Future Work Trends
Last week, we attended the CIPD Festival of Work event at Olympia London. The festival aimed to bring HR professionals together to gain insights from industry thought leaders on how to adapt to the changing working environment.
It had a jam-packed line up including keynote speeches from Fearne Cotton, broadcaster, podcaster and bestselling author, and Kanya King, CBE, Founder and CEO of the MOBO Group. There were also discussions from various people leaders and CIPD directors on the future of work, which highlighted three main trends that were consistent across the board.
1. Flexible working is here to stay
The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) have long been champions of flexible working. Their successful ‘Flex From 1st’ campaign resulted in the government committing to making flexible working requests a day-one right for all employees. It was therefore no surprise that flexible working was a central topic at the event.
Flexible working means different things to different organisations and industries. This umbrella term covers adjusted work patterns, compressed hours, part-time working and remote working, to name just a few, but there was a particular focus on the hybrid model.
Following the pandemic, many organisations have adopted a hybrid work set-up, which combines working from home and in-office days. However, many are still trying to figure out how to strike the right balance. One of the questions raised at the event was, how do we effectively train new starters in this new hybrid world? Across multiple panels there was a recurring answer: Millennials and Gen Z are unlikely to work in any other way moving forward. Therefore we need to create new, innovative ways to train our people that fit this new model, rather than trying to crowbar in old processes.
2. Tech will be front and centre
There was a huge focus on software and how automation can benefit our working lives. By freeing workers from admin-heavy tasks, there is the potential to not only increase efficiency but allow them the space to utilise their unique knowledge and experience, allowing them to focus on work that excites them. This trend was discussed on many panels, from automating the induction process to collecting data to enhance the employee experience.
3. ESG, ESG, ESG
At this year’s festival, the main stage was branded as the ESG stage, highlighting the CIPD’s belief in the critical importance of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) for people professionals. The CIPD predicts that a company’s ESG credentials will become a deciding factor in whether a candidate will apply for a role. Therefore, organisations need to act now to remain competitive in the labour market. ESG factors were interlinked with other discussions, such as purpose and values. Many panellists discussed the connection between participating in meaningful work or working for a greater purpose and improved employee engagement.
At Equilibrium, we have our very own ESG board, made up of team members across multiple departments, who drive positive changes across all levels of the business. Additionally, we offer hybrid working and have a specialist Transformation team to ensure we remain at the cutting edge of technology, keeping us ahead of the curve of future work trends!
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