Global cloud future seen for workforce

SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 05:00 01/04/2014

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A global "people cloud", in which employees work for multiple companies across the globe, will soon transform the workplace, an employment expert believes.

Our changing habits and attitudes towards work have spurred the creation of a conference aimed at assisting workplaces to prepare and adapt for the future.

The Strategic Workforce Planning Conference was held for the first time in Melbourne last week and starts today in Wellington.

Workplace "futurist" Yvette Montero Salvatico, who led a large project identifying future trends at Walt Disney, and is a keynote speaker at the event, said the future workforce would be truly global.

While cloud computing was becoming an essential tool, the next five to 10 years would see the creation of a "people cloud" as technology changed the way we thought about work.

"In the future we're going see the continuing blurring of the lines between technology and people . . . it will be people working for multiple organisations simultaneously and instantly across the globe.

"I think the organisations that are going to be successful will be able to harness talent from across the globe."

The standard structure of a company, with its organisational chart and separate departments, would become a thing of the past, as employees organised themselves into groups that were linked to things they were passionate about, rather than being bound to a single company.

Attitudes towards work and life were changing, and many young people did not want to be tied down to a mortgage or a single job.

"Many of the issues we have in the workplace right now are because we're using outdated processes to tackle a very different world."

Workplaces of the future - at least those that adapted - would be full of opportunities for leaders and their employees, Salvatico said.

Conference co-founder Alex Hagan said there was growing pressure on workplaces to adapt and think about whether their company practices were as relevant today as they were in the past.

Companies that had strategic planning for the future and adopted a holistic approach to workforce planning were much more likely to succeed, he said.

"It's more than just reviewing internal workforce analytics, you need to think about the fact that work, more broadly, is changing."

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- The Dominion Post

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