The 2020 Workplace – How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today

The workplace of the future is being shaped by the convergence of two emerging trends – Web 2.0 and the emergence of the Millennial Generation in the workforce.  Web 2.0 is a collection of breakthrough social media technologies, while the Millennial Generation is made up of people born between 1977 and 1997. This generation of hyper-connected workers is putting increasing pressure on employers to overhaul their approach to talent management. Businesses who can attract and keep these talented young people could find their organizations transformed via increased innovation and improved customer connectedness, and even the ability to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

After interviewing, researching, and speaking with people at scores of companies, as well as with members of the four generations currently in the workplace, the authors have identified the following ten forces that will define the working world in 2020:

  • Shifting workforce demographics  As we move into the future, we will have 5 generations working side by side. Minority workers will account for most of the net growth in the workforce.
  • The Knowledge Economy  A growing number of jobs will require a significantly more complex set of interdisciplinary skills.
  • Globalization  Companies will rely on the global marketplace to fuel growth.
  • The Digital Workplace  The challenge for employers will be to make it easy for employees to create and access content while securing its accuracy and appropriateness, especially with the growth of cloud computing.
  • The Ubiquity of Mobile Technology Already some companies (e.g., Bank of America and Wachovia) are planning to deliver corporate training on mobile smart phones.
  • A Culture of Connectivity  Hyperconnectivity will continue to grow as a business tool.
  • The Participation Society  Improved collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Social Learning  Or “Learning 3.0” Instead of corporate top-down learning, social learning incorporates social media, gaming, real-time feedback, and simulations.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility  Involves developing an increased cultural intelligence as well as a deeper appreciation of the relationship between business and society.
  • Millennials in the Workplace Organizations that understand what is important to Millennials in the workplace will have an advantage to attracting them and keeping them.

This book is fascinating and is a great guide to anyone in management of a small, medium, or large company, even not-for-profit organizations.  You can check out a copy in the New Books Non-Fiction area of the Library.


Terry is the business librarian. You can email her ( your questions or schedule a one-on-one session to discuss business needs, from market research to competitor analysis. She also coordinates with community partners to host small business and personal finance events at the library. Terry has an MBA and an MLS.

  • Heather

    I would love to read this. Too bad it’s been on “trace” since this blog was posted…