In the report, Forrester identified three components of the adaptable workforce. These workforces are “burstable” with the ability to increase or decrease resources at will through the use of gig workers or automated work processes, Forrester said. They are also less hierarchal, with more horizontal organizational structures that allow employees to break out of their silos and lend their expertise to lots of departments. Adaptive workforces are also “composable,” Forrester said, meaning they can be assembled into cross-functional teams and then disassembled as projects are completed or situations change.
To successfully develop an adaptive workforce, Forrester offered these three guidelines for employers: 1) employees must be ready to compete with gig workers, who will be part of developing an adaptive workforce; 2) employers will need to create positive worker experiences to drive better customer experiences; and 3) organizations “need to optimize culture, leadership, and structures for AI and automation,” despite the fact that few workers see clear career paths for themselves as more work functions automate, Forrester said.