s will now be explored in greater depth to help focus our thinking around strategic approaches to take in accomplishing work in organizations in the next century. Technology seems to have tree main effects on the workplace, which are: ? The constraints of the physical facility no longer exist ? Hours have extended to be on-call nearly 24 hours a day ? Huge issues in personal time management. The virtual office has come about with the advent of the cell phone, pager, laptop, e-mail and other such electronic tasking devices. The good or bad new is that fewer people are normally in the physical office.
The virtual office can be an advantage if it results in lower office space costs.New issues will arise if the cost in equipment to support the remote employee increases. However, the expectations are for greater productivity as a result of the company providing flexibility in space scheduling and physical space. Also, you have probably heard a cell phone or pager lately during a movie, or at a ball game as evidence of the proliferation of the workplace in public/private space. Businesses are able to expand without the normal investment in physical property.
Employees can live where they wish and telecommute.With this however will come even more changes that HR will need to cope with. Here are some of the keys ones where technology will have a high impact on the workplace. A proactive, strategic approach will be necessary to deal with and work around these changes. First lets begin with the virtual office.
This will mean that there will be fewer workers physically at a single work site. What HR will need to do is determine what space is necessary and what space can be leased or sold out.The office space and current equipment inventories should be reviewed and looked at to determine adequate levels. Also, the IT capacity plan should make sense and be flexible to adjust to future changes within the workforce. Staffing, sourcing and retention will be another area that will need much attention. In the future there will be more job sharing, split shifts, part-time, and independent contractors. Retention of workers will be more difficult: employment for the project will be seen more and more; and lack of job security and company loyalty will be pervasive.
Also, older worker will have to make a huge adjustment and may not be willing or able to.To prepare for these changes consider introduction of a flex policy and evaluation of meeting or event schedules to allow for more flex time. Determine technical training needs and prepare training programs for those need.
Develop a workforce plan to forecast future staffing levels and ensure succession-planning programs are in place and are meaningful. Also, reviewing benefits and retention practices to ensure desired results may be achieved. With fewer connections between employees and management the need for greater accountability, independence, and trust is necessary.The changing workforce resulting from the tremendous technology updates presents a new challenge for workplace relationships. As HR leaders we must be leading our organizations into and through the technology changes and challenges. We must be prepared to conquer this ever-evolving technology. It is no exaggeration to say that some kind of new hardware or software is introduced to the public on a daily basis. Which ones will make a difference to HR in the future? Here is a list of computer technology that may effect HR departments in the future.
First of all computer security is a concern to both information technology and human resources people everywhere, as computer viruses like “love bug” paralyze organizations for days and security breaches allow hackers into sensitive company files.In the future, however, employees may be required to undergo iris scans to access their computer files. This technology is already used to control access to rooms, identify prisoners, secure bank vaults, and as a substitute for automatic teller machines. Another technology along these lines are fingerprint readers that require a fingerprint match before access can be granted.
The next area of technology is that of remote access. For many would be Internet users in the US, especially in the rural parts of the US or in underdeveloped countries, laying the wire for broadband access is cost intensive. Even in developed areas, rewiring an existing building can be very expensive.
To address this, high tech companies are now investing in fixed wireless systems that require only a transmission device on one end and a receiver and signal converter on the other. Airwaves link them and the link can be as fast as wired services.This market could reach 1 billion by the end of 2002. Fixed wireless can be used to link areas where there are no cable or telephone infrastructures in place, or to extend cable and DSL service within already-established areas, such as apartment building or office complexes. Yet another technology that could makes its effects found on the world of HR is a communication system. This communication system called Auniversal translator could effectively, accurately, and simultaneously translate a person’ conversation from English to German and back (for example) will be widely available maybe within the next five years. Universal translating systems may never be able to capture cultural differences, but they could enormously aid in International business transactions.The last technology I will talk about is that of electronic monitoring.
There is a whole group of electronic monitoring systems available to employers. Here are just a few: ? Internet Manager: This software scans for and identifies people who are continually on the Internet at work and will notify employees that they are being monitored each time they log onto the Internet. ? Investigator: This software captures all the keystrokes typed into a computer, including keystrokes an employee may delete. Investigator goes a step further then other monitoring software by capturing all computer activity. ? Super Scout: This software automatically filters and sorts every word that enters through a network.It can generate bar charts showing the top ten e-mail users, the tem biggest email sender, and who sends the biggest messages. We now have before us a wide variety of things to look at for the future. But here is one of the most important questions at least for me.
What does all this mean for my career in HR? Well in doing all this research I can see that even if only a portion of the possible developments discussed come to pass, careers in HR will change dramatically. The traditional career with HR professionals progressed in their careers from apprentice to individual contributor to mentor to strategist is quickly morphing. Maybe a more suitable way to describe the HR career in the future will be that of a cube, not so much as a linear progression.
In the future one’s position in the HR hierarchy may become less relevant than what one knows. Career paths become less linear as HR professionals increasingly engage in diverse career activities, forgoing a purposeful career in favor of career opportunism, responding to the opportunities that arise from any number of sources. Whatever the future brings it is sure to be filled with surprises. Having one eye on the future will help to identify many new challenges and effectively use them for the benefit of our organization.
I know that I may want to hold on tight to my ergonomic chair, we may be in for a bumpy ride.Business.