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Top experts reveal what’s next for the world of work

Chelsea Coates, Chief People Officer at GWI’s

With next year just around the corner, leading experts let us know what changes they expect to see in the world of world in 2023.

“HR professionals under pressure: People working in HR have been under an intense amount of pressure, often central to the stresses and strains of the pandemic, a period of catch up and hyper growth – it’s been a rollercoaster. Many HR teams will have experienced the following three scenarios: how can we urgently support people impacted by Covid-19. How can we hire quicker than ever to support growth post-pandemic. And finally, how to take quick measures to make savings as we head into a recession.
You might expect these kinds of challenges over a decade or more, but in three years it’s too much. There are also a lot of HR professionals in their first or second job that don’t know what BAU looks or feels like. A very different work experience and skills set. We may well see people leave the profession due to exhaustion, but we may also be faced with some skills gaps if and when we return to some kind of normal.”
Andrew Filev, CEO and founder of Wrike
“Email is on its way out. If an app is not tied to a workflow, it needs to be phased out. Email is one of those tools. In 2015, I predicted that email would become irrelevant by 2025. This has become even clearer as we’ve witnessed the impact of over-connectivity and the toll it’s taking on our hybrid workforce. In the past, email was the primary communications tool but now, with the addition of messaging platforms and work management solutions, email feels like “one more thing.” In the future, email will be used mostly as an identity provider and notification service while solutions powered by workflow automation will take over.”
Tien Tzuo, CEO and founder of Zuora
Subscription Businesses Will Withstand Economic Uncertainty: Subscription services will be resilient despite economic uncertainty, just as we saw during the pandemic when these services accelerated. This is because services like subscriptions are an opportunity to create a predictable revenue stream while providing value to subscribers, like exclusive perks and offers, while building brand loyalty. When budgets tighten, offering customers flexibility to downgrade or pause their subscriptions helps minimize cancellations even as budgets fluctuate, which we saw work at the height of the pandemic as well. We will also see more brands focus on first-party data generated by subscriptions to forge direct, deeper relationships with their customers, especially as new privacy regulation goes into effect.”
Holly Woodward, Cyber Security Technician at Kyndryl
“Over the last few years, the conversation about the future of work has been (for obvious reasons) dominated by how, when, and where it happens. It’s likely that, for millions of people, the conclusion of that conversation has yet to come into view, and that it will take years for business cultures to fully settle into new patterns and norms.
“In all of this, though, we might have lost sight of something quite important about work: what we are actually doing when we do it. Nobody should make the mistake of taking what jobs and careers look like for granted: the skills the economy needs today are very different to those which were in demand a decade ago, and there’s no reason to believe that that change will do anything but accelerate in coming years. In particular, there is a need for practical, science-based roles: in the UK alone, it’s been estimated that we need 800,000 more technicians.
“Next year, then, I hope that we will see businesses start to more actively think about how recent changes in the nature of work can deliver necessary changes in the content of work. There are already green shoots in this area, with organisations like Technicians doing vital awareness-raising work, and businesses increasingly investing in skills through initiatives like the UK’s T Levels programme. In addition, offering IT and digital apprenticeships to young people will help to educate future digital professionals, but also allow organisations to benefit from the fresh thoughts, ideas, and perspectives that young people bring to their business – helping to find new solutions to old problems.
“To really deliver what the economy demands, though, we will need to capitalise on our new, more flexible, more accessible working reality to upskill and reskill millions of people into vital technical roles.”
Alexander Waldhaus, Director, Global Modern Workplace at Crayon
“Companies are facing the massive challenge of keeping their workforce engaged while also making sure that the new normal doesn’t negatively affect their ability to manage information, data and IP. For this reason, in 2023, I expect to see IT and HR departments across the world start to team up to ensure that employees are adequately supported by existing solutions in their hybrid working environments. Additionally, more consideration will be made for technology that helps ensure employee wellbeing is not only a bullet point in job ads, but a lived principle.
“Additionally, contrary to popular belief, we are not as far away from augmented reality being implemented in offices as many would think. In 2023, pioneers and early adopters will release the first applicable use cases for Teams Mesh, providing a corporate branded meeting experience, strengthened by augmented reality. In practice this will look the same as remote working but with 2D and even 3D meeting experiences that will, whilst in different places, allow employees to improve connection and collaboration through personalised avatars, immersive spaces and shared holographic experiences. This will stretch us beyond the barriers and limitations of the physical world in the workplace.
“Finally, these uncertain times push many businesses to put more emphasis on cost transparency and optimisiation. With the evolution of the cloud, “from CapEx to OpEx,” that is moving from long term costs to short term costs, has become somewhat of a hot topic and a reflection of the times. As businesses seek better control over their operational expenses, many will look to implement FinOps and governance tools, to create further clarity and transparency across the IT services and assets they consume and own.”
Charles Southwood, Regional VP, N.Europe & MEA at Denodo
“As we enter 2023, the need for businesses to be more streamlined in order to not only stand out from their competitors but also survive the current climate will become increasingly evident. Therefore, whilst the digital skills gap is not a new phenomenon, there’s no question that it will become even more pressing.
As well as costing the UK economy almost £13bn, this lack of digital skills is also holding individual business back from realising their full potential. Denodo’s most recent Cloud Survey discovered that a lack of analytical skills and resources to turn raw data into insights was the second biggest barrier to organisations (62%) looking to become more data driven.
Next year, many organisations will look to invest in modern technologies and initiatives in order to combat this problem and take back control. One paradigm likely to dominate is data mesh. The concept of a data mesh is emerging as a new tool for organisations looking to truly understand and utilise their data in an agile manner. Addressing all three elements of people, process and technology, it aims to remove bottlenecks by empowering businesses.
It simplifies the complex world of data by proposing a unified infrastructure which enables domains to create, own and share data products, while enforcing standards for interoperability, quality, governance, and security. Through streamlining these processes, it gives the power back to employees and enables them to focus on other higher-revenue generating tasks. Supporting this architecture with modern technologies, such as data virtualisation will enable businesses to take their operations to the next level and plug the digital skills gap that has plagued the business landscape for years”.

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