The past three decades saw companies in developed economies make huge strides in improving the productivity and organisational performance of an array of jobs, aided by advances in technology and digital communications; companies automated, reengineered, and outsourced numerous tasks that had once required full-time, on-site employees. Through all such changes, a broad swath of employment remained largely untouched: work requiring extensive human interactions. However, the new generation is changing this approach and here is how:
- Job roles are broken down
There is now a trend to disaggregate jobs and break the roles down to make things easier on employees. This will pick up speed with time, as skill shortages take hold. The effects will be most strongly felt in corporate roles, such as marketing, that are quickly being transformed by digital technology. How does this help? In such cases, breaking jobs down into more specialized tasks will not only help companies economize on scarce talent but also make it possible to perform those tasks more efficiently and effectively.
- Technology and virtual reality
Virtual approaches to work are attractive to a wide array of employees, including working mothers, older workers, and younger, Business professionals who want flexible lifestyles from the start, and even younger workers, are often particularly suited to work remotely, having grown up socialising and collaborating online. Millennials do not want to work from 9 to 5, which they consider a traditional professional outlook, and they would rather prefer working when it suits them even if that includes working at night better than in the mornings and afternoons. Going virtual makes this even more possible for them.
- Making work more flexible
By breaking some jobs into components and using technology to virtualise others, employers can engage labour far more efficiently. Some companies are already exploring a spectrum of mix-and-match work arrangements: traditional full-time workers in the office, part-time or temporary workers, and contingent, remote workers who can help meet spikes in demand. Companies that optimise such configurations and manage them effectively can begin engaging talent as needed, thereby lowering overhead costs and improving response times. The key to this talent-on-demand model is the availability of workers with specialized skills who are willing to work on a contingent basis.
The current workforce are trying new ways to create professional relationships to cater for all needs. Employers need to follow this trend to keep up with the demand in novel relationships with employees and gain advantage over competitors.2