Flipside's Kulthum Abdul-Aziz reflects on how the workplace is changing, from the people involved to the way it takes up space.
The brief I have been working on while on Flipside was focused around making job searching more empowering. Through this, I have researched the job market and the changing way we work. The job market is gradually increasing to include jobs that ten years ago would have never been thought of - particularly with the rise of the digital, and technology becoming more embedded in our lives. This allows for more opportunities for people to start a new career or progress in their current one, in the digital and tech industry.
The way we work is becoming more focused on improving the quality of the working day and how people are treated, with an environment and working culture that is both professional and fun. My own experience in the workplace is very different to what I experienced while visiting the different digital agencies during Flipside, and I gained an insight into the different agencies, from how they work to their workplace culture. One agency saw the importance of providing breakfast to their employees. Some even had showers for use. The care that is given employees encourages people to stay in the role and be motivated during the working day. To quote Mark Twain: “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
In addition to the quality of the working day, one thing that has slowly become less of a norm is a job for life. Once upon a time, someone would leave school, get themselves a job and be able to stay in that job until they retired - or died. I guess that at the time it worked as there was a limit in industries, particularly if you came from a lower economic background and no chance to progress into a different career. But due to the fourth digital revolution, we are now globally connected in a way that we have not been before. This opens up opportunities to jobs and other prospects to grow and improve ourselves both professionally and personally, allowing for individuals to move and upskill themselves into new careers and jobs. And in turn, that leads them into something they are more passionate about.
The working environment is becoming less office-based and moving towards being more flexible with where we work and who we work with. Over the last five years, there has been a rise in co-working spaces and people creating collaboration-based work rather than working alone. Places like WeWork, co-workspaces and coffee shops are being used more often. The environment is more relaxed. And in addition to people using or creating their own spaces to work, people are also choosing to work from home. This may be due to the rise of more people in self-employment or doing freelance work, which allows for the flexibility and a chance to choose where they work and who with.
The way we work is changing, and will continue to change. What is the norm now will become less of a norm in ten to twenty years' time. And with the growing use of digital and tech the opportunities for different roles will become available.
Words by Kulthim Abdul-Aziz, photography by Francis Augusto