The Outsourcing Week in Review (Future of Work): May 12, 2023

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review


Good news: AI has not yet taken over our desk jobs! However, changes are happening in the workplace, and we are here to recap it all for you in under five minutes. Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: Future of Work!

Professional networking site Linkedin released unique insights into the evolving workplace trends over the past two decades. For starters, hiring rates decreased in 17 countries over the past year. LinkedIn’s hiring rate is the number of LinkedIn members who added a new employer to their profile in the same month the new job began, divided by the total number of LinkedIn members in that country. Singapore leads the list with a staggering 42% drop in hiring rate, followed by Canada (-40%), India (-40%), and Mexico (-37%). Despite the hiring slowdown, internal mobility and promotions are increasing in several industries, with Gen Xs — born between 1965 and 1980 — experiencing the highest internal mobility rate at 36%. Nearly seven per cent of retention rate was also found on companies who help upskill their employees. LinkedIn Chief People Officer Teuila Hanson said this insight proves that a skills-first talent strategy is a good retention tactic for employers in any industry.

If you need further proof that AI is here for good, here it is.

According to the latest data from the World Economic Forum (WEF), 75% of companies across industries plan to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) in their workplace, reaching a human-to-AI workload ratio of 57:43 by 2027. WEF Managing Director Saadia Zahidi said that this shift is not surprising as we’ve all seen how fast generative AI is getting adopted across various sectors. Zahidi added that AI would most likely be seen helping in decision-making, reasoning, and communication tasks.

Amid concerns about AI replacing human agents, Microsoft’s new report revealed that 70% of employees are ready to delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. According to the tech giant, employees are becoming more eager for AI to help them work efficiently than they are afraid of being replaced by these tools. The report also revealed that workers are also looking forward to using AI to find correct information and answers (86%), summarize meetings and action items (80%), and plan their day (77%). On the other hand, 35% of workers from the United States (U.S.) are still wary of AI replacing them in the next few years. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 10% of American workers have already experienced an impact from workplace automation. Interestingly, compared to their male counterparts, female workers are less concerned about job displacement in the rise of AI and are less convinced that their jobs will become more reliant on it.

As AI gets increasingly popular, several regions and countries are working towards controlling its use.

In Africaexperts are calling for the regulation of AI to help improve healthcare and address socio-economic challenges. At a recent panel discussion during the Africa Tech Week Conference in South Africa, experts noted that AI regulation is necessary for industries to derive real value from emerging technology. Keneilwe Gwabeni, CIO of Telkom, added that the government, the private sector, and citizens must work together to make AI drive African stories and experiences in the tech space. Similarly, the U.S. will soon introduce several AI policies. The White House is looking at creating policies to shape how federal agencies procure and use AI systems and investing $140 million in research centers to apply AI to climate change, agriculture, and public health issues. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said that AI companies have an “ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products.” Last year, the U.S. unveiled an AI Bill of Rights proposal calling for developers to respect privacy, safety, and equal rights as they create innovations in the AI space.

Speaking of AI, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman — AKA the person who started the ChatGPT craze — believes that full-time remote work in the tech industry is a mistake. At a recent event, Altman stated that remote work harms employees’ career prospects and limits creativity. While Altman’s views are shared by many CEOs worldwide — including Disney, Starbucks, and News Corp. — there is still a debate on who controls employees’ time, location, and manner of work. According to a report by software company Ivanti, employees and employers remain locked in a struggle for workplace flexibility. In fact, while 71% of employees want to work in a hybrid/ remote schedule, only 43% can work in their chosen location. Ivanti CEO Jeff Abbott pointed out a “seismic shift” in how and where employees expect to get work done. More employees also stated that they are willing to take an 8.9% pay cut to be able to work remotely.

Fun fact, remote work now involves acting! Workforce analytics company Visier revealed that 43% of remote work employees are engaging in “productivity theater” to appear more valuable to employers and to secure their jobs amid consecutive layoffs. Visier added that employees fear being overlooked for career progression opportunities because their managers cannot see what they do during a workday.

Nigeria-based technology institution FITC launched its Future of Work Academy (FOWA) to prepare the local youth for the 21st-century workplace. FOWA comprises seven schools: the School of Data Analytics, School of Data Science, School of Cyber Security, School of Coding, School of Graphic Design, School of Digital Marketing, and School of Product Design and Management. FITC CEO Chizor Malize said the pace of technological advances means young people must have the skills to thrive in a “dynamic and ever-changing” work environment. Through FOWA, FITC would initiate employment opportunities by providing internships and job placements for its students.

Will you enroll in a Future of Work school?

The future of work stories this week​

10 May 2023

9 May 2023

8 May 2023

5 May 2023

4 May 2023

Read more Inside Outsourcing here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review (International): May 8, 2023
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review (Mergers & Acquisitions): May 10, 2023

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.