The future of work – embracing disruption and empowering people

The future of work – embracing disruption and empowering people

Operating pressures and significant skills gaps mean many C-suite teams are finding themselves fighting fires in the workplace. Those looking to create a workforce and environment fit for the future of work need to embrace disruption, invest in employees and change their employer mindset.


A short exploration of how industry disruption and the changing workplace are forcing companies to consider the future of work. And how companies who are embracing disruption and empowering employees are better prepared for their digital revolution.

Businesses are facing cost pressures, hiring competition and workforce health issues on an unprecedented scale. These are compounded by growing customer expectations. Effective digital transformation can bring relief. But tech alone is not enough. Finding and nurturing talent is a battle many companies are losing every day. Are you embracing disruption and empowering your people to make the future of work, work for you?

Embracing disruption and empowering people

Flexible, hybrid and remote working, agile teams, four day weeks. All workplace innovations that pre-pandemic seemed fanciful to many.  Now they’re pretty mainstream. You may have adapted your business model or invested in digital technologies or cloud capabilities and think you’ve dealt with your quota of disruption.

But do your digital capabilities and company culture synch? Digital transformation in finance outlines industry disruption in one of the world’s oldest sectors of work. It also describes how finance companies are becoming more flexible employers.

Employers who invest in developing their employees empower them to meet their potential.  The Timewise job index found that nine out of ten people want flexible work, but only three out of ten job adverts offer it. And the demand for part-time work is outpacing availability 4:1.

Employee engagement actionables

Flex appeal
It goes without saying that flexible work conditions are attractive right now. It widens your pool of candidates and can enable you to employ talent that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. The majority of people appreciate greater flexibility – whether that’s flexi-hours, remote or hybrid working, or compressed days. Flexibility gives people greater autonomy to work in the way that’s most productive for them. It makes retaining them easier too. Providing working options that better support better work-life balance can help staff health, meaning fewer sick days,

Reboot your talent model
They might not be your traditional hires, but there’s evidence that pockets of the wider workforce are willing to retrain. One PWC study found that 77% are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain. Offer formal training opportunities for new hires and your existing workforce who might be interested in new career opportunities within your company through redeployment. Giving people the chance to learn new skills, especially around technology and digital, will give them higher job satisfaction, better career prospects for the future, and help them reach their full potential. It will also lead to greater loyalty from workers who have had the chance to develop within your organisation.

Filling the skills gaps
Is your workforce digitally minded? As technology advances the skills you need within your business increase too. You need people who can identify innovative solutions, who are comfortable using computer software, and who are adept with data and analytics.
That will inevitably mean bringing new skills into the company. Investment in people development is intrinsically linked with employee engagement, performance and transformation success, so it’ll be important to work closely with Human Resources to find the right people with the right knowledge to solve your skills gaps. This may mean focusing on building employee confidence in data literacy and digital literacy, it might mean employing software development experts, or it might mean bringing in temporary external help to bolster technology skills

Holistic hiring
Hire individuals who naturally align with your objectives for loyalty and commitment to your business outcomes. Employees who share your company values and vision will seek you out if you communicate your culture and ethos effectively. Equally, getting to know what motivates your staff will help you to support them in achieving work satisfaction. While it’s important to build diverse teams of people who come with a wide range of experiences, everyone needs to be pulling towards the same goal in order to improve business outcomes, so ensuring employees care about the company mission will align your workers.

Engage for change
Monitor employee engagement and take positive action on what you discover. This is crucial for effective change management. Begin by surveying your employees to gain a baseline understanding of how people feel, what their challenges are and what they need to succeed. Then, as an organisation, make it your responsibility to ensure that the right measures are put in place to give your employees the ability to thrive in your environment, whether that’s in their current job, or in one that is a better fit for their skills. Keep taking regular temperature checks on employee engagement and be sure to always close the feedback loop.

Five factors shaping the Future of Work

The truth is everyday life has shifted for a huge percentage of the world’s population over the past few years. People now look for a different set of qualities in their career opportunities. New hires have higher standards for their workplace experience. And even in recent months, new technologies are disrupting the way people do their jobs and interact with the world.
Here are what we believe to be the five most influential factors shaping the future of work and workplace trends.

1. Work is not a location

Many organisations who anticipated a post-covid return to the office for employees are still waiting. Flexible and remote working is driving new organisational design.

Those now asking their employees to return are finding a high level of resistance. Technology has made it simple for teams to collaborate from anywhere in the world, opening up the potential of a much more diverse, globally spread workforce. It’s also increasing the focus on cybersecurity, as digital first companies look for ways to ensure they can protect themselves and their business continuity, under all circumstances.

2. The advantage of AI

According to the World Economic Forum, the use of Artificial Intelligence will eliminate 85 million jobs and create 97 million new ones by 2025. AI is already helping speed tasks up in the workplace through automation, enabling humans to spend their time and skills elsewhere. AI also has specific applications for our new ways of working. Some companies now use AI-powered tools to monitor productivity. Others are using it for deep market and consumer analysis, giving them a better picture of who they are marketing to. Analytics tools powered by AI can also identify employee strengths and weaknesses or make suggestions for areas of development and improved performance. It can help you make better decisions about your business, your products and your workforce, and identify skills gaps based on real data.

3. Closing the skills gap

Those skills gaps then need to be solved. Businesses today need digitally skilled employees. Not just those who are comfortable using technology, but also employees with practical skills like coding and content design, to help them better serve their customers. They need employees with an eye for innovation, who are not scared to think differently. \

Data scientists and analysts, for example, are in huge demand. Companies don’t want to lose out to more data-competent competitors. A global Equinix survey found concern among 44% of employers that candidates had the wrong skillsets. They were worried they wouldn’t be able to find candidates that fit their evolving needs, and that they’d struggle to retain existing talent. Gartner highlights a solution – the hiring of nontraditional candidates, such as those with nonlinear career paths. This is likely to become a trend in 2023-24 as employers widen the net to find the skills they need.  Equinix also found that 62% of respondents were reskilling workers from similar industries. A further 34% were relying on reskilling workers from unrelated sectors.

4. The skills challenge

The demand for digital and technology skills is going nowhere. As some are beginning to note, it’s unlikely that AI will put people out of a job, but someone who can use AI might. In-house re-training and government-funded programmes are scrambling to bridge the skills gap. As seen in the finance sector, organisations are increasingly hiring based on potential versus qualifications. In demand are problem-solving, creativity and emotional intelligence to complement the tech stack. Those at the top also need to cultivate employees’ resilience and adaptability to thrive in a changing environment. After all, when a change curve hits, these are the characteristics, along with trust and loyalty, that will bring your people through.

5. Digital revolution by design

Bring together all of the above, and It’s clear that adopting the next big tech tool and searching for skills in a wider talent pool simply isn’t enough. For the future of work, our new ways of working need digital revolution by design, rather than accident. Service, product and working models have changed. Businesses need to really commit to investing in data and digital infrastructure and their talent to achieve this.


There are, of course, more factors at play here, including declining employee mental health and wellness, economic pressures in a turbulent landscape, and regular supply chain disruption, all of which will also go some way to defining the future of work over the coming months and years.

What’s clear is that for many employers it’s a race to the finish line to find candidates that align with their values and have the skills needed to move forward and differentiate in the marketplace.

Looking to continue your AI journey with clarity and purpose?

We can help you.