Workplace Strategy: Skills for the future of work (Part 1)

  Axiom Workplaces
  6 Min Read
Workplace Strategy: Skills for the future of work

The future of work is not some distant horizon—it's here, right now. We find ourselves in a dynamic and transformative era of work evolution. What does this mean for employees, employers, and workplaces in 2024?

At a national level, Australia is grappling with challenges in its workplace and workforce strategy. The ongoing evolution in how we work is underscored by a lack of a national reskilling or upskilling plan and a persistent skills shortage. The Australian Government has begun to address these concerns with some information available on The Future of Work Website to help businesses, teachers and students understand and manage future risks, but also maximise future opportunities.

In 2024, Australia is deeply entrenched in a talent war, facing digital capability gaps, and witnessing an unprecedented multi-generational workforce. The shortage of skilled workers, projected to reach 600,000 by 2030, and the demand for 3 million tech-capable jobs intensify the competition among employers for available talent. Older workers are opting to stay in the workforce longer, addressing the skills gap and adapting to extended lifespans.

These trends are not isolated—they intersect with a globally connected world, elevating the risk of disruption. From the climate crisis to rapid technological advancements, changes are unfolding swiftly. The accelerated pace raises the risk of catching people unprepared and instigating fear within the workplace.

Businesses must remain vigilant, acknowledging these shifts and infusing agility and adaptability into their workplace strategies promptly.

**The Key Changes and Evolutions We're Seeing in 2024**

*Organisational Design*

Originally observed in tech companies like Facebook and Slack, the trend toward a flatter company structure with less hierarchy and decentralised decision-making continues to gain momentum in 2024. Essentially, a flat organisational structure cuts out middle management and is often observed in tech companies, startups, and small businesses. But a flat structure won’t work for every company, it's important to consider the size and needs of the company before making this decision.


*Attracting, Engaging, and Retaining Top Talent in 2024*

In 2023, global workplace engagement is at a record high of 23%. Many Australian employees claim to be engaged in their work, meaning businesses are more productive. This presents a significant opportunity for employers to continue to overhaul their approaches to both attracting and retaining talent.

Skilled, engaged employees wield the power to choose where they work, often favoring purpose-driven organisations, robust employee benefits like health and wellbeing initiatives, flexible working arrangements, and efficiently designed workplaces that prioritise productivity and wellness. In fact, 67 percent of millennials in 2024 expect employers to have a purpose with a positive societal impact, demanding more than a mere vision statement on the wall.

Advancements in technology and the continued rise of remote work are diminishing the importance of location, with more Australians opting to work for global organisations. This trend broadens job opportunities for talented individuals, and businesses failing to evolve risk losing out to contemporary global companies.

*Hiring on Mastery and Talent, Not Degrees in 2024*

The traditional approach of hiring based on degrees, skills, and experience is further giving way to a new paradigm in 2024. Recruiters now prioritise talent, mastery, and alignment with vision and purpose. According to this Forbes article, some multinational professional services firms, like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ernst and Young, continue to forgo the mandate for university degrees. In some cases, recruiters are even excluding the requirement for an MBA on resumes to ensure inclusivity for candidates from diverse backgrounds.

**Why Businesses, Government, and Higher Education Need to Take Note in 2024**

Effective and progressive policies in 2024 demand that government departments attract and retain top talent. To achieve this, there's a pressing need to improve the employee value proposition (purpose) and expedite recruitment practices to align with market norms. Significant investments in upskilling and reskilling programs, with a pronounced focus on digital literacy and technical skills, are essential for the government to keep pace with the rapid changes in the workplace.

With the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, universities are scrambling to understand the impact of this technology on teaching, learning, and assessment. As tech giants lead the way in revolutionizing AI, universities must evolve and embrace new opportunities for innovation. Failure to do so puts significant pressure on the employability of graduates.

The unforgiving speed of change means that, in 2024, 51 percent of organisations still do not fully understand the magnitude of the changes happening. While the precise impact is uncertain, what we do know is that disruption will affect ALL jobs. Whether through automation, augmentation, transformation, or transfer, the workforce is undergoing swift changes. However, this change brings infinite possibilities, with new jobs emerging in AI, cybersecurity, data insights, and more. Businesses focusing on reskilling, embracing opportunities, and prioritising agility and adaptability in 2024 are poised to navigate the future confidently and gain a competitive edge.

**So, What Does This Mean for Me and My Workplace in 2024?**

Now armed with insights into the future of work in 2024 and its implications for businesses, explore ways you can integrate this knowledge into your workplace design strategy and future-proof your workplace.

The future of workplace design is unfolding right now. Read our ultimate guide to the future of work here.



Axiom Workplaces combine your commercial fitout goals with our experience and expertise in evidence-based office design to create a thriving workplace for you and your workforce.