5 Changes Happening in the World of Work Right Now
Based in Budapest, team HRN* is hard at work disrupting the conservative HR industry — that alone would put them on Jobbatical’s radar even if they weren’t using us to hire (which they are — yay!). Here are their thoughts on how the world of work is changing and how the rest of us can keep up.
*Since this story was published, HRN has rebranded as UNLEASH.
Welcome to the future of work
I spoke to Elena Markina, Employee Experience Manager at HRN, to learn about the company’s vision for the future of work. If you haven’t heard of them, HRN is the company behind HR Tech World, the fastest-growing HR event in the world.
Their raison d’être? “To change the future of work,” Elena sums it up in one fell swoop. “HR is the least disrupted industry. It’s quite slow-moving and conservative. We are changing that. What we’re doing is attracting the experts, the leaders who can tell us more about how HR and the future work can be transformed,” says Elena.
“Technology has taken over everything and it’s moving so fast and furious that it’s sometimes really hard to keep track.”
The people and companies represented at HRN’s events are there to help HR departments transform — to automate everything that can be automated and leave more space and time for HR leaders to take care of more strategic, global things. The ultimate aim, according to Elena, is to transform work and help people unleash their potential to be more efficient and happier in their jobs.
So — what is HRN’s vision for the world of work? “That’s a good one,” Elena says. “I think whatever I say right now most probably won’t come to life in that form. If you look 10 years back, I don’t think anyone could have envisioned the changes that have happened. Our vision is to unleash people and their potential and play an active part in shaping the world of work. We are not spectators, we are players.”
There are some clear trends sweeping through the HR landscape and changing the way we think about work. Here are Elena’s observations on the global world of work:
1. Traditional boundaries are being eliminated.
“I think Jobbatical is a good example of that,” Elena says. “10 years ago you would look at the workforce in terms of geographical location, physical presence. Now fewer and fewer companies have fixed hours. Fewer companies care where you’re working from, whether you’re under a palm tree somewhere, or working from home, from your laptop at a café, or a co-working space or whatever else it may be. I think this trend will continue even further. There are already so many companies that don’t even have an office.”
2. More and more things will be done by artificial intelligence.
The more tasks get automated, the more humans will need to change to keep up. “What will really matter are the soft skills and the ability to learn fast,” Elena predicts. “And to transform your skills, to be flexible, adaptable and eager to take on more and different roles. One of the most necessary and important traits is flexibility, and being able to adapt to changes in the environment.”
3. The roles themselves will also transform.
“Ten years ago there would be really specific job descriptions,” Elena says. “But now, if you want to succeed, you need to be hands-on in many directions and with technology, even if you’re not an IT person or a developer. You need to understand how things work. You need to be a full-stack employee.”
“Being tech-savvy is what you need right now if you don’t want to be left behind.”
4. People are getting hired for their capacity to care.
Employers know to be on the lookout for people who are engaged and want to make a difference. “If people truly care about the company and about the job, they will want to do more,” Elena says. The passion-based hiring trend does come with a dark side, however: “The people who burn out are mostly those who are actually passionate about their jobs,” Elena notes.
5. It’s not about long hours — it’s about working smart and getting things done.
Employers are increasingly acknowledging that long hours do not equal productivity. “Some managers freak out if someone’s not at the workplace, not sure what they are doing,” Elena says. “But it’s about trust and about building the relationship. It’s very much about people skills and building teams and just trusting and empowering them.”