Shilpa is Director of Technology Consulting at Deloitte UK. We had the chance to ask her how companies can adapt to the new world of work.
How would you describe the new world of work – what is so new about it?
What is making the new world of work so special is that we can witness the proceeding consolidation of two worlds. Both, the physical and the digital world now share increasingly blurred lines. We have never faced a comparable situation before. The scale and pace of change is unprecedented. It seems like there are unlimited possibilities to change the world in which we live and work. There are also changing expectations from employers, employees and customers. The next generation of workers want to work in a different way too and not necessarily for just one organization at a time.
Additional challenges we will have to address in the new world include social, economic and environmental issues. These possibilities are leading to rising insecurity regarding the future. Nevertheless, companies should be more optimistic in their outlook. The new world of work is already here and companies that embrace this reality will be the ones that perform better than those that don’t.
What are the chances for businesses regarding the new world of work?
Businesses have to broaden their views and ask themselves: How can we best take advantage of the ongoing digital revolution? Alternative talent and delivery models are giving organizations the chance to access and benefit from a global talent pool and the ability to flex their resource pool in line with their business needs. Most companies are still in the early stages when it comes to thinking about how to best integrate these new talent models and the digital platforms that enable them. They should first map out a talent strategy and then think about how to integrate such models into this strategy. This will allow them to have access to a potential broader global talent network in line with their business needs.
Furthermore, new employment models such as crowdsourcing or the gig economy are rising. They offer a lot more flexibility to businesses and people than the role based working models of the last century. Of course, this flexibility offered by alternative workforce sources goes hand in hand with potential insecurity for both, organizations and individuals. Businesses who are able to offer a balance of security and freedom for their employees as well as the gig and crowd workers will be the winners of the future.
What are your recommendations for businesses that want to implement new employment models?
First, it is important to understand the outcomes you are trying to achieve and how and whether new employment models are the best way in which to address these. Once that has been determined, businesses should identify where in the business to start for example, a business function, a process, a proposition or a product. The next step would be to take a closer look at the relevant work packages for the chosen area and identify the tasks within that work package. In this way, it is possible to determine the skills needed and to decide whether they should be developed in-house or by alternative workforces’ sources such as the gig economy or crowdsourcing. Before it comes to collaboration with a digital platform offering these services, conducting due diligence is necessary. Organizations should also consider implementing the new model only in a single department or area at first. Broader adoption only makes sense after the testing and experimenting phase has been successful and the process has been refined.