Ithraa Inside Stories

Workplaces of the future…
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Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and export development agency, recently held their latest Inside Stories interactive discussion. The dialogue focused on the trends that will shape the workplace of the future…

Offering invaluable learning and networking opportunities, Ithraa’s Inside Stories discussions provide a meeting place for Oman’s business people, scientists, educators, manufacturers, healthcare professionals, civil servants, urban planners and environmentalists to discuss business ideas and solutions that inspire further progress and development. The most recent Inside Stories took place at the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) Training Centre in Muscat. Here, Wings of Oman selects three key insights that came out of the event, which suggest how the Omani workplace will evolve in years to come.

Inside Stories: Insight #1 

Future workplace: A fast-moving scene

According to Ithraa, the career paths of young Omanis now entering and about to enter the job market will be increasingly characterised by flexibility and continuous change in how and where they will work and what they will do. In turn, this dynamic and fast-moving scene will be influenced by three forces. Advances in automation will result in machines performing more and more human tasks. Intensified globalisation suggests that global workforces will increasingly become established in local workforces. Lastly, more collaboration in the workplace could see employees engaging in multi-track career paths – not only individuals, but sometimes many employees in an organisation, and at the same time.

Inside Stories: Insight #2

Changing demographics

By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. An important thing to consider about millennials isn’t only that they bring new approaches, ideas, values or operating styles to the workplace, but that they will be the largest generation ever to enter the workforce, in terms of sheer numbers. With this in mind, the older generation of organisations and managers who are more used to clearly defined hierarchies and a relatively rigid, less flexible workplace culture, will have to find new ways to deal with this younger generation’s working style. This style is characterised by the need for a higher level of feedback, instant appraisal and reassurance, and the constant interaction of social media applied to a work environment. Similarly, this younger generation increasingly expects to be able to share personal opinions and be involved in organisational decision making. In other words, Omani companies are going to have to shift from creating an environment where they assume people need to work there – to one where they know people want to work there.

Inside Stories: Insight #3

The “Human Cloud”

In the past decade, cloud computing has radically altered the way we work, but it’s the growth of the “Human Cloud” – a vast global pool of freelancers who are available to work on demand from remote locations on a mind-boggling array of digital tasks – which is shaking up approaches to work. Employers are starting to see the Human Cloud as a new way to get work done. White-collar jobs are chopped into small projects or tasks, then scattered into a virtual “cloud” of workers who could be any place in the world with an internet connection. Tasks can be as simple as looking up phone numbers on the internet or typing data into a spreadsheet. Others are as complex as writing a piece of code, designing a brochure or completing a short-term research project. Indeed, the rise of the virtual global worker – who can provide services to a global employer base but still remain at home to conduct the work – is a relatively new and potentially disruptive force. Omanis will need to compete with virtual talent from many other countries. At the same time, Omanis will increasingly have an opportunity to showcase their own unique set of talents and work on the world stage.

Online Info! Founded in 1996, Ithraa is a government-run investment and export promotion agency. Ithraa provides a range of support services and information to help exporters, along with domestic and international investors who seek to make investments in Oman. To learn more about Ithraa or to download the latest Inside Stories report, visit www.ithraa.om. You can also go to www.ithraa.om/Media-Hub to watch a series of films from the most recent Inside Stories discussion.

Images: © Ithraa; Shutterstock

Tags: Oman