Workforce Futures: Unlocking the Human Potential - Our #UCEXPO Keynote Recap

May 24, 2018 by Amanda Maksymiw

Group of coworkers sitting around a meeting table, laughing and looking at papers

This month saw the doors open to UC Expo, one of the largest annual industry events in London. Fuze’s VP of Product, Michael Affronti, took to the stage with workforce innovation specialist Sophie Wade to give the packed Keynote Theatre insight into their vision of the future of work.

Fuze at UC EXPO

Michael explained how we believe the power of communication can unlock the potential of an individual in the working world. That’s why our goal is to understand how we can develop the right technology that unleashes this talent for the benefit of the employee, as well as the company.

As a workforce innovation specialist, Sophie Wade brought an expert perspective on the wide-ranging issues that are impacting businesses and their workforces as we move towards the future of work.  

From advancements in technology to changes in the mindsets of modern workers, we’ve always advocated the idea that today’s businesses need to adapt and evolve their environments, practices and cultures. Our latest study, Workforce Futures, demonstrates just how important that evolution is.

The future of work through the eyes of those on the frontlines

At the heart of the keynote, Michael set out a new vision of the future of work, one that painted a picture as seen by the eyes of those workers who sit on the frontlines.

Through global research of 6,600 workers in large organizations, with typically office-style roles, we have uncovered their perspective on the trends and technologies that are set to define the working world.

Flexible working practices, open office cultures, and a positive work-life balance are all in demand. Critically, they are no longer exclusive to a particular age bracket or generation either, with more than half (54%) of workers saying they would consider moving to another company to benefit from better flexible working options.

Work-life balance is no longer a ‘perk’ but a default expectation and not taking this seriously could lead to ramifications for any business.

Sophie Wade highlighted how young workers are already leaving jobs they enjoy to go to competitors, and the impact this has on the wider business. If these young people do not feel challenged or driven by new and exciting opportunities, it’s clear they will look elsewhere.

Companies not only lose out on great talent, but the HR team also faces a time-consuming — and expensive — process of finding a replacement that matches up to the person who has left.

Retaining and attracting the best individuals

So how do we overcome this challenge? What Michael and Sophie relayed to the audience was that technology sits at the heart of this problem.

Both within and outside the world of business, technology is a vital component of everyday life. It interconnects everyone, increases the pace of innovation and allows companies to gather data to make their products and experiences more exciting and relevant.

If we think back to businesses of the past, there was a set hierarchy known as the information power pyramid; those at the top of the pyramid had both the information and the power.

But as Michael and Sophie highlighted, this is no longer the case. Thanks to new technological advancements, we now have more data, more transparency, more peer-based relationships and fewer levels of hierarchy. All of this is leading to changing relationship dynamics within companies.

Technology as a positive disruptor

Competitive businesses must think about tech strategically. If you take disruptive companies that are at the forefront of their sector, you see they are taking a disproportionate chunk of the revenue.

These hugely successful companies share a common factor — a large proportion have implemented new and exciting technology, which in turn is attracting the best people, which then feeds innovation and success.

As Sophie pointed out…How can your staff believe in a company and give their all without that cutting-edge technology?

The number one reason millennials leave a company is because they don’t see a future. Investing in the future that is seen from the eyes of the worker is vital.

The right managerial and technical support can only take you so far. Technology needs to be an enabler for a flexible, friendly and inclusive culture; one that encourages innovation, creativity and contribution that will in turn both motivate and engage the workforce.

Closing the expectation gap

Gone are the days when salary is the number one question asked by interviewees. As our Workforce Futures study shows, workers are now more likely to ask a potential employer about their remote working policy.

Across the board, businesses need to change to reflect a new wave of working habits, preferences and expectations. In the UC Expo keynote, Michael pointed to a key stat from our research that shows 53% of people work from a company office every day, yet only 20% of actually want to.

This gap serves as a big reality check for today’s businesses, proving that there’s a big difference between the work experience that people want and the experience they receive from their current place of work.

With individuals poised to take action and unlock their own human potential, now is the time for businesses to re-think their approach and proactively take steps to engage the workforce of the future.

Amanda Maksymiw
Amanda Maksymiw

Amanda is responsible for setting and managing the Fuze content marketing strategy including creating, producing and publishing engaging content. Throughout her career, she's worked with fast-growing tech companies and VCs on developing content marketing, influencer marketing and social media strategies. Amanda received her BBA in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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