The future of the workplace

We are in a fast moving world in which major changes to the workplace over the next few years are envisaged.  In a series of blogs, we will be looking at these key changes and what they might mean to us in HR.  We start with resourcing.

What are the predicted changes?

  • There may be fewer permanent roles in the future, in fact by 2020 it is envisaged that half the people that an organisation relies on, won’t be employed by them;
  • Contractors/freelancers will increasingly be used for specific projects to bring in particular and specific expertise. These are often known as portfolio workers and are part of the open talent economy;
  • According to Deloitte, increasingly companies are expanding their talent networks to include “partnership talent” (employees who are part of joint ventures), “borrowed talent” (employees who are part of contractors or outsourcing relationships), “freelance talent” (independent, individual contractors), and “open source talent” (people who don’t work for the organisation at all, but are part of the value chain and services);
  • There will be a further increase in flexibility (both geographically & hours of work) of the workforce enabling more people to work flexibility and have a work life balance;
  • With fewer in house employees, they will be the people who are able to take on multiple roles and are of significant value to the organisation;
  • Employers are looking for long term relationships once again with their employees.

What does this mean for HR?

  • HR need to tap into and then manage these talent networks as resourcing experts not just recruiters;
  • With fewer employees, employers need to be treating them in a way that indicates they cannot do without them. So further investing in development and career planning, reward/recognition/benefits, performance evaluation and feedback systems will be crucial.
  • Leaders that can manage these talent ecosystems need to be developed;
  • Employees need to be set free from restrictive job descriptions, so they are able to use all their skills as well as be able to take on multiple roles;
  • We will need adaptable HR systems which can deal with the increased the flexibility of the workforce including various work patterns, compressed hours, flexi hours recording;
  • HR will be managing complex contracts and resource arrangements;
  • Further increasing use of technology to enable more remote working and flexibility around working hours and measuring outputs not inputs, in other words measure productivity not length of time in the office.

It is therefore an incredibly exciting time to be in HR! In the next blog we will look at how predicted changes will impact on our approach to recruitment.


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