Digital disruption and the workforce of the future

The traditional workforce and even the workplace itself are being shaken up as we move ever more into the online age and experience digital disruption. Find out more about trends for the workforce of the future.

26 Aug 2016

The traditional workforce and even the workplace itself are shaking up as we move ever closer more into the online age and experience digital disruption.

We’re all familiar with the stories of yesteryear about people growing up and getting jobs they generally stayed in until retirement. Those born up until the late 1970s probably experienced their working lives somewhat along those lines. While they may have changed jobs, they probably didn’t switch careers.

These days, Forbes estimates the average Millennial employee is likely to have an average of 15-20 jobs across multiple industries in their lifetime, including retraining across industries. And this is only part of the story when discussing the evolving workforce. Innovative technology is impacting on the evolving workplace.

The impact of social mediadigital disruption - headphones and keyboard

Through immersive social media use as part of normal life, Gen-Ys and Gen-Zs are accustomed to, and desire interaction with, brand personalities. This relationship-like quality with the brands around them extends to everything. From the shoes they wear and coconut water they drink, all the way up to where they study and work: they want connection.

Professionally, they demand affiliation with their employer’s brand profile. They want to be assured that the company or organisation they work for is one that resonates with their own ideals. Workers have long had ambitions to work for ‘dream job’ companies, but the new wave workforce wants more from their employer.

Third space working environments

Man using innovative technology in a cafe - digital disruption
A non-traditional working environment

Business Insider provides insights into another revolutionary change: the removal of the physical workplace. We’re all familiar with the freelance set-up for people choosing to work flexible hours often from home. This freelance trend is still on the rise. ‘Owner’ is cited as the fifth most popular job title for the entrepreneurial Gen-Ys. Not only are more and more people working remotely or on a freelance basis, but they are also working in so-called ‘third party’ workplaces. These spaces include equipped offices rentable for short periods of time. Companies such as LiquidSpace, coffee shops or even petrol stations provide third party workplaces as seen in the United States.

Digital disruption and the birth of ‘in the box’ creative industry

It comes as no surprise that the Gen-Y (and eventually the Gen-Z) workforce will be more tech savvy than ever before. They embrace innovative technology that causes or has sprung forth from digital disruption. They are extremely comfortable operating in the digital space.

Digital disruption is a term we hear often, referring to a side effect of technology.

Working 'in the box' - digital disruption
Working in the box

A clear-cut example of digital disruption is evident within in the music industry. Through the introduction of recording and mixing software, musicians produce their music products on their own computers. This is colloquially referred to as ‘in the box’. They then share their product socially without engaging ‘the middle man’. Digital Pulse talks more about turning disruption in opportunity and harnessing the power of the digital ecosystem.

Innovative Technology brought to life

TAFE Queensland Brisbane student Alistair Marsden completed his Diploma of Sound Production (CUS50209) before moving into the Bachelor of Contemporary Music Practice. Alistair’s studies have positioned him perfectly to work ‘in the box’. While Alistair has a musical background playing guitar, piano, violin and drums, the discovery of innovative technology through digital disruption has allowed him to consider a career in electronic music.

Alistair Marsden - digital disruption

But some things never change. While technology means musicians can create, produce and distribute lush musical landscapes in their own bedrooms, Alistair believes collaborating with other musos is what makes his art magical.

Not waiting for graduation, Alistair wrote a Q Music Award-winning dance track, Days of Doom, and has since gone on to compose musical scores in six independent movies. Read more about Alistair’s story here.


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