Technology to have biggest impact on the future of work: survey

Employers expect technological changes and the availability of talent to have the biggest impact on the workplace in the next five years, according to new research by WorldatWork.

Its survey, which polled nearly 5,000 employers in the United States, found 47 per cent of respondents expect technology changes to have an impact, followed by availability of talent (39 per cent), shifts in the marketplace (31 per cent), the ability to measure the quality and quantity of work (23 per cent), a more transient workforce (20 per cent) and changes in pay preferences (14 per cent).

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“Changes in technology, customer demand, the marketplace, pay preferences, ability to measure the quality and quantity of work, availability of talent and a transient workforce will affect work and rewards,” said Dow Scott, a professor at Loyola University Chicago who partnered with WorldatWork on the survey.

“Although respondents overall agreed that these forces would have a substantial impact on work, rewards professionals believed these forces will have less impact on rewards programs and practices.”

Looking more closely at how changes in technology will affect total rewards, the survey found 62 per cent of respondents expect employee development and career opportunities to increase in the next three to five years. Other significant factors include flexible work schedules (53 per cent), working from home or other non-employer locations (46 per cent), the quality and variety of employee benefits programs (43 per cent), base pay (40 per cent), incentive pay (39 per cent) and total labour costs (13 per cent).

“Employee values and preferences are increasingly shaping both the work culture and the physical workspace due to increasing demands for work-life balance, work schedule flexibility and opportunities to work remotely,” said Scott.  

“With an increasingly competitive environment for talent and with unemployment hovering near four per cent, employers will likely feel compelled to cater to individual employee rewards preferences and expectations for more personalized workplaces and schedules.”

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