When you hear the phrase “no more jobs,” you might think of economic recession and dystopian levels of human suffering. Happily, we’re not talking about that. We’re also not referring to robots taking human jobs. Nor are we thinking of Holacracy, an experimental nonhierarchical workplace model.
What does “no more jobs” mean, then? In a new report, we lay out a vision for the future of employment, one that will focus far less on static jobs and far more on skills, experience, diversity, adaptiveness, and flexibility.
Let’s start with what we even mean by “job.” A person filling a particular job has a specific set of responsibilities; they sit within an organizational structure — generally, a hierarchical one — in a specified slot in an org chart; and they are generally limited to the duties of that job description. For most of us, our job dictates how we spend our time, with whom we work, our compensation, and, even, to some extent, our personal identity.
The Concept Of A “Job” Has Always Been A Weak, Albeit Useful, Construct — Today, It’s Less Relevant And Less Useful Than Ever
The new world we are calling “no more jobs” deconstructs labor, breaking it away from these traditional, constraining “jobs.” Why? Because the world is more complex now, and the pandemic showed how a single systemic risk event can force companies to change — overnight — how, where, and when they do business. The “no more jobs” framework predicts that:
- The days of mapping one person to one static job description are over. Employees will become more peripatetic, taking their skills to contribute to project-based work and swarm teams, rather than sitting still in a fixed role.
- Your workforce must be burstable and composable. Rapid response to the shocks reshaping the future of work requires quickly tapping into all the skills of employees across and outside of an organization.
- New technologies will play a key role in defining a fluid workforce. Artificial intelligence will help match the skills in your workforce to the projects needing them. Automation will both augment workers and take the most predictable and repetitive tasks off their plates.
“No More Jobs” Drives Better Business Outcomes — When Wedded To Employee Experience
The world of no more jobs employs a dynamic mix of full-time employees, internal and external talent marketplaces, on-demand and contingent labor, and bots. This could, in theory, be a recipe for disaster: Stories of gig economy workplaces treating workers poorly and underpaying them, for example, come to mind. But we see no more jobs as more of an opportunity than a risk: Managers will bring more emotional capacity to their roles, coaching and developing talent and bringing together teams in service of vibrant, evolving projects. On-demand talent will gravitate toward staffing agencies that provide great employee experience (EX) and that deploy them to companies with great EX.
Great EX plus no more jobs will mean a more resilient, adaptive, and creative organization. To read more, we invite clients to read the full report here: No More Jobs.
Katy Tynan, principal analyst on the “future of work” team, researches the intersections between leadership, organizational design, employee experience, and technology.
J. P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst on the “future of work” team, researches how emerging technologies reshape jobs and how anywhere- and hybrid work are reshaping the workplace.