Evolution of the Employee

Evolution of the Employee: Legal Careers Trends

It’s infographic day! Here’s another terrific infographic that illustrates the evolution of the employee, from author and entrepreneur Jacob Morgan!

The Evolution of the Employee infographic (shown above and available full-sized here) illustrates eleven traits of the past employee vs. the future (and, in many ways, present) employee. As a forced entrepreneur myself, I can particularly relate to the “work anytime”, “shares information”, “relies on collaboration technologies” and “democratized learning and teaching” points. And I could especially relate to the point about “use any device” when I accidently left my laptop at home during a trip last week! 😉

I asked Ron Godier, Managing Partner at eDiscovery Today partner Intalegence for his thoughts about the Evolution of the Employee infographic and he had plenty to say about it:

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Regarding the Evolution of the Employee infographic overall: “This infographic nicely depicts the mindset of the emerging workforce. They are not tied to a cubicle or the company line in terms of how they think about work. The first four items on the list are great representations of Mindset as it relates to the generations making their debut in the workforce. This is especially critical for Leaders in Legal Tech, Services, and Law Firms to understand.”

“There are historical and institutional mechanisms firmly embedded in the way law firms operate as it relates to employees. A defined path if you will. The challenge is that younger Millennials and, most certainly, Gen Z are not inclined to take the path we grew up on. They are looking at how the demands of a Job impact the other factors of their life in ways that Gen X and Boomers did not. They want work life balance. They want the freedom (read Time) to pursue other interests. In most cases the traditional Law Firm or corporation struggles with the agility required to provide what people are looking for in a job/Career today.”

Regarding “Focused on Outputs”: “This item is spot on. The belief among many workers today is ‘why does it matter when, where, or how I work as long as the desired output is achieved?’ The pandemic showed most knowledge workers that they could be a good corporate or firm citizen from the comfort of their own home.”

“Most leading sources will tell you that productivity did not decrease during the Pandemic and, in many cases, it rose. This jibes with known productivity models that show remote workers are usually equally or more productive than office only employees. The real question is why? I happen to think that it has a lot to do with time. People aren’t commuting so they pick up time in the day. They also tend to have fewer and shorter meetings and those meetings are often more productive assuming the person leading them can run an effective meeting. The one caveat I will add to this is that companies need to find ways to assimilate fresh grads and new employees who may require mentoring, but this need not include a full time office requirement.”

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Regarding “Customized Work”: “I have long held that Gig/Contract work would take over a solid percentage of companies’ labor forces. As more and more companies look to save costs by getting products to market quickly while reducing FTE overhead, Gig/Contract workers are becoming an important part of how Corporations move the chains forward. I believe law firms will be forced to rely on Gig workers more as time goes on and as workforce expectations evolve.”

Regarding “Shares Information”: “This reflects a change in belief structures of younger workers. If it were possible to freeze time and not have working populations age out, no change would be needed. Younger workers are all about (sometimes to their detriment) the sharing of information, equality, collaboration, and choosing their own path forward. This idea is also a big part of the line item about creating your own ladder. Companies that are unable to offer a self-selecting, collaborative environment for the modern worker will struggle to compete with smaller, more agile companies and firms.”

So, what do you think? Do you agree we’re seeing an evolution of the employee? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclosure: Intalegence is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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