Helena Pozniak
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Helena Pozniak asks esteemed business leaders to predict the dramatic changes in workplace habits in the near future

The Independent

Husameldin Elnasri (MBA LUMS) AMBA’s MBA student of the year, senior project manager, DAL Group, Sudan

As Africa is where most of the big things will happen within the next 30-40 years, African freelance innovators and small enterprises will have to be placed closer to the active cores of global organisations. Organisations will have to become flat structured with blurred borders to accommodate, understand and communicate with Africa. Telecommuting technologies will have to be central for workplaces to be able to host native teams around the globe.

Rachel Roberts (EMBA LUMS) Owner, Rachel Wears Ltd

“Working patterns are sure to change as consumers increasingly demand goods and services 24/7. Virtual businesses will be the norm, with most of us working on a freelance basis. Cities will be less important as technology allows business to take place anytime, anywhere. Home and work lives will merge into one, and retirement will not be an option for most.”

Rob Owen (Henley) CEO of the St Giles Trust which aims to help break the cycle of prison, crime and disadvantage

We’ll all be a lot thinner on top – quite literally. The issues around ageing population demographics will have kicked in as well. We’ll have been through another boom and bust economic cycle. But I’m a born optimist and I think the youth of today will surprise us. There will be more brilliant mavericks, tackling many of the problems our generation have created.

Zeineb Cox (Surrey Business School) CEO of Jardin ElKhali, Happy Kids Holiday Club

Digital and big data are going to be the buzz words of the future. Employers will look for cross-disciplinary skills – knowledge generated at the intersection between technology, biotechnology, information technology and science that will inform business models. A good work/life balance will become the norm, and organisations will need to address personal goals.

Glyn Powditch (Manchester Business School) Chief technology officer and the co-founder, DreamAgility.com

Wearable technology combined with predictive big data will change work practice in the near future. Remote teams will live cross-border and be skills-related rather than nation driven. Firms will be smaller and working contracts much shorter. Inequality will continue to rise; those with technology skills will thrive more than ever, and those without will end up feral.

Liza van Roey (Luxury Brand Marketing (distinction) GCU London)

With technology evolving at such a rapid pace I believe that in 40 years from now the digital revolution will reach a point to where it is there to fully serve and assist businesses and their consumers. For example, long queues and security checks at the airport will no longer exist, due to recognition and security systems which will make your journey fully personalised, fast, safe and easy.

Goncalo de Vasconcelo (Judge Business School) Award winner and founder, SyndicateRoom. Crowdfunding will revolutionise how we manage our finances by removing the smoke screen created by systems that benefit the middleman, usually in the shape of banks. A higher percentage of women will invest and the time of the gentlemen-only investors’ club will be over. For centuries it’s been about the system. Crowdfunding will make it about the people.

Niels Footman (Cranfield School of Management) Director livingindietv.com

Machines and code are going to devour many of the jobs that have underpinned modern society in the rich world. The mixture of innovation, mobility and vast economic rewards for technology mean that in 30-40 years, professions ranging from taxi drivers to accountants will have all but disappeared. We’re moving toward ever-greater personalisation of music, and “curated discovery”.

Rafael Karkle (current MBA Ashridge Business School)

“There’ll be an increase of population, urbanisation and numbers of mega cities. The mature stage of globalisation will require a new integrated monetary system worldwide, with local complementary currencies. The better understanding of the human brain will bring revolutionary advances in medicine and will be able to connect human emotion with technology

Atal Malviya (Ashridge Business School) CEO, Odimax

A big innovation will come in the field of power generation. Human activities such as running, walking, cycling, typing and even speaking would be used for power generation. Thousands of people go running every day – if their shoes had multiple small magnet bars moving back and forth in copper springs, they could generate electricity which could be stored in small replaceable batteries – remember, E=MC2.

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