Running the Store From Home
By Bernice Hurst, Managing Director, Fine Food Networks
The stores of the future may be run from home. A report on what The Guardian described as “the nature of employment in 2018” pointed towards a shift from talk about “work-life balance” to more about “work-life integration.”
The report from the UK Chartered Management Institute (CMI) forecast that by 2018, technology will have freed millions of workers to work either all or at least some of the time from home. But this more flexible environment – rather than creating a leisured workforce capable of balancing work and family life more effectively, as once hoped – will instead be the domain of a stressed, 24/7 workforce desperately struggling to meet the conflicting demands of children, elderly dependents, instant communications and global markets.
technological advancements, part of the reason more people will be working
from home in the future is because of a combination of environmental concerns
and the pressures of needing to be available to care for ageing relatives.
The CMI’s report, entitled Management Futures, identified 17 possible scenarios
that UK organizations could be facing within the next decade, and also surveyed
more than 1,000 senior executives.
In the survey, 74 percent of the execs expected “virtual
teams of employees,” working at a distance from each other, to become the norm
by 2018. About 64 percent thought talented people would become “multi-employed,” 59
percent said job hopping would be commonplace, and 56 percent said most routine
tasks would be automated. Two-thirds of the executives expected global corporations
to exert more influence than governments. About two-thirds also forecast an
increase in customer participation in business decisions and the creation of
products with longer lifecycles to meet environmental concerns.
also looked at the best ways of tackling these workplace changes. To achieve
stability and productivity, for example, and make the most of employees’ experience, “companies
would come to regard wisdom as a valuable resource. Some would try to nurture
an organizational memory by arranging rituals and storytelling, and listening
to the accounts of long-term employees.”
Mary Chapman, the Institute’s chief executive, added that “a greater degree of emotional intelligence will be required by managers and leaders so they can understand how people work and their likely reaction to change.”
While acknowledging that the surprise scenarios outlined might not turn out to be accurate, the report did paraphrase the old Scout motto, advising that businesses should be prepared for all sorts of possibilities.
Discussion questions: How do you think issues such as technology, the aging population and eco-concerns will reshape the workplace environment by 2018? How should retailers be preparing to capitalize on these changes? How should managers prepare to handle this new breed of employee?
- Wave goodbye to the nine to five, and say hello to virtual enterprise – The Guardian
- Britain in business: the world of work in 2018 – Chartered Management Institute