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Future of work

The meaning of work: Monzo CEO shares four key trends shaping the way we work today

Tom Blomfield

CEO and co-founder, Monzo

The shape of the workplace is changing beyond all recognition. What will it look like 15 years from now?

Purpose-driven work

The distinction between life and work is blurring, and people now look for purpose and meaning in both.

10 years ago, city jobs expected new graduates to spend the first few years working unreasonable hours, doing menial work. Once promoted, they’d inflict the same treatment on those who came after them.

Today, people are demanding fulfilling work from day one.

Our definition of fulfilment is changing: people aren’t as motivated by “making partner” or chasing a big bonus, but instead look for purpose to drive what they do.

In response, companies are making sure that people have a better work/life balance, and paying more attention to the wellbeing of staff. They’re giving junior employees more autonomy and ownership, not expecting them to work 90 hour weeks.

The rise of digital nomads

The internet has had a massive impact on the way we work, enabling us to work from anywhere in the world. The ‘workplace’ is no longer one physical location, and companies increasingly accommodate remote working. From a beach in Bali to a loft in New York, we have the freedom to work from anywhere.

Output-oriented thinking

Companies are starting to measure success in terms of output, not input. The culture of clocking in and out is a thing of the past, and the best employers no longer care about how many hours you sit at your desk each day. Instead, the focus is on delivering results.

The implications of automation

All jobs have the potential to be affected by automation. Investment banking, equity trading, accounting and law are all industries that rely on repetitive manual processes that could be done more efficiently and accurately by computer.

Automation may eliminate some jobs altogether, but it will support new types of work.

Automation may eliminate some jobs altogether, but it will also create the economic productivity to support new types of work. Past industrial revolutions have enabled the huge expansion in education and healthcare provision that’s followed.

The alarm around the implications of automation for the future of work is understandable. But we’re starting to wake up to the fact that a job for life doesn’t exist any more. There’s a growing need for continual, life-long learning, and there must be opportunities for people to retrain and reskill.

As a society, we need to recognise that a fraction of the population will bear the brunt of this upheaval, and must provide them with the support that they need, financial and otherwise. It’s vital that we think about shaping a fair and productive society in the wake of rapid, radical change.

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