The Outsourcing Week in Review (Future of Work): May 26, 2023

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review


Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: Future of Work! This past week has been filled with captivating topics that have ignited discussions far and wide. Let’s dive in and recap all the buzzworthy stories shaping the future of work!

First up, billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk found himself at the center of a new controversy after incendiary comments about remote work. Musk expressed his belief that working from home is “morally wrong” and drew parallels to a quote attributed to Marie Antoinette. “I think that the whole notion of work from home is a bit like the fake Marie Antoinette quote, ‘Let them eat cake,’” Musk said. He aded that the “laptop class are living in La La Land.” These remarks ignited a heated debate on social media, with critics accusing Musk of being out of touch and advocating for wealth redistribution. Despite the backlash, Musk expressed indifference to potential financial losses resulting from his unfiltered views on Twitter.

In retaliation of Musk’s “out of touch” comments, an article by Insider demonstrated the financial strain of return-to-office (RTO) mandates to employees. According to the report, expenses for transportation, coffee, and lunch during the workday can range from $30 to $45. For those required to be in the office frequently, the weekly cost of commuting and meals alone can exceed $100. Insider added that employees seek ways to manage these expenses while adapting to the new work environment.

No doubt, the WFH-RTO cultural wars will rage on.

In other news, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to shape the tech landscape, with significant developments emerging from the annual Microsoft Build event. Highlighting the growing prominence of AI, the tech giant introduced two key concepts at the event: “copilots” and “plugins.” Copilots utilize AI and large language models to assist users with complex tasks, while plugins enhance AI systems by enabling interaction with external software and services. Microsoft also reinforced its commitment to responsible AI practices with Azure AI Content Safety, a new Azure AI service to help businesses create safer online environments and communities.

Another tech giant, Apple, is also making moves in the AI field by opening 176 new jobs related to machine learning and AI. The job openings demonstrate Apple’s dedication to expanding its AI capabilities and fostering innovation within the company. However, the firm remains cautious about privacy and security concerns by prohibiting certain large language models — including Google’s Bard or ChatGPT — to its employees.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also harnessing the power of AI by launching its $3 million AI Grand Challenge. The foundation said they seek innovative proposals that demonstrate safe approaches to using AI in various sectors such as health, gender equality, finance, agriculture, and education. This initiative aligns with the foundation’s longstanding commitment to leveraging technology to tackle global health and development issues.

Meanwhile, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) General Secretary Esther Lynch advocates for stronger regulations to ensure human control over AI. In an interview, Lynch highlighted the importance of introducing AI in a way that benefits working people and creates quality jobs, ensuring that productivity gains from AI are distributed equitably. This call for regulation aligns with ongoing discussions in the European Union (EU) regarding the use of AI.

The cybersecurity industry also made headlines, with top firms in the United States (U.S.) — like Palo Alto NetworksCrowdStrike, and ZScaler — expecting strong earnings this upcoming quarter. According to Akshara Bassi, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, cybersecurity is “more crucial than ever” due to the rapid digital transformation and increased security threats across industries. In fact, ISG expects global spending on cybersecurity solutions to increase by 12.1% and reach $219 billion in 2023. However, the profession faces challenges, including skills shortages and high-stress levels. Anna Collard, Senior Vice President of Content Strategy at KnowBe4 Africa, emphasizes the need to prioritize the overall well-being of cybersecurity professionals and create a healthier work environment. By addressing these challenges, the industry can foster a sustainable and fulfilling cybersecurity profession.

The past week also shed light on the hurdles faced by women in their careers, including burnout and a lack of confidence. A recent survey by Women’s Agenda in Australia highlights the significant hurdles women face in their career progression, including burnout and a lack of confidence. The survey reveals that 77% of respondents believed they may have experienced burnout in the past year, with 42% expressing concerns that it could hinder their ambitions in the next two years. However, most women respondents also maintained strong career ambitions, with aspirations to earn more, seek new roles, and get promoted.

Speaking of workplace struggles, Harvard-trained psychologist Debbie Sorensen said that people-pleasers have a higher risk of experiencing burnout. In an interview with CNBC, she explains that people-pleasers struggle to say “no” despite feeling guilt and resentment. They often take on additional responsibilities, disregard their own feelings, and accept unrealistic deadlines. These behaviors can hinder personal growth and career advancement. To address people-pleasing tendencies and avoid burnout, Sorensen suggests learning to set boundaries and having consistent self-care practices to care for one’s overall well-being.

Take care ‘coz we care!

The future of work stories this week..

24 May 2023

  • Microsoft Build highlights AI’s role in empowering developers – read article…
  • European Trade Union chief calls for stronger AI rules – read article…
  • People-pleasers are at higher risk of burnout, says psychologist – read article…

23 May 2023

  • Top U.S. cybersecurity firms poised for growth amid hacking threats – read article…
  • Burnout, confidence hurdle women’s ambitions, says study – read article…
  • Gates Foundation launches AI initiative – read article…

22 May 2023

19 May 2023

  • Elon Musk faces backlash after calling remote work ‘morally wrong’ – read article…
  • Italy invests $30Mn to boost digital skills amid AI rise – read article…
  • Cloud computing, AI to amplify APAC data center market — JLL – read article… 

18 May 2023

  • Monetary compensation reduces attrition rate to 5% — study – read article…
  • Futuristic contact pod offers immersive virtual meeting experience – read article…
  • Meta positions Metaverse as a ‘powerful workforce training tool’ – read article…

Read more Inside Outsourcing here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review (International): May 22, 2023
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review (Mergers & Acquisitions): May 24, 2023

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