Agile workers could represent 50% of workforce by 2019, says Randstad
It’s always interesting to look at the workplace of the future; and a new report released by Randstad Technologies argues that by 2019, agile workers could comprise as much as 50% of the workforce.
First off, let’s outline what Randstad defines as agile; the report describes it as “the strategic ability to anticipate talent needs, adjust in real-time and utilise workers from a variety of employment arrangements.” The research findings, which polled 1,500 business executives and 3,160 workers, were a surprise to the company, which argued the traditional employment model is ‘evolving’.
46% of companies polled said they were committed to building an agile workforce model, compared with just 18% in 2012. Of this, virtual or remote workers make up approximately one in five (22%) of today’s organisations, with Randstad expecting this number to go up to 33% by 2025.
Alongside employers’ viewpoints, employees can contribute to the changing process as well. Almost half (46%) of respondents said they chose to become an agile worker, while a further 28% said it was the best option for them. 48% said becoming agile gave them better career choices, while 56% agreed it generated more income.
Overall, the report defines three distinct eras. The past – pre-digital – was where devices had one function and technologies lived alongside each other but did not intertwine. Think clunky desktops, fax machines, and office phones. The present, the mid-digital era, sees devices being multi-functional and work increasingly conducted virtually, while the post-digital era, around 2025, is where the layers between virtual and physical will ‘disappear’.
“It goes without saying that any disruptive shift will bring about new challenges for companies as they try to adapt and transform their workforce models,” the report concludes. “Building and leveraging this approach is, in many ways, a progression in continent workforce management. Companies who embraced the contingent workforce model years ago will likely be ahead of the game, though all must adapt as it evolves.”
One of the most popular stories this publication has ever run was a Samsung report in 2015 which also assessed the ‘office’ of 2025. The study made a few bold predictions, advocating ‘creative villages’ instead of fully remote working, an increasingly prioritised role for gesture control technology, as well as the prospect of managers trooping off to the job centre as big data insights will render their roles virtually irrelevant.
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