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Author's profile photo Chris Panigel

How to explain Future of Work using grammar homework

I was helping one of my children with their grammar homework:

Identify which one of the following are concrete or abstract nouns.

  • Pizza: I can smell it. I can eat it. It is delicious. Concrete.
  • Months: The months can fly by, but do they grow wings and fly? No. Abstract
  • Job: This one is a bit more complicated. I can work from my home office, the kitchen, the coffee shop, or “that” building. So, is my job something specific or a concept? At this point, my daughter felt a pitch about the Future of Work was coming and smartly moved on to a sibling for help.

How does this connect to the Future of Work?

When I think about what work was a generation ago, there would be general consensus around the defining features of a job – a commute, desk, phone, water cooler. In today’s world, my children (employees for a future generation still), had no hesitation in pointing out that I could work from just about anywhere – as long as I had my phone!

When you consider the range of generations in the workforce, the pace of change, accelerating digitization or one of the many trends shaping our world of work, it’s fascinating to consider how the way we work will continue to change over the not-so-distant future.

Knowing there are many definitions and approaches to address the Future of Work, we, as SAP, are shaping the Future of Work with our holistic agenda, which introduces three dimensions through which we define and navigate to our Future of Work – Learn more here.

Building on our approach to flexible work, SAP’s Pledge to Flex, our Future of Work agenda addresses:

  • Future of Workforce – Providing a clear understanding and strategies to address future workforce demands.
  • Future of People Practices – Deliver engaging people experiences that stay ahead of ever-changing expectations.
  • Future of HR – Delivering outstanding employee experiences through an evolution of the HR function itself.

With the role of digitization in driving innovation in today’s world, it goes without saying, leading SAP technologies provides the digital foundation that powers our Future of Work journey.

Back to grammar homework: after some conversation, we came to an answer. Just like love, even though you can’t touch it, you can surely experience it. Job is an abstract noun.

If you have any feedback, thoughts and reactions, please share in the comments.


Visit our SAP Future of Work community page for more information and related topics.

Are you interested in digital technologies and innovations that impact the Future of Work? Pay a visit to the Digital Innovation and Technology Management page.

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      Author's profile photo Sebastian Ralf Malzner
      Sebastian Ralf Malzner

      Love the story, Chris! Thanks for sharing! Totally agree with you and your daughter: "Job" or "Work" is abstract. I think nowadays almost every job requires a certain level of imagination and thinking about the future (be it tomorrow, next month or three years ahead) - and that is nothing different from abstract thinking. In the end, the Future of Work is (yet) just a concept in our mind, but I'm more than excited to jointly co-shape the way forward and make it real - and more "concrete" 🙂