In addition to providing “standard” employment, the traditional workplace was characterized by standardized production methods, highly delineated jobs, and rigid organizational and work structures.  Many modern workplaces have become smaller, more flexible and leaner with more highly skilled workers and flatter hierarchies. 

“High performance” organizations are described by features such as participative decision making, skill- or knowledge-based pay, open flows of information, flat organizational structures, an emphasis on training, – and the adoption of a workplace culture that embraces all of these features. 

This transformation is not limited to a particular industry and can be found in both the public and private sectors.  Many of these changes respond to new economic pressures from the global business environment.  As well, global multinationals entering new jurisdictions often bring their business practices with them. 

As a result, statistics on trends such as non-standard employment may understate the extent to which all workers and employers have been impacted by workplace change.

On 17 February 2015 the Ministry of Labour in Ontario, one of the provinces of Canada, appointed two Special Advisors to report on the changing workplace.   The Special Advisors have invited submissions in an impressive and informative document: :  Changing Workplaces Review: Guide to Consultations