Future Friday: What the future will NOT be

What is the "NOT" that needs to be considered in your future?
What is the “NOT” that needs to be considered in your future?

I write every Friday about what the future may look like in HR. But what about what the future will not be? Jacob Morgan, author of the Future of Work, proposed that reversal of thinking as an interesting exercise, so I am going to engage in that a bit.

What will NOT be

One thing that will radically change HR is that people will NOT be looking to come to work for your company for 20 years. Perhaps they will not be coming to work for your company for even 10 years. So how will that change things?
First it will change the concept of retirement. Benefits, such as pension plans and 401(k), will have to become more portable. They will ALL have to become accounts that are tied to the employee and not to the employer. We have already seen movement along those lines in health care with Heath Savings Accounts (HSAs). How does that change the jobs of people in HR who hold those roles of plan administrators?
Secondly, since people will be looking at shorter term assignments of just a couple of years will they really care about the annual performance review? We are already seeing a movement away from that process to a model that is ongoing performance discussions done in shorter timeframes.
An additional change is there will no longer be any cube farms. With a mobile workforce that can perform work from any location the need for real estate will diminish to a much smaller foot print. The need for commuters will diminish. Along with that the need for managers will diminish as well, at least managers in the traditional sense of the word. Work will be done much more collaboratively or automated. Groups of workers will self-manage, as is already seen in a number of companies.

Try the exercise

I encourage you to take some time and think about the future, not as what will be here, but rather what will NOT be here. How will you workplace change by things going away as opposed to being added? Are you prepared for those changes? Perhaps you should start.

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