Work just isn’t like it used to be. We work in different and more diverse occupations, and in different industries.
More paid workers are female and more are part-time or casual. We are having more seasons in our working life, and we work for more money, fewer hours, and do more of it from home.
But perhaps the most profound change in the second half of this new age – which began in the mid-1960s and should last until the middle of the 21st century – is increasing freedom. It was not all that long ago that slavery was abolished, but constraints have continued in one form or another into this new century.
The exhibit below outlines the emerging new order as the last vestiges of “slavery” fade away in the decades ahead.
The younger generations (Gen Xers and Gen Y) will not be fazed by these changes, but older generations are mostly antipathetic to them, and not good at coping with staff that are amenable to them.
Politicians and legislators are mounting rearguard actions to these changes as reflected in Fair Work Australia, but progress will be unstoppable in due course.
The term “employee” will slowly go out of use later in the century, as more workers see themselves as their own business, and contract for outputs, not inputs (of hours) on a business to business basis – albeit often needing a paid adviser or mentor in the process.