In the Future of Jobs report released by the World Economic Forum, 44% of respondents (CHROs and other C-suite executives) rated changing work environments and flexible working arrangements as the top trend in the demographic and socio-economic space, saying that they were feeling the impact of this trend already.

Mobile internet and cloud technology was rated as the top technical driver of change. These two trends are linked as the latter enables workplace and workforce innovations that allow remote working, increased productivity and flexibility in Internet-based service models.

As a marketer and strategist I can see how the advances in cloud computing and Big Data (26% rated this as top technological trend) are having such an impact on people as both members of work forces and as consumers.

It means that we need both a change in skill set and a change in attitude.

The technical drivers have moved beyond the tactile and the physical and this is a shift from previous industrial revolutions.  It requires a whole new creative-thinking skill set and application to take advantage of things like cloud computing, Big Data and remote work forces.

As employers it is incumbent on us to deliver the benefits of this to our work force, and as marketers and strategists it is our responsibility to deliver the benefits to our customers.

women in the work force and as consumers

We know that with women’s rising aspirations and economic power – they will contribute US$5 trillion additional consumer spending and 2/3 of global disposal income over the next 10 years – should come a change in work force structure and flexibility and open up new avenues for products and services.

Just in time learning

We also know that this means rethinking education systems.  A move away from formal education that produces a piece of paper that graduates then hope will get them a job to an agile delivery methodology – one that is just in time.

Because when technology changes this fast, how can you possibly structure a 4 year course knowing what the end looks like?  Our education systems will become more about how to apply content than ticking a box.

Lifelong learning will be the key in this world of work – set up for constant personal change and innovation.