Mobile and digital technologies are expanding into society, business and private life and are changing how we work. According to an Ericsson Networked Society Lab study, employees need to adopt a new set of skills in order to remain relevant in the market. Employers need to motivate people to stay when employees have a growing need for a deeper level of meaning in their work.

Mobile and digital technologies are expanding into increasingly more areas of society, business and private life. These changes also impact the way we work and how work is organized. In the report "Next generation working life – a survival guide," Ericsson Networked Society Lab has explored these changes and has tried to understand the most important trends.

Mikael Eriksson Björling, Expert in Consumer Behavior at Ericsson, says: "We wanted to see how you thrive in this new game. What rules do you need to follow as an employer and as employees? Therefore, we meet with experts in HR and organizations, as well as leading architects and business thinkers. We have also visited a number of both small and large progressive businesses in the US to see how they are organizing work. We believe ICT will be a fundamental driver of this transformation and, for us as a company, it is important to see the opportunities and be a part of this transformation."

The report describes the new business landscape as a volcanic environment: a place where there are few safe positions. In this rather harsh new world, it will be crucial to understand and adapt to the changes taking place, and there will be some main challenges that organizations need to address.

How to succeed as an employer:

Rule 1 – A value-driven and credible mission – People have a growing need for a deeper level of meaning in their work. They want companies to provide answers about the reason for the organization to exist. These trends represent a significant shift where personal values, purpose and goals become more important than money, titles and tasks.

Rule 2 – Establish an open and democratic working culture – Growing emphasis on the culture that glues the employees of organizations together and makes them committed to each other will be a mark of our future working life. Employees will cultivate their networks and define suitable working methods based on their own experiences and preferences.

Rule 3 – Tear down the organizational boundaries – In an era where work can take place anywhere, the meaning of the office has to be redefined. The office will be a place for exchange, designed to optimize the quality of the interaction that takes place there. Employees expect their work environment to be adjusted to their individual needs.

How to succeed as an employee:

Rule 1 – Skills and relevance – Employees will have to adopt a new set of skills in order to remain relevant and to be attractive enough in the market. Working in transient networks accentuates the importance of describing and promoting personal skills in a convincing way. The job market is in constant change and getting a degree will not be enough to succeed.

Rule 2 – Master the area of self-marketing – Working in transient networks accentuates the importance of describing and promoting personal skills in a convincing way. Future employees are: skilled at initiating projects and creating micro-hubs, convincingly selling their own contribution to a specific process and talented personal brand managers.

Rule 3 – Always on the hunt for something better – Future working life is not about settling for a job which is safe or easy. Those who are successful in the new environment are always on the lookout for other options that could potentially be more rewarding and/or challenging. It will be common for employees to be always active on online recruitment networks and to be constantly in touch with their own personal network.

Survival guide to the next generation working life

Notes to editors

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