RBC CEO: Ignoring the Future of Work, Canada’s ‘Quiet Crisis’

On Vancouver Island, TimberWest is searching for foresters who can harvest data as well as trees. In Alberta, Suncor is working with First Nations peoples to build a new pipeline of talent, with aboriginal youth who can work with new technologies such as self-driving trucks. And in Toronto, Saint Elizabeth Health Care is looking to advance digital and communications skills to assist patients in their homes or remotely.

Canadians and Canadian companies are embracing the next generation of tech like never before. Unfortunately, the way we go about educating and employing the next generation of Canadians isn’t keeping pace. It’s our quiet crisis and it’s about to get a lot louder if we don’t take the future of work more seriously.

Source: Dave McKay via The Globe and Mail

Co-Working with Virtual Strangers, Good for Business?

For many of us, the concept of a co-worker revolves around sharing a physical space with someone else. But in this day of virtual realities, many of us are discovering that some of our co-workers may actually be strangers. By engaging in a virtual space with virtual strangers, it allows for individuals to work on their sections of a project concurrently as opposed to having to wait for one person to finish a part of the project before someone else can work on it.

Source: Freelancers Union

Coaching, Caring and Connecting Are Shaping the Future of Jobs

Jobs like walker/talker, fitness commitment counsellor, digital tailor, ethical sourcing manager, AI business development manager and man-machine teaming manager are among the tech jobs that are expected to be on the HR radar in the next five years.

These jobs share the common theme of Coaching, Caring and Connecting: Coaching being the human ability to help others get better at life; Caring being the human endeavour of improving people’s health; and Connecting being the intellectual leverage only humans can bring in connecting man with machine, traditional with shadow IT, physical with virtual, and most importantly, commerce with ethics.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Maker vs. Manager: Your Schedule Can Make or Break You

Managers don’t necessarily need the capacity for deep focus — they primarily need the ability to make fast, smart decisions. A maker’s schedule is different. It is made up of long blocks of time reserved for focusing on particular tasks, or the entire day might be devoted to one activity. Breaking their day up into slots of a few minutes each would be the equivalent of doing nothing.

Pausing to drink some water, stretch, or get fresh air is the type of break that recharges makers and helps them focus better when they get back to work. Pausing to hear about a coworker’s marital problems or the company’s predictions for the next quarter has the opposite effect. A break and time spent not working are very different. One fosters focus, the other snaps it.

Source: Farnam Street

Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel: 4 Predictions for the Future of Work

The talent war of the future will no longer be between companies, it will be between cities. As technology untethers society, and remote work becomes the norm, people will live in the cities of their choosing, rather than the ones that are nearest to where they work. The cities of their choosing will have a certain “vibe” by offering attractive living options in tech-friendly environments.

Source: World Economic Forum

The Way We Work Is Soul-Sucking, but Social Networks Are Not the Fix

First came the “interest graph.” Before that, the “social graph.” Now we’re seeing the emergence of a third important graph: the work graph. Whereas a social graph maps people and their relationships, a work graph centers around the work.

It seems crazy that 99% of companies lack a definitive source of “truth” about everything they’re working on. Crazier still given that $304 billion will be spent on enterprise software this year, much of it — like enterprise social networks — purporting to solve these problems. The concept of enterprise social networks is appealing. But the problem is that they’re ports of earlier technologies designed for connecting people, not for coordinating work.

Source: Wired

Six Ways to Build Relationships With Remote Workers

How does a manager build relationships with individuals when the team is scattered across the world? How does she or he encourage cohesion and create a team culture?

Remote work is fast becoming the norm, thanks to the fact that it offers many benefits for employers and workers alike. The 2015 AfterCollege Career Insight Survey found that 68% of job seekers, who happened to be millennials, would prefer the option to work remotely.

Today’s young workforce are more interested in companies that offer flexible, professional work environments. And it’s only good news for employers too: remote workers are 35-40% more productive, while 6 out of 10 employers experience cost savings as a result of telecommuting.

Source: Mikogo

Liz Ryan: The Real Reason They Won’t Let You Work From Home

Managerial fear is the biggest business topic nobody wants to talk about. Companies mired in fear can’t grow or thrive, because their employees’ energy is focused on keeping managers happy rather than in coming up with big, audacious ideas to delight customers. The more fear there is in an organization, the less likely they will be to let employees work from home or work flexible hours. The more fear, the more the workplace will resemble an old-fashioned factory rather than a place where knowledge work is being done.

Source: Forbes

The Smart Shareable Home

The circular economy is a concept by which materials and products are kept at their highest possible value at all times. The rapid and pervasive development of digital technologies, along with an understanding of circular economy principles, will drastically change life for the average urban citizen much sooner than we think.

Consider the smart shareable home. On walking out the door of your home, smart thermostats will trigger the heating in the apartment to turn down to a minimum, saving energy (and lowering bills). Citizens could make even better use of their assets by converting an extra room into a secure office, rentable on a city-wide sharing platform. Should someone want to rent it on a given day, the heating will quickly power up in time for the temporary resident to feel comfortable and welcome. Demand is likely to be strong — the connected city will have more remote workers and contractors who would appreciate the quiet space.

Source: World Economic Forum