Saturday, January 21, 2006

Changing World of Work

In an article published by CCH on 10/6/05, Helen Trinica, editor of AFR

BOSS Magazine, and deputy editor Catherine Fox speaking at the Annual

HR Institute Convention in Sydney commented on the changing world of

work.

"Trinica noted that while, historically, work was seen as oppressive

and adversarial, with a 'worker v bosses' attitudes due to Australia's

history of strong unionism, it  has now become the centre of our

lives. People work to give their lives reason and meaning, and in many

cases work has become a substitute for religion and family.

"The greater involvement in the world of  will result in a greater

commitment to changing the way we work.

"According to Trinica, with workers more involved that ever before in

the world of work, they want a pleasant work environment  and are

interested, for example, in sorting out pathological workplaces because

they are not prepared to quarantine work from the rest of their lives.

"Similarly, the demand for flexibility embeds work in our existence.

With more and more people committing to the workforce, flexibility is

something that  will have to be considered to allow work to mesh

with the rest of our lives.

"Technology has also contributed to blurring the lines between work and

home. On the one hand workers are now contactable anywhere and at any

time, but at the same time our personal lives have spilled over into

the workplace, with more and more work time being spend on personal

issues such as online transacting.

"Further changes will come about due to more women entering the

workforce and also the different expectations of generation Y. Women

articulate the role of parents, while younger generation Y workers want

places that are enjoyable to work in. They also expect acknowledgement

for  everything that they do. Finally , professionals will

influence change with views that work is not about hours but ideas,

thinking and execution.

"Fox spoke about the method of change in workplaces. She was critical

of culture change programs, which try to imbue the organisation with a

new ethos, noting that it is difficult t make people change simply by

changing the rules.  Change, she believes, will be brought about

by factors such as increase in part-time work, zig-zag careers, and the

increasing numbers of work who work."

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