Shaping the Future of Work: Navigating the New Landscape
February 8, 2023
Ana Krasovschi

Ana Krasovschi, Chief People Officer, together with participants from 5 countries, attended a roundtable discussion organized by Kearney.

Four themes of discussion were covered, all of them being strongly interconnected and mirroring the “Future of Work” with needs and expectations from both employers and associates.

Now let’s dig a little deeper into the key takeaways.

Gig Economy & Employment Model

There is an increasing demand for blended work models: fixed workforce and value contributors, assignment-based type of work outcomes, and adequate legislative framework to enhance its use across European countries.  

An entirely new paradigm is on the rise in terms of how we address EVP (Employee Value Proposition), productivity, and performance and, at the same time, how we integrate all types of contributions under the same cultural umbrella.  

The Talent of the Future: Skills & Aspirations

Companies are facing a growing challenge in terms of attracting top talent with a forecast of 700K open positions in IT in Europe by 2025 to mention just one.  

The forces of automation bring new challenges to the table: an ever-increasing volume of lower value tasks are being automated, therefore a subsequent need to reskill part of many talents left with an obsolete set of capabilities and, on the other hand, upskill talent in the automation, digitalization, AI, RPA, BI areas.

Another paramount point reveals that life-long learning becomes a retention tool and companies build more and more talent hubs, academies, and learning programs.

Talent aspirations are very much aligned across European countries in the direction of flexibility and autonomy, empowerment, self-organization, continuous growth, and sense of purpose and meaning.  

The Future of the Organization: Structure & Culture

There is an increasing pressure people feel as part of organizations with regards to delivering more, faster, and with top-quality outcomes.  

At the same time, structure, tools, clarity, and ways of working do not always offer a proper framework so as to align companies’ performance expectations with people’s expectations in terms of balance, workload, and finally, results.  

Thus, companies are redefining the role of a leader, bringing more tools and automation, seeking answers on how to respond to the post-pandemic need to connect people emotionally, redefining “Culture” and “Self-organizing” ways of working, offering more freedom, trust and less control.

The Disrupted Work Experience: Where and When

In the post-pandemic stabilization era there still is a critical need for flexibility with regard to where and when to work.  

Companies have to figure out how to find the right blend so as to tackle new team members' integration in the company and teams, how to redefine the “workday” so as to accommodate employees' flexibility expectations with preserving “team dynamics", and many more.  

There is a big challenge for companies to redefine “Tools”, corporate systems that should offer the same experience as personal apps and so that remote working tools evolve further towards reality-like interactions across different locations.  

Accommodating the hybrid work model evolution brought huge pressure on both companies and employees to figure out what tools are needed, to implement them fast, and to onboard everybody so as to eventually augment the employees’ capabilities and enable communication.

One other major aspect is the size of the offices and their style, which have become critical elements for talent attraction, being a cost that needs to be constantly kept in line with usage.

How will the Future of Work look like in 10 years from now? We can’t say for sure, but there’s one thing certain that everyone agrees on – It’s going to be DIFFERENT, and all parties involved need to adapt to the constantly changing work landscape.

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