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The workplace has continually changed and adapted throughout history, but the technological boom of the 21st century has accelerated this change enormously. Many companies have struggled to adapt to change, and the world of business really is all about survival of the fittest. Those that aren’t ready to adapt risk becoming extinct.

Here are just a few of the ways in which the modern workplace has changed in recent times.

1. Removal of Corporate Ladder

Back in the 1950s and 60s, the corporate world was clearly defined in a ladder structure. In order to get ahead, you needed to climb each rung one by one. Technological advances have allowed for a more collaborative and flexible working environment.

If you take the time to view workplace trends, many businesses have ‘flattened out’ over the years and there are fewer managers. Instead, there is a more grid-like structure. People are more likely to advance through doing a range of different roles, preferring to work with more independence and freedom.

2. Rise of the Machines

In the next two decades, it has been estimated that 45% of jobs will be under threat through automation. Between 45 and 75 million jobs will be at risk worldwide. Big companies take advantage of each new development as it occurs, and the advancements continue coming thick and fast.

This is one of the greatest challenges that will impact the modern workplace, and it will require some big ideas to face them head on. Mechanisation is viewed with both wonder and fear, but it doesn’t seem as if it’s going away anytime soon.

3. Freelance Culture

The so-called ‘gig economy’ is a phenomenon of recent times. More and more people are working as freelancers from all over the world. Technology has well and truly torn down the walls that previously existed.

Nowadays, a whole plethora of tasks can be completed using just a laptop. It has been estimated that 540 million people will have used one of the various freelance platforms that exist nowadays by the year 2025.

Flexibility isn’t just something that companies are looking for, but now workers are starting to value this above standard salary increases. The 9 to 5 is increasingly being seen as a thing of the past, but the world of freelancing isn’t all plain sailing. There is no guarantee of work and people can struggle without a fixed income. This is yet another challenge facing governments around the world. 

4. An Ageing Workforce

Age is no longer the barrier it once was, and older workers are no longer seen as a disadvantage to businesses. Their experience is valued like it hasn’t been in the past. Of course, retirement is something that many people strive towards but they have never been able to pull together the financial resources in order to make this dream a reality.

Equally, many older people continue working through choice. The naturally ageing population means that there is a bigger pool of talent out there for employers to draw from than ever before.

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