Title

Autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et dolore feugait

World of Work - 10 ways the world of work has changed

10 ways the world of work has changed in the last 10 years – 2011 vs 2021

A new year is upon us and with all the uncertainty going on around us at the moment, it seems like the perfect opportunity to reflect and evaluate. We have all had to adapt in so many ways over the last 12 months, not least in how we all work, that we thought we’d have a look at how the world of work has changed in the last 10 years.

This is what we found. Read our top 10 rundown of some key changes in the 10 years from 2011.

1. The smart phone revolution

https://www.vox.com/2017/6/26/15821652/iphone-apple-10-year-anniversary-launch-mobile-stats-smart-phone-steve-jobs
Although the iPhone was launched in 2007, slightly more than 10 years ago, smartphones were not so common when the decade began. Now it is hard to imagine our world or working lives without them. Whilst it may be called the iPhone, it is the internet capabilities that really changed everything.

The rollout of 4G networks began globally in 2010 and combined with the proliferation of smart phones, were the catalysts for so much industry change. Constant access to communications and apps, have revolutionised where and when we can work (whilst also blurring the lines between our work and personal lives of course!).

2. The rise of the gig economy

The rapid advancement of tech and IT over the last 10 years, has allowed other changes in the way people work to occur, so we’ve chosen the rise of the gig economy as our number 2. Technology has allowed greater flexibility and allows more options to many workers than simply working in a full-time job. Since Uber’s launch in 2009, followed by many others – Airbnb, Etsy, Lyft – it has become common for workers to take freelance or contract roles, and by the latter years of the 2010s, more than one third of workers in the USA were part of the gig economy. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2018/08/31/57-million-u-s-workers-are-part-of-the-gig-economy/?sh=1b0f6d067118

3. A more remote workforce

Even a year ago I think we would have included this one but who knew then that most of us (even the kids) would be working remotely. In the past, remote work was reserved for special circumstances, and in many ways was looked at with slight suspicion. Most people worked in the office or place of work. That idea has gradually been replaced with a recognition that, with the right IT in place, employers can allow a bit more freedom to staff on where they work.

4. The way we communicate – smarter tools

Back in 2011, email was definitely the office communication channel of choice. Then came along Skype and following that came the now legendary Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which have been thrust upon all of us during the pandemic. These tools allow us to chat, share and work on files, schedule and join meetings, call others and more. Ultimately, they enable businesses and teams to operate globally and remotely without the cost.

5. The rise and rise of social media

Social media has become a ‘must do’ for business in the last few years. It is an essential way to reach customers and grow a brand. With 3 billion users across the globe, you can’t really argue.

Let’s think about Instagram, which has just passed its 10th birthday. Launched in October 2010, users soared in 2020 and the platform launched a number of features to help businesses market and sell.

Think about these numbers for a second – Instagram is the 6th most visited website, the 9th most popular Google query and has the 4th most users of any mobile app. https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/

Along with Facebook and Twitter and other social tools such as YouTube and WhatsApp, social media platforms have become part of our daily business lives

6. Job loyalty

Employees are not as loyal as they were 10 years ago and are not necessarily going to stick to a job for 10 years or more. Attitudes to work have shifted particularly amongst ‘millennials’ who are changing jobs more regularly. In a survey in 2018 by Deloitte, 43% of millennials were planning to leave their current jobs within two years, which clearly brings challenges for HR teams in recruiting and retaining the best talent.

7. The changing role of women in the boardroom

Since 2011, the number of women on FTSE 100 boards has doubled. By the end of 2020, one third of all board members in the FTSE 100 were women, a target set in the Hampton-Alexander Review in 2011. When you consider that less than a decade ago just 12% of board roles were held by women, this represents a significant step forward.

We are sure that the role of equality in the workplace will continue to remain high on the agenda, and that more women will progress through the ranks.

8. Four generations in the workplace

Now, more so than at any other time in the past, we have four very distinct generations in the workplace – Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Gen-Y (millennials) and Gen-Z – and each one brings a unique set of skills and different expectations of work. We have already mentioned that the younger generations are not as loyal as the boomers and have expectations of a work-life balance, working remotely and changing jobs more regularly. They have grown up in a different world and with technology at their fingertips and thus are used to change. Businesses need to be aware of this and plan accordingly.

9. Talking about mental health

Over the last 10 years there has been a steady rise in mental health issues. Fortunately, we have all got a bit better at talking about it and workplace initiatives have blossomed.

There is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive and addressing wellbeing at work can increase productivity by as much as 12% (www.mentalhealth.org.uk).
Having a thriving team with good mental health in the workplace is so important and such an asset and hopefully businesses will see the value that investing in mental wellbeing can bring.

10. The way we dress

We couldn’t let this blog go by without a mention of how we all dress for work. We’re not necessarily talking single or double breasted but more the formality of what we wear to the office. Even before the pandemic, dress codes were being shaken up a bit and there seems to have been a tie-less revolution over the last 10 years.

I wonder how many companies out there still expect their employees to wear a classic suit and tie or skirt and heels? Has ‘dress down’ become the norm in your office? We’d love to know.


If you need help and advice on any Employment Law issues, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to be kept updated on HR and Employment Law issues please subscribe to our monthly newsletter

SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and litigation practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide. Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here. 

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

%d bloggers like this: