A lot is changing in the way we work, and entrepreneurs need to think about ensuring that their workforce is ‘future-ready’ and attractive enough to attract and retain human capital.
50% of Fortune 1000 CEOs believe the type of technology they provide to their employees is key to recruiting and retaining top talent.
According to Dell and Intel’s newly released Evolving Workforce data, 67% of South Africans say that their workplace technology is not smart enough.
“We have lots of smart, responsive technology at home, but we are not seeing that at the office,” said Allison Dew, Dell VP Global Marketing.
“There is 59% less office space per employee than 10 years ago, as large companies are joining startups in the move to open office environments more conducive to collaboration and mobile workers, and technology is critical in enabling this.”
Dew presented a discussion on “The Future Workforce” at the seventh annual Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Summit (DWEN), hosted in Cape Town.
She argued that the secret to enabling the future-ready workforce lies in three key components:
- Technology, which allows for virtual collaboration.
- Company culture, to obtain the best collaboration possible.
- HR policies, to establish the framework and measure success.
Allowing for a flexible workforce comes with significant advantages, such as saving office space and decreasing carbon emissions due to less commuting.
“A flexible workforce presents a tremendous opportunity, but not without risk,” she explained.
“One impact of remote working on culture is the mistaken idea that just because you have the ability to be online all the time and work all the time doesn’t mean that you should be expected to work all the time.
Leaders need to create a culture where people use technology to get more done, while encouraging employees to take responsibility for how they use their time – when they work, and how they work.
To achieve this, Dew advises thinking about the technology, culture and policies in combination.
“It is so easy to say but actually quite difficult to do, because your IT department probably doesn’t think about how they interact with HR, for instance,” Dew explains.
“You also need to figure out how to measure the success of your employees, particularly regarding perceived output versus actual output.”
She argued that there is a tendency to assume the most visible employees, such as those less likely to work remotely, are the ones producing more, even if that is not necessarily the case.
“The future of the workforce will be ever-changing, and technology will be the biggest enabler of that. But to be a responsible user of this technology, you need to focus on all three components, and the companies that get this right will have the best workforce,” concluded Dew.