The Future of Work

Kale Panoho
Oct 4, 2017 · 4 min read

Whether we like it or not, the future of work is now. Often when we think about the future of work, we think 3D printing, remote and flexible workplaces, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the thought that we may be eventually evolved out of our jobs. These aren’t dreams or predictions though; they’re a reality. After all, 50% of jobs as we know them will disappear in the not-so-distant future.

Don’t believe me? Take a look here.

While automation and AI are real, what we’re not considering is the human element of work, and how necessary a sense of connection and belonging are.

The problem is that we don’t talk about these differentiators enough.

· The job description isn’t a job description; it is a skills and requirements checklist.

· We advertise perks, not the unique work experience and culture

· Our teams aren’t involved in the hiring process enough (they’ll likely be spending more time with a new hire than their families — they had better get along!)

· We’re reacting to culture instead of being intentional and proactive

· Our stated (Mission, Vision, and Values) experience doesn’t match the realized experience of our employees

So let me put forward this as something to consider: maybe the future of work isn’t just about technology, it is about how we talk about work and integrate our people.

See, we like to think that the Future of work is something that is just happening whether we like it or not. And in some cases (usually tech related), that may be the case.

Consider though, that the way we attract and retain our talent, that the stories we tell, and the organisations we create and thrive in are on our own terms, using our own rules. It isn’t about comparing apples to oranges — credit unions to big banks or small accounting or consulting firms to the big four, it is about being true to the experience we want to build, and doing that on our own terms.

So often I hear that companies are trying to attract Millennials, or females, or more people of colour, without understanding who these people are, what they value, or if there is any alignment with the company at all. The Future of Work isn’t about demographics, it is about alignment, fit, belonging- the things we only talk about now and don’t act on near enough.

I invite you to be different. I invite you to challenge the status quo and shake things up a bit. I invite you to be transparent and not just talk about it.

Where to start?


· Use video in your application process to better articulate the role and work experience

· Be transparent with the good, bad, and ugly about the company’s culture

· Use an existing employee as an example of what the position would look like

· Have team members the new hire will be working with involved in the interview process

· Assign a small project to prove interest and capabilities

· Implement a Design Thinking session to ‘hack’ company best practices

· Create a ‘day in the life’ overview for the candidate. Talk about inside and outside of work

· Talk about frequency of feedback, reporting, team dynamic, office layout, overtime expectations, remote and flex working options

· Do a culture tour early in the process — let them see the office, meet some people and witness the way they work

· Be transparent about salary, work location and office hours (remote and flexible options) at the beginning of the recruiting process

If we can collectively articulate an describe our organizations as truthfully and openly as possible, then it is true that the future of our workplaces are what we make of them, and we can do better than attracting people; we’ll attract the right people.

I believe in this so much that I am apart of a team of people who have built a free virtual conference with some of the world’s most forward-thinking companies with speakers from Amazon through to Microsoft to discuss what the future of work will look like. Founded by Rocky Ozaki and Eric Termuende the Future Proof Summit is the toolkit for anyone who is looking to change the future of their workplace culture.

The free virtual summit is being hosted across 5 days in October 16th — 20th to inform, educate and grow awareness about the future or work and how you can make an impact in your organisation.

To join the conversation you can register for free here.

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