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These are just some of the predications that have been made in a new report by the Chartered Management Institute. The report offers a snapshot of what working in the UK will be like in 2018, outlining probable, unexpected and desired futures based on analysis of trends, and expert opinion from business leaders, futurologists and academics.

Some of the unexpected futures included artificially intelligent robots in management positions, employees fitted with computer chips to enhance their abilities, or, more ominously, to control them. More probable scenarios include new working practises that place collaboration at the heart of business interactions, reflecting the trend towards flatter organisational structures and de-centralised decision-making

The traditional working structure will become less common. We are set to see a huge increase in home-working and virtual companies fuelled by globalisation, the need to reduce overheads and a greater need for flexibility. With 74% of senior managers predicting that "virtual teams of employees" working across geographical boundaries will be the norm by 2018, organisations seeking the competitive edge will increasingly take advantage of virtual offices and shared office space.

The workforce itself will become more diverse, introducing the complexities of cross generation and cultural working. Changing demographics (an aging population) and expectations mean employees will demand a greater flexibility from their employers to enable them to achieve work-life integration. This is likely to manifest in greater flexibility in working location and hours worked. Employees, too, may have to abandon the traditional ways of working; having just one employer may become a thing of the past, 64% of senior managers predict the most talented people will work for multiple employers. New skills will be required to lead, manage and work in these environments, with the focus on relationship management, emotional intelligence and effective collaboration.

You only have to reflect on the changes over the last 10 years to recognise that the world of business is evolving at an incredible pace. Business psychologists Bluestone Talent Management can help your business evolve, providing people development solutions that capitalise on the future. For information on our virtual/collaborative working programmes, including virtual leadership development and effective team collaboration:-

Contact: Rosalie @ Bluestone Talent Management on +44 (0)20 8334 8082
Website: www.bluestonetm.com
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