There’s plenty of talk on how new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cognitive systems will impact future job roles, fundamentally changing the way we work. But looking only at technology’s impact on the future of work is short-sighted and fails to take in a number of other factors that are altering when, where, and how people do their jobs.

According to a recent Deloitte Insights article, traditional work environments are rapidly evolving “as a result of many forces of change affecting three deeply connected dimensions of an organization: work (the what), the workforce (the who), and the workplace (the where).”

So, what can you do to make sure your company keeps up?

As we head into what Deloitte refers to as “the cognitive revolution”, companies will be forced to consider and adapt to a variety of new factors impacting the workplace, including AI ethics, planning for 50-60-year careers, and leveraging broader, more dispersed sources of talent. As the workforce shifts away for repetitive tasks with AI and machine learning taking over, companies will need new approaches to create “valuable human-machine collaborations” that focus on problem solving and managing people. While a 2018 report from the World Economic Forum predicts that nearly 1 million jobs could be lost as a result of new technologies, they also project that 1.75 million new types of jobs will be created.

That’s good news for the workers of the world, but it places a new set of requirements on companies when hiring the workforce of the future. As we’ve noted before on the APEX of Innovation, this new way of working will place less emphasis on manual labor and basic cognitive tasks like data input in favor of more technological, social, and emotional skills. As a result, companies will need to “change the way we conceive of work and develop the training our workforce needs to take on these new roles and assignments,” according the the Deloitte article.

When it comes to finding this new crop of talent, labor sources for companies are also rapidly changing and expanding. Companies that traditionally relied on full-time, permanent employees are enjoying new models that provide more flexibility and efficiency for both employers and employees. This includes leveraging managed services and outsourcing, remote workers, contractors, and even crowdsourcing.

Finally, the workplace itself is undergoing a radical transformation and in some cases is going away entirely as companies and employees embrace remote working, new collaborative platforms, and the gig economy. According to the Deloitte article, “Digital communication, collaboration platforms, and digital reality technologies, along with societal and marketplace changes, have allowed for and created the opportunity for more distributed teams.” However, as physical proximity of employees and traditional office spaces become less important, companies need to look beyond opportunities to increase efficiency and reduce cost. Since workplace culture is tied to innovation, companies will need to rethink how they promote a collaborative workplace and teamwork between people in remote locations.

According to Deloitte, all these changes bring about new opportunities for “making the future of work more valuable and meaningful” for employees, while enabling companies to improve their organizations, as well as society as a whole.

Is your company ready for a new way for working? To learn more, read the complete Deloitte Insights article here.