Trends and developments: What will the working world of the future look like?
A crystal ball is no longer necessary to take a look at the working world of the future. Many developments that could only be expected within the next few years are already visible today. The main reasons for this are the rapid pace of digital progress and the ongoing Corona crisis. For Boban Kudranovic, Head of Marketing at DEKRA Arbeit Group, one thing is certain: „Those who demonstrate flexibility and team spirit will have a clear advantage in the future.“
The Corona crisis as a digitalization accelerator
As the saying goes, in every crisis there is an opportunity. Even if this quote may already sound trite – for companies in particular, it should be understood as motivation in these times. Because, while the pandemic has been making life difficult for the economy for more than a year, more and more companies are focusing on the all-important digitization of their services and processes.
In our view, this is an inevitable step; after all, the dynamics of the pandemic are forcing the implementation of digital technologies. This applies to companies as well as to schools, administrations and other areas of life. In the past year, it has become clear that organizations with a functioning digital infrastructure are at an advantage.
For everyone else, the following applies: Even if the topic of digitization was treated rather stepmotherly before the Corona crisis, it is not too late to get the digital transformation process underway and align one's own company with the opportunities of digitization – e.g., in the form of new forms of work, increased digital interaction or data-driven services.
Boban Kudranovic: „Companies and organizations should waste no more time and push ahead with their digitization immediately. The more digitally positioned they are in the future, the more flexible and resilient they will be in times of crisis to come.“
New business models thanks to digital transformation
However, the digital transformation of a company does not happen overnight and is a process that is as important as it is complex. Digital transformation is not just about replacing analog products with digital counterparts (e.g., turning print articles into blog articles). It goes one step further and takes the new information and communication technologies as an opportunity to transform entire service offerings and business models. A simple example of this is mail order companies that used to offer their products exclusively via catalogs and now use web stores and apps instead, where customers can find the products tailored to their needs with the help of a perfectly designed customer journey, artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Digital transformation therefore requires the development of new online-based business models that question previous processes and always focus on the „digital customer“ and their changing needs.
Of course, business partners and employees must not be ignored in the process. They too should and want to use digital technologies for networking and information exchange. After all, even a digitally oriented company can only be productive if everyone involved interacts constructively and forms a strong community. This is exactly where we at DEKRA come in with our Vision 2025.
Boban Kudranovic: „Digital transformation will present companies with major challenges in the future. However, implemented correctly, it also offers the enormous potential to increase efficiency and revenue as well as strengthen customer loyalty in the long term.“
E-learning for employees
Professional training and continuing education will continue to be indispensable in the working world of the future. But they are also shifting more and more into the digital realm – and becoming so-called e-learnings. They stand for all forms of digital learning that can be carried out conveniently on a computer, tablet or smartphone. Thanks to them, traditional on-site events are less and less necessary – a particular advantage, for example, in order to be able to offer further training for employees even in the current time of crisis. However, training on digital devices does not necessarily mean that employees have to work alone: Learning together with other course participants and under professional guidance is also possible with e-learning.
E-learning can also be integrated perfectly into everyday (work) life, as employees do not have to be at a specific place at a specific time. Instead, they can access the learning content exactly when it suits them best. In addition, the content can be worked through at the individual's own pace and what is learned can be checked with the help of short questions and tasks.
However, digital training only makes sense if it is designed to be easy to understand and the participant has sufficient technical understanding. If the employee feels overwhelmed by the software or the learning content, which is too difficult, there is a high probability that he will give up the course early on.
Boban Kudranovic: „E-learning is an excellent way for employees to familiarize themselves individually with a topic or to deepen their knowledge in an area. For companies, they are also more cost-effective in the long term than classroom training, which may also incur travel and accommodation costs. Nevertheless, face-to-face events will continue to be indispensable in many professions, e.g., if personal experience or practical learning content is to be imparted.“
Increasingly digital communication and collaboration
Instant messengers, video telephony, voice messages – in the private sphere, these communication technologies have long been taken for granted. But in large parts of the working world, they were rather rare until some time ago. Larger meetings were held face-to-face in conference rooms, business trips went around the world, and teamwork often took place in a shared office.
That has changed dramatically in many industries since last year – and will continue to be a trend even after the Corona pandemic. Companies will increasingly rely on digital communication and collaboration. The following collaboration tools, for example, will be used:
- Communication software for text messaging, voice chats and video conferencing.
- Software for project management, for coordinating and distributing tasks.
- Software for collaborative document editing.
- Services for storing and transferring data.
Boban Kudranovic: „When selecting collaboration tools, the team should discuss the specific needs. On the other hand, the composition should not be too complex, otherwise it can make workflows more difficult. At the DEKRA Arbeit Group, we see this cohesion as the greatest asset and the basis for a continued successful future. Values such as trust, reliability and open cooperation are our guarantees for a good working relationship with customers, employees and colleagues. It is no coincidence that we have firmly anchored these values as a guiding principle in our Vision 2025.“