12 November 1 Embrace technology

Kelly Services urges organisations to embrace the technology generation

Technology driving a shift in the fixed nature of the workforce

November 1, 2012

Kelly Services, a world leading provider of workforce solutions, is urging organisations to embrace the new approach to the workplace, where technology has driven a shift in the fixed nature of employee/employer relationships and shortened job lifecycles.

Karen Colfer, Managing Director, Kelly Services Australia, said, “Rapid and ongoing technological advances have triggered a procession of change, and as a result, the idea of a fixed employer and a fixed work location is disappearing.

“Organisations need to accept that the new workforce will be in a constant state of flux. Smart organisations will find ways to maximise the opportunity by investing in the development of their employees and creating an environment that facilitates communication and interaction across a group of employees that don’t physically sit together.”

Traditionally an employee’s hard work and loyalty was matched by an employer’s commitment to provide fair compensation and reasonable job security. Underpinning that was a requirement that job sites be relatively fixed, which meant work couldn’t move from place to place and the type of work done at a job site remained relatively fixed.

In the last two decades, there has been a rapid change in the nature of work globally, and as a result, the employer/employee relationship has been fundamentally altered. The old social contract is becoming obsolete and a new social contract is emerging.

Colfer said, “Today’s workers are willing to change employers, careers and work locations without inhibition. It is not only socially acceptable nowadays but can be the fast track to career advancement.

“While globalisation is a contributor to making work less fixed, technology is by far the most important driver.”

Technology has helped unwind the traditional workplace in two ways. First, location has become irrelevant for an increasing number of jobs, resulting in freedom of location for workers.

Second, technology has been responsible for making many jobs obsolete far more quickly than at any other time in history. At the same time technology has also driven the creation of many new roles. In effect, technology is responsible for shortening the lifecycle of many roles as new technologies are developed and new more efficient operating practices are introduced.

Colfer said, “For many, the job that they have now will not exist in its current form a few years from now.

“Globalisation of the workplace coupled with technology has permanently eroded the fixed nature of work.

“The speed of technology diffusion has increased significantly with new kinds of collaborative technology and platforms appearing constantly.

“In this new world, increasingly, individuals need to take personal responsibility for their own job and career,” Colfer concluded.

Media contact
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266