The Future Of Work

In the first of this series, we look at how the way we work and the type of work on offer is changing the face of employment in the UK. In the following two blogs we will look more closely at the gig economy and at how HR professionals will need to adapt to keep up with the rapidly changing world of employment.

Changing face of employment

The world of work is changing at an amazing rate. Unless you had your finger on the pulse of technological developments, you were unlikely to have known 10 years ago that ‘social media expert’ would be a job title – or that it would be possible to take a qualification in Games Design at your local college!

And who could have forecast that the founder of Games Workshop would help to revamp the computing curriculum, and be planning to open two new free schools that will specialise in computer science, technology and the arts? In a few years, these new-look schools will be sending candidates through the doors for interviews – and they will have quite a different skill set from this generation.

Not only are the jobs changing but the way we are actually employed is altering too – the ‘gig economy’ sees many people taking up temporary positions as a matter of course and companies using independent or freelance staff for short-term contracts. It’s predicted that by 2030, millennials will be managing teams of people aged from 17 to 70 – all working in different ways. Many will work remotely and most will be on highly individualised contracts. An interesting proposition for the HR department!

Gig economy

Many people will start to question if their job will actually exist in another 15 years, as the gig economy is fast-growing – with a study by Intuit predicting that by 2020, 40% of American workers will be independent contractors. The World Economic Forum, meanwhile, notes that by that time more than 7m jobs – mostly in white-collar and admin roles – could be lost to ‘disruptive labour market changes’. It’s a sobering thought.

Both of these developments are going to change the face of HR, as more and more employees are likely to be on short-term contracts. Many will have to face the fact that their chosen career path is likely to disappear and will need to adapt and retrain to continue to have a function in their organisation.

It also means that when recruiting, companies will have to look for employees who are flexible and willing to adapt and evolve as the world of work changes around them.

It is going to be a challenging and yet exciting time in the HR arena. Are you up for the challenge?

Next month: we focus on learning and development in this ever-changing environment.

Embrace HR Limited, based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, helps SMEs who do not have their own HR departments, or those who need HR support from time to time. Please get in touch if you have any questions or require more information on this article by email: cecily.lalloo@embracehr.co.uk or phone: 07767 308 717.