Sunday September 03, 2017

Workplaces around the world are being transformed — is it affecting you?

How do you see your work changing in the future?

How do you see your work changing in the future? (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

Listen to Full Episode 1:52:59

Automation has presented workers with a challenge ever since the Industrial Revolution. There's no denying it's brought us great benefits too. 

Today's workplace is changing dramatically ...again!  This time, the automation is much more sophisticated though. Robots, software, communications, and Artificial Intelligence are just a few of the forces transforming workplaces and work culture.  Add to that, changing demographics: including an aging workforce, more women and more immigrants. 

Suhana Meharchand

Cross Country Checkup guest host, Suhana Meharchand. (CBC)

There's also changing values and expectations. Work is becoming less hierarchical and more collaborative and inclusive.  And in addition to all of that, there's changing geography — your co-workers could all be at home ...or on the other side of the planet. 

One thing is certain though: the workplace of today is not the same as your parents'. In fact, it's not even the same as 10 years ago.  The speed of change is dazzling. Governments, schools, businesses, employers and employees are all pedaling to keep up.  Did you know that Canada has a government department that's focused on what change is coming, and what policies might be needed?  It's headed by someone whose title is Chief Futurist of Canada!

There's a lot of fear around the issue of automation — you know, that robots will take our jobs. But there's a lot of good stuff happening too and I never heard anyone complain about working from home, or freeing us from drudgery.

The gig economy, artificial intelligence, human enhancement, disruption and crowdsourcing are just a few of the myriad of buzzwords that have now become common when we talk about the new landscape of work. We want to hear your story. Tell us what the landscape looks like from your perspective.

Our question: Workplaces around the world are being transformed — is it affecting you?

Guests: 

Naomi Titleman Colla, Collaborativity Leadership Advisor and former secretary of the HR Committee for the Board of Amex Bank of Canada

Stephen Scatterty, investment advisor based in Bowmanville, Ont.

Scott Stirrett, Executive Director and Founder of Venture for Canada, a not-for-profit that recruits, trains, and supports youth  to work at Canadian startups

Twitter: @Venture4Canada  @scottstirrett 

Agustin Chevez, Adjunct Research Fellow Centre for Design Innovation at Swineburne University in Melbourne, Australia 

Our online chat: 

What we're reading: 

CBC.ca 

The Globe and Mail

National Post

The Atlantic

We Forum

Other sources

WorkShift is a month-long radio and digital series examining the profound changes in the way people work.  Subscribe to the WorkShift Newsletter for a chance to share your story with the nation. Or browse through a constantly expanding lineup of great stories.