Specials

Dealing with the evolving workplace

| Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 16, 2017

Embracing Progress: Next steps for the Future of work Author: A Sophie Wade 267 pages ; $24.99 on Amazon

Technology and talent are challenging companies. With machine learning, it’s a new world out there. How ready are companies to face this world? Sophie Wade’s book is a good place to start to prepare for the new work environment. Wade, who describes herself as a Workforce Innovation Specialist at Flexcel Networks, a consultancy she founded to help companies cope with new realities, outlines four priorities and six pillars to achieve a smooth transition to the future of work.

The priorities which she outlines in chapter one are engagement, personalisation, integration and choice. The pillars are pretty wide and range from technology to culture and mindset to leadership, transparency and hierarchy, productivity, performance and creativity, policies, frameworks and environment, and finally careers, freelancers and learning. Each of these are dealt with in detail in subsequent chapters.

According to Wade, integration and inclusion are key factors in the transition to the future of work and have to encompass both individuals and generations or what she terms Me-llennials and We-llennials.

The book has some interesting examples of new approaches. For instance, Jumpwire Media, a social media agency, asks incoming employees to propose their own salary. According to Wade, offering choice is a powerful way of engagement, and as a result, productivity.

Similarly, the chapter on leadership also has interesting examples of moving away from hierarchical attitudes to empathy-driven ones.

It is a lucidly written book with helpful takeaways at the end of each chapter summing up key points. There are also questions she leaves for the reader to mull over and evaluate to see how ready they are. In each chapter, cartoons with punchy lines reinforce the new realities of work. Particularly useful is the glossary at the end that gives Future of Work lexicons.

As Wade points out, the change is so relentless and there is so much flux that the book is by no means exhaustive. But it certainly has some coherent strategies to begin with.

Published on August 16, 2017

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