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The future of work - in harmony with individual needs

The world of work is changing as digitalisation advances and young people’s attitudes shift. HR functions need to respond appropriately to these changes. Today, HR management is more than just payroll and recruiting. Clever psychology and strategic thinking are also important. BDO's HR management approach is aligned to our Corporate Strategy 2020.

Increasing automation and digitalisation are dominating not only the present, but also our future. New roles are emerging from developments like industry 4.0 and novel technology such as artificial intelligence, as they once did when the steam engine was invented. Generation Y, those “millenials” born between 1981 and 1995, prefer to work in harmony with their own needs. Gen Y grew up spoilt for choice in a world that had just discovered the internet. They seek self-fulfilment, and a sense of purpose in their work. Millennials are challenging companies to change and respond to their needs. Young people want autonomy and flexibility in their working lives.

Work-life balance

The way we work and live is changing. So Urbanisation appears to be driving not only co-working but also co-living. it's no surprise that a decent work-life balance is the most important long-term career priority for young professionals. That’s the finding of a survey of over 10,000 Swiss students conducted by the consultancy “Universum” last year. Work-life balance is affected by a positive work climate, flexible working and employment conditions. Examples include freedom to choose where to carry out work and the option to work part-time. After a particularly heavy workload, recuperation periods are a must. Companies need to take these views seriously. Those who manage to accommodate these demands appropriately benefit from lower turnover and reduced absence due to sickness.

 In future, technical knowledge won’t be enough. Employees will also need to offer soft skills like communication, teamwork, conflict management, creativity and empathy. Employers will also have to ensure that they are equipped with the requisite skillsets to manage personnel. Companies need coaching or psychological expertise to deal with conflict and topics like health initiatives, absenteeism or performance variability. So the training and further education demands placed on HR professionals are growing.

Active HR management

HR management has to keep up with change in the world of work. This makes it all the more important to adopt a forward-looking approach that actively tackles changing expectations and needs. BDO places great emphasis on being an attractive employer. That’s why our strategic goals in HR are closely linked with the BDO Strategy 2020. As of January 2019, all BDO people benefit from an annualised hours model, which affords them greater flexibility and empowers them to find a healthy work-life balance.