At this point, I’ve been working at home for close to eighteen years. When you’ve been doing it that long, and you’ve built up a thriving global business, you gain some real insight into how the economy is shifting. Not only that, but you have a remarkable relationship with your family, with some unique visits into the home office through the years.
Business Edge magazine is now running a “20 questions” interview with me in which I’m talking about a variety of stuff.
Inevitably, talk turned to the next generation, the workplace, and the change occurring with careers. This is a topic that I’ve frequently been talking about on stage, under the title, “Hyper-boomers, Gen-Connect and Manure Managers: How the Heck Do We Manage the Workplace Challenges of the Future?”
The interview highlights some of my thoughts on what is happening with the future of the workplace.
- “This next generation is completely different in terms of how they think. Kids today 15 and under coming into the workforce are not going to want to have a job, they’re not going to want to have a career path, they’re not going to want to work for a company. They are the ultimate entrepreneurs. You’re not going to be able to hire them. You’re going to be able to contract them at best.”
- “Everybody’s talking about the retirement of (Baby) Boomers. That’s one aspect of it. Everybody’s talking about how difficult it is to attract the next generation. And you’ve got all these employers running around and asking, how do we become the employer of choice and how do we make people like us? But I don’t think that’s the issue. The big issue is that skills are becoming extremely specialized. There’s so much knowledge happening and so much stuff happening so fast. I’ve got a certain set of skills, but increasingly, those skills become narrower and narrower.”
- “…the concept of nine-to-five will have just absolutely disappeared. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to become a nation of home offices, but I think there will be a lot more choices that people will be making as to where and how and when they’re going to be doing the work and what constitutes the organization. You talk to senior managers and CEOs today and they talk about how they have to become more collaborative and team oriented. I think the generation of 15- to 20-year-olds just look at that talk and go, ‘duh.’ They say: ‘We do that, we’re on instant messaging, we’ve got webcams, we’re just collaborative by nature and we don’t give a heck whether we’re in the same room or not. We know how to work cross-country, around the world, globally and how to form instant teams. We come together to form some function, then disband and move on to the next thing because we’re the generation that gets bored so darned easily.’ I think they’re just going to shake up the concept of the workplace to a huge degree. The reason that hasn’t happened is because of simple Boomer resistance to change.”
You can read the full interview here.