in the evolving relationship between those who work and those who pay to have work done. Most of these trends have been percolating for some time — many stemming back to the 1981 recession, and its then-startling lay-offs. The most recent recession accelerated and intensified the changing nature of the employee-employer relationship. Recessions unquestionably leave a mark on the way we work. The approaches companies use to respond to difficult business conditions don't only affect the company — they leave a lasting impression on the workers (and the workers' teen-age children, who draw conclusions for their career strategy based on their parents' experience). As smart as these two approaches may have been from a corporate standpoint, and even as kind as they might seem in terms of total workforce impact (fewer layoffs), they nonetheless further loosen individuals' trust in an employer to care for them — or even to reward their hard work with the agreed-upon pay. The experiences of the past two years imprinted the workforce with a new understanding: even a "full-time job" does not (necessarily) equate to the equivalent full-time pay. As a result, expect to see these five characteristics of the way we work becoming even more prominent throughout 2010: significant ways, driven by employee preferences, facilitated by new technologies, supported by new managers who themselves are more comfortable with virtual work.

What are your thoughts? Are you ready for the changes ahead?

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March 2010

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