Future Workplace vs. Future of Work: What’s the Difference


The future of work and the future of the workplace are two distinct concepts that will shape the way we work and the environments in which we work. One is technology-led and the other is helped by technology.

The future workplace is not just a building, but a discussion about how we collaborate and work together, and it is driven by demand rather than tradition. The future of work is about the types of work we will be doing in the future, the types of roles we’ll fill, which are changing rapidly due to advances in technology and shifting consumer demands. This is a conversation ISG advisors are constantly having with their enterprise clients

The Future of Work in Healthcare

Let's take a look at some examples of how these concepts are playing out in healthcare and banking. In healthcare, we are seeing a dramatic shift towards digital healthcare, with the pandemic accelerating the adoption of telemedicine and other forms of remote care. This shift is driven by a combination of factors, including consumer demand for more convenient and accessible healthcare, advances in technology that make it easier to deliver care remotely, and changes in the regulatory environment that make it easier for providers to offer these services.

One example of this shift can be seen in the use of automated platforms to book medical appointments. Rather than calling a medical practitioner and waiting for an appointment, patients can now book appointments online using automated platforms. This takes the workload off front-line receptionists and nurses, allowing them to focus on more high-value tasks. In addition, the use of digital technology has allowed doctors to streamline many of their administrative tasks, such as note-taking and record-keeping. This has freed up more time for doctors to focus on patient care and has helped to improve the overall quality of care.

Another example of how technology is changing healthcare can be seen in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in medical diagnoses. Recent studies have shown that AI can be more accurate than human doctors in detecting certain types of cancer. This technology is not replacing doctors, but rather is helping augment their abilities and improve patient outcomes.

The Future of Work in Banking

In the banking industry, we are seeing a similar shift towards digitalization, with more and more banking services being offered online rather than in physical branches. This shift has been driven by changes in consumer behavior, as more people are using their smartphones and other digital devices to manage their finances. This made banks change their office space to become the touchdown spots for employees; they changed their entire asset model to fit a changing world in which people are consuming their services in a different way and technology is everywhere.

So the question becomes how do you maintain the human element and empathy?

Technology Plus the Human Element

Medical practitioners are not only knowledgeable in the medical field, they also provide a human touch that is essential to the industry. Just like in travel and hospitality, it's the friendly human touch that people appreciate and seek. We are social beings and crave social contact, which cannot be replaced by fully automated processes or services. While technology may assist doctors in their medical applications, it cannot replace the human side of the profession. No robot can replace the empathy and sensitivity needed to break bad news to a patient.

In most industries, it is the combination of people, process and technology that defines their relationship with customers. Employers and employees alike need to understand this dynamic and work together to provide the best customer experience possible.

The job market in banking is also evolving, and we're witnessing the emergence of new job roles that were non-existent before. Nowadays, you may come across advertisements for financial well-being coaches on TV and the internet. These coaches take a holistic approach to customer service, taking into account the mental, physical and financial well-being of their clients. By integrating these aspects into their brand capture, businesses are becoming more indispensable and relevant to their customers.

How Training Powers the Future of Work

The world is constantly changing, and there is so much we don't know yet. However, we must continue to experiment and question the tools we have to move forward in the right direction. The productivity curve is exponential, and while technology can greatly enhance our productivity, we must still be thoughtful in our approach. We need to consider the skill cycle and train people for jobs that will exist in the future, rather than training them for jobs that are already becoming obsolete. With the pace of change accelerating, it's becoming increasingly important to anticipate the skills that will be in demand in the years to come. This requires a continuous process of training and development, almost like "train the trainer" to ensure that the workforce is prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. We need to be adaptable and forward-thinking to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

The future workplace is not just a physical building; it is a discussion, collaboration, and demand-driven. Remote work has become the new normal, and hybrid work models are becoming increasingly common. Organizations need to embrace new technologies and adapt to these changes to remain competitive.

ISG helps enterprises embrace this change, rethink their business model and prepare for the future of work and the workplace of the future. Listen in to my recent conversation on this subject with the hosts of the ISG Imagine Your Future podcast.

Contact us to find out how we can get started.


About the author

Iain Fisher

Iain Fisher

Iain leads ISG’s Future of Work, Customer Experience and ESG solutioning redefining business models and operating models to drive out new ways of working with a CX and ESG focus. He joins up end to end value chains across a number of markets and advises clients on where digital and technology can be used to maximise benefit.  A regular Keynote speaker and online presenter, Iain has also authored several eBooks on these subjects.