What Will The Future Of Work Look Like?

The Future of Work Festival was an opportunity to reflect on what makes work meaningful and energising. Talent, leadership and global mobility experts discussed how to recruit and retain talent, stay agile and flexible and respond to the new challenges that await global businesses reports Marianne Curphey

What will the future of work look like?
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This article is taken from the latest issue of Think Global People magazine.
Click on the cover to access the digital edition.Watch the highlights of our Keynote Panel Discussion from the Future of Work Festival hereWatch the highlights of our 2022 Relocate Global Awards here

The terms of engagement between employee and employer have changed dramatically and the businesses that will thrive in the future are the ones that truly listen to and engage with their staff.That was the conclusion of the expert panel at the Future of Work Festival, which looked at how to help organisations and people thrive across the world while overcoming the many obstacles involved in recovering from the pandemic and adjusting to the new hybrid way of working.In a Global Mobility context, the experts looked at the implications of flexible working and the Great Resignation for talent acquisition and employee benefits, and the challenges that employers face in accommodating requests for a different way of working. Being able to work quickly and respond to changes in the market and adapt and recover from product failures are also essential ingredients in success.


"There is no single key to unlock the future of work,” said Marc Burrows, Head of Global Mobility Services and Partner at KPMG International and a panellist in the discussions. “It takes many minds with many different points of view to really get together and experiment.”He compared the current debate around work and engagement to the advent of smartphones and how they impacted the world of work.“The future of work is a vast topic,” said Dr Linda Holbeche, independent coach, developer, consultant, researcher and author in the fields of HR, strategy, organisation design and development and leadership.“The nature of work is going to change from having a job to having projects and tasks,” she explained. “This means that the idea of a career will change for many people.”The pandemic accelerated trends which had already been growing – technology, the role of people in an organisation, the challenge of skills shortages and the demand for a different kind of work-life balance.“Thinking back over the last 20 years and the research projects I’ve been involved in, we’ve been on a trajectory for the future of work that consisted of a number of things,” she said.“One was technology transforming the nature of certain types of work, creating augmented value for some jobs, but unfortunately automating other jobs out of existence. There’s a trajectory that’s to do with worklife balance and people wanting more flexibility but not necessarily getting it. There’s also the trajectory to do with stakeholder capitalism. There was a growing topic around corporate social responsibility. This was the recognition that organisations should operate ethically and treat their supply chains well and the people in them.”

What are the key ingredients for success in this new world of work?

There is a set of challenges for the global relocation market, said Linda Holbeche.“In the UK we’re already experiencing skill shortages of all sorts. In Britain it’s very hard to defeat the bureaucracy now that’s involved in bringing people over so global mobility specialists have a big part to play in finding and bringing over that talent.”“Digital natives are used to this flexibility and this new deal of work and their expectations of the workplace of the future will be very different,” said Marc Burrows.“The talent market will be fundamentally changed as a result. So it’s really about striking a balance between the needs of employers and the needs of the talent market so that they can both get what they need and get the best out of each other. I think people are looking for a sense of belonging as well as a sense of purpose in their work.”2. THE EFFECT OF THE GREAT RESIGNATION AND THE NEED FOR WELLBEING SUPPORT
Sarah Rozenthuler, chartered psychologist, leadership consultant and dialogue coach, said that around 40% of the global workforce are in a process of reflecting on the nature of the work they do and even prepared to resign over the next year to go after work that is more meaningful and energising.“The other thing I’m noticing is talking about work intensification, so higher and higher proportions of people are reporting higher levels of stress and having to work to really tight deadlines for example as they go from one Zoom call to another.”3. THE NEED TO COMBINE PEOPLE AND PURPOSE
“Many of our clients are coming to us at KPMG to look at how they can tie performance incentives and the entire compensation and benefits package to purpose,” said Marc Burrows. “It doesn’t have to be all rainforests; it can be about those very low level things and an element of personalisation because in a large organisation it’s impossible to have an entire workforce that values the same things equally. I think this area is a really exciting one as purpose and pay start to become more closely entwined.”KPMG’s recent report, Current Trends in Remote Working, found that the telecommunications and technology sector is leading the way in remote working with 64% of companies surveyed having moved to the implementation stage, compared to 27% who are still in the consideration stage of remote working.4. GLOBAL MOBILITY IS STILL NEEDED TO RETAIN A COMPETITIVE EDGE
“The ‘why’ of mobility hasn’t really changed from before or after the pandemic,” said Kerwin Guillermo, Global Head of Employee Mobility for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “In our company for example, we still send people to generate revenue. The work can be done from home, but we have to install, do maintenance and go to a client’s premises. I should be willing to invest in moving people around. So the why of mobility hasn’t really changed but it has accelerated.”He predicted that it will be more expensive and more challenging for global mobility experts to send people around the globe, but the imperative is still there.“We will not have employees of the same job family across all the locations we operate in,” he said. “For as long as that stays the same, we will still be sending people overseas. You can support engagement with tools that exist to advance talent retention and engagement.”5. ENGAGEMENT IS KEY TO RECRUITING AND RETAINING TALENT
“Before, the game was won on satisfaction,” said Kerwin Guillermo. “Then it was on employee experience. Now it is engagement.”While companies are still doing cost projections to decide when and where to send their staff, it is important for them to add a layer of purpose to the assignment. What is your goal, what is the why behind the move? Being able to communicate goals and targets to the employee, and incentivise them appropriately, can also be tools in retaining the very best talent in a competitive jobs market. “For example, if you are on a three-year assignment and you meet your targets, we pay you more money. If you come home earlier having achieved your targets, you get even more money. It then becomes more expensive for competitors to also poach talent because they have to offer a sign-on bonus. It’s things like that where you can support engagement with tools that exist to advance talent retention and engagement,” he said.6. AGILITY AND INNOVATION ARE KEY TO SURVIVAL AND SUCCESS
Linda Holbeche said that agility and innovation will be the key to success in the future of work.“Agility is going to be key not only to individuals, but also to the way organisations operate,” she said. “Work will be broken down into small, iterative projects with a lot of customer involvement and feedback.“In this technological age, clients always want something new and better and faster. Just improving what you do, though important, isn’t enough. Innovation has to be both improvement and development of new products and ideas to please the customer.”Projects need to deliver value along the way because in the current climate, nothing can be very long in the long term, she said. Organisations need to think carefully about how to support agility and innovation through their structures and processes.By combining speed and innovation there is the potential for mistakes to be made and projects to fail. This can still be a positive if people and organisations learn from the experience.“You can’t always experiment to produce new breakthroughs without making mistakes, especially if you’re going fast,” she said. For this reason, individuals and organisations will need to cultivate resilience and the ability to learn from what’s happening.“Fail fast, learn from the experience and bounce back,” she said. “It’s about learning through delivery, and what works, what doesn’t work and adjusting as you go along, whilst spotting where you’ve got opportunities to create a break through.”
summ22 fc
This article is taken from the latest issue of Think Global People magazine.
Click on the cover to access the digital edition.Watch the highlights of our Keynote Panel Discussion from the Future of Work Festival hereWatch the highlights of our 2022 Relocate Global Awards here

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