A headshot of Luke Bourke of Avanade in a suit smiling at the camera. The headshot is framed by a black hexagonal design.
Luke Bourke. Image: Avanade

‘Lifelong learning will be normalised and seen as essential’

23 Aug 2021

Avanade’s Luke Bourke discusses the key trends he sees coming down the line for the future of work, from new jobs to talent retention.

Click here to view the full Future of Work Week series.

The future of work has been upended due to the pandemic. The use of workplace management tools and discussions around remote working have been completely accelerated and now what was once considered the future of the workplace is essentially the present.

While working during a pandemic does not paint an accurate picture of what the working world will be like, it has paved the way for remote and hybrid working to take hold and for employers and employees alike to look at what lies beyond these trends.

Luke Bourke is a modern workplace engineering consultant at Avanade. He works with clients to modernise technology estates and workstreams during digital workplace transformations.

Here, he told Siliconrepublic.com about how he sees the working world changing, having gone through a tumultuous upheaval over the last 18 months.

‘New roles will evolve to hopefully eliminate drudgery’

What challenges and opportunities face the workplace and workforce of the future?

The main challenges facing both include securing data, delivering a consistent workplace experience across home and office locations, training and upskilling for evolving roles, and adapting to the climate crisis and biodiversity collapse in a sustainable manner.

Exciting opportunities will manifest as novel solutions, assisting our responses to these challenges. New jobs and roles will be created in artificial intelligence, data science, e-health, robotics, eco-hacking and climate engineering.

What key trends do you foresee in relation to workplace dynamics?

Better workforce management tools leveraging AI to analyse organisation, management and employee telemetry.

Increased use of sentiment and more thoughtful consideration given to employee mental health and wellbeing.

Prioritising outcomes and employee satisfaction over presenteeism and asset sweating.

More opportunities for cross-training and leveraging resources across geographies, disciplines and cultures.

Lifelong learning will be normalised and seen as an essential service consumed by employees as needed, leveraging advances in immersive artificial and augmented realities.

Presence will supersede place. Virtual or hybrid presence will be perfectly acceptable as adoption of high-quality collaboration tools and services becomes ubiquitous.

Diversity, equality and inclusion will be celebrated, encouraged and eventually normalised.

Conversations and expectations will shift to universally nurturing talent and realising potential as demand for specific skillsets grows.

Work-life balance is arguably central to job satisfaction. How can it be better achieved in the future?

By mainstreaming awareness from onboarding through to retirement.

Actively promoting or even funding employees to engage in hobbies, interests, pastimes and quality time with their families.

Adopting better tools that consolidate performance telemetry with sentiment, priorities, career progression and training.

We’ve seen immense increases in salary, particularly in tech. Do you think salaries in this sector will trend upwards or will we start to see other benefits coming to the fore?

There will always be demand for key skillsets during transitions like the shift from on-premise infrastructure to cloud services.

As these roles normalise, salaries will plateau and non-financial benefits, like a four-day working week and progressive inclusive company cultures, will retain key contributors.

We’re currently deep in the world of data. What part will data play in developing the future of work?

There will be a lot more of it along with mind-bending options to process, analyse, action and report. Higher quality, data-driven decisions will become cheaper and faster.

We’re looking at a more automated future, as AI and bots become more sophisticated. How do you think this will affect people’s roles?

Orchestration will become mainstream across more disciplines with improving accuracy. History will repeat itself. New roles will evolve to hopefully eliminate drudgery and automate more complex repetitive tasks.

Where do you believe we will we be seeing job growth and development?

Leveraging technology to solve climate change problems. Innovation to address biodiversity collapse and promote sustainable renewal. Continued growth in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device production.

What will companies need to do to attract and support the best talent?

Enshrine inclusivity, equality and diversity in their values. Demonstrate that their people come first. Offer suitable flexibility and choices to promote talent adding value consistently.

Loading now, one moment please! Loading