The world of work is undergoing a radical transformation, driven by technological advancements and shifting values. To delve into the future of work and the role of technology in shaping it, we spoke with Julie Holmwood, CEO of CareerJay. Holmwood has over 20 years of experience in the career industry and shared her insights on the transformations taking place now and shaping the future of work. Her focus is on reskilling, wellbeing & upskilling for the future of work: enabling people & organisations to transition to what's next. CareerJay is a smart (insight and behaviour driven) career management solution, working with organisations to support their colleagues to maximise their employability, find work happiness and have more fun.
Embracing Location Independence:
Embracing Location Independence:
Location independence has emerged as a pivotal aspect of the evolving work landscape. With the internet connecting individuals from around the globe, it has become increasingly feasible for people to work from anywhere. This shift towards location independence has not only broadened employment opportunities but has also encouraged companies to tap into a global talent pool. The ability to work remotely empowers individuals to choose where they live based on personal preferences, which is improving work-life balance, reducing commuting stress, and enabling greater opportunities for work.
"We already knew this but COVID made a lot of other companies realise that you don't have to have people in the office for them to be able to work for you. It's like a big revelation for some people [not for everyone]. So now people are able to find companies in different locations, maybe in different time zones and they can work for them. The opportunity has widened. I no longer have to pick from a pot of companies that are only available in my area.”
The acceptance of location independence as a viable working model is altering the very definition of what constitutes a workplace, further reinforcing the idea that the future of work is all about flexibility, choice and widening opportunities on a global scale.
Holmwood believes in the power of individuality. She emphasised that people are no longer willing to conform to a rigid mould dictated by employers and workplaces. The internet has empowered individuals to be more self-sufficient and has helped boosted the ability to learn new skills. This shift has made people more independent and less willing to compromise on what they want out of their work life.
"Humans have to exist in groups, right? And the way that we used to find our group was through the workplace. So we'd go and work somewhere, and they would be our tribe and they'd be our people... But then came the internet, and we realised that people that were our real tribe actually existed. One of them might be in Minnesota, one of them might be in the the North Pole, one of them might be down in Melbourne and somebody else might be in Madagascar.
I can speak to them all the time because I've got the internet. So now I feel more empowered to be me and I become more individual as a result.”
This change in perspective has led to a growing sense of individuality which, in turn, has transformed the traditional work model.
The Demise of Top-Down Leadership
Holmwood argues that the days of top-down leadership are numbered. She believes that the role of a CEO has evolved significantly and now involves harnessing the energy and activities of everyone in the workforce to achieve the best possible results. It's about coordinating the diverse skills and passions of the workforce rather than making decisions for them.
"I think the days of the Chief Exec saying, 'You will do this and you will do it from here and you will get it done by 17:00 and I will see you at your desk at 08:00,' have gone."
Companies that continue to impose strict top-down leadership may find it challenging to retain and engage their employees in the future.
Holmwood envisions a future where companies recognise individual skills rather than confining employees to arbitrary job titles. She suggests that companies should embrace the unique skill sets of their employees and pay them based on competencies they can utilise within the organisation. This approach would enable individuals to bring their whole selves to work, combining their passions and skills to create a more fulfilling work experience.
The Role of Employer Branding
In a competitive job market, employer branding plays a significant role in attracting the right talent. Holmwood highlighted the importance of companies showcasing their unique culture and work environment to magnetise individuals who resonate with their values. By becoming a lighthouse for the specific type of talent they seek, companies can help potential employees find them more easily.
As we continue to navigate the changing landscape of work, it is clear that the traditional model of employment is evolving rapidly. Individuals are empowered to express their individuality, while companies are encouraged to embrace competencies and foster a culture that appeals to the unique skills and passions of their employees. As Holmwood suggests, this paradigm shift in the future of work is about creating a win-win situation for both employees and employers.