These three trends could define Australian workplaces in 2017
Email a step closer to the grave, novel engagement techniques for millennial staffers and a focus on managing remote teams.
These are trends likely to impact businesses in 2017 and beyond, according to the CEO of national offshore solutions specialist Diversify, and former Big 4 HR and people manager, Angela Vidler.
“The greatest challenges facing businesses are the global labour market, how to increase revenue without blowing out fixed costs, and maintaining an engaged and empowered workforce,” Vidler said.
“From these challenges we see trends emerging that are changing the makeup of your average Australian office.”
Trend 1: Goodbye email and office hours
With the growing number of millennials in the workforce, “old” technology such as email is losing favour as young people prefer instant messaging and a range of live chat tools such as Slack, Campfire and Yammer.
“These tools make it far easier to be collaborative. And it’s not just millennials moving in this direction. We’ve all been on the end of an unproductive email chain, and workers of all ages are recognising the inefficiencies of email,” she said.
Changing workforce demographics has also seen a rise in millennials working part-time because work is not seen as the defining element of their lives.
Business leaders will need to provide flexibility in working arrangements to accommodate this change.
Trend 2: Cubicle karaoke to chopstick M&Ms, whatever it takes for employee engagement
“More than ever, smart companies are focusing on improving the employee experience, to stay competitive in the job market. Younger employees have a different perspective on career. They don’t want a hard slog, they want their workplace to be fun,” Vidler said.
“We’ve seen everything from cubicle karaoke or a flash mob of a Friday afternoon, to collecting M&Ms from a bowl with chopsticks used to raise morale and decrease office stress. Of course, there are less out-there techniques for maintaining employee engagement (including acknowledging effort and strengthening health and wellness programs), it’s whatever works within the culture of your organisation.” she said.
Trend 3: Flexible workforces – so many options
There’s no denying the growth of the “blended workforce”, a mix of full-time permanent employees, part-timers and freelancers. Forbes magazine recently cited the blended workforce as the key HR issue for the coming year.
“The growth of freelancing in many industries, along with a move by employers to allow trusted employees to work from home, makes for a very disperse workplace,” Vidler said.
“Whether people are hot-desking, or working from home, or working while travelling, it highlights that one of the critical management components for businesses is the ability to manage remote teams.
“When you add to this a growth in companies offshoring parts of their workforces, managers face many challenges to create cohesive, engaged teams,” she said.
Vidler said it was important for businesses to have cost-effective, sustainable workforce solutions so they are better equipped to scale up operations and allowing local employees to focus on growth-related not process-driven activities.
This is the focus of offshoring, as opposed to outsourcing. With offshoring, the offshore employee is a true part of the business and identifies as a team member, with the employer playing a role (often through a third party such as Diversify) in recruiting and managing the employee to integrate them into the business.
“Success is a mix of the right people, right skills and right culture, connected by the right technology enabling a global workforce,” Vidler said.
“Adding offshore teams to your workforce is one way businesses can grow revenues without increasing fixed costs. This enables a business to hire very skilled offshore employees who are provided full support in a serviced office.”
Digital Leader Mobiquity Expands Into Asia-Pacific
As an international digital consulting firm, Mobiquity helps a global client base upgrade its digital banking and financial services. The company employs 1,200 team members across 50+ nationalities and serves an estimated 200+ million users each day. Recently, the company built out a digital banking experience for the Bank of the Philippines Islands’ online and mobile platforms—exemplifying its mission to help leading brands engage with technology in meaningful ways.
To highlight Mobiquity’s services, here are a few of the company’s recent accomplishments:
- Designed and developed the first FDA-approved digital medicine system
- Launched a five-star mobile ordering app
- Pioneered a cloud-based IT infrastructure that prevented bank fraud
- Built the official AWS re:Invent 2017 and 2018 mobile apps
What Makes Mobiquity Stand Out?
According to Mobiquity, it's the people that make all the difference. ‘We’re born innovators who like meaty challenges’, the company wrote. ‘We go deeper, getting to the root of your customers’ friction and creating personalised engagements that deliver much more than a digital experience alone’. Now, the company has added former Microsoft and IBM director Gustavo Quiroga to its team.
Who Is Gustavo Quiroga?
At Mobiquity, he’ll be the first Vice President of Business Development Financial Services in APAC. With years of experience in the industry, Quiroga has developed numerous tech, business, and customer experience projects: at Microsoft, he led a top Aussie Azure Data and AI specialist team, and at IBM, he applied AI and deep analytics to transform the company’s business processes, CX, and UX.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Quiroga will start to work with Mobiquity clients in Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines and take responsibility for expanding the company’s regional operations. ‘Our best way to impact client outcomes’, he wrote, ‘is by listening to them with an inquisitive and open mind and empowering our people to do the same’.
When notified of the announcement, Quiroga expressed excitement over his new role. ‘I’m delighted to join Mobiquity and support the company’s rapid expansion across the Asia-Pacific region. I joined Mobiquity to develop, design and implement digital products and services that create meaningful experiences with customers...and I look forward to using my expertise to develop partnerships where we can achieve this every day’.
Where Does Mobiquity Go From Here?
In the past six months, Mobiquity has hired over 100 new employees, including the high-profile additions of Howard Moore, Senior Director of Banking, and Ruby Walia, Senior Advisor for Digital Banking. This falls in line with the company’s hyper-growth strategy to deliver digital products to the world.
As Matthew Williamson, Mobiquity’s Vice President of Global Financial Services, explained: ‘Our appointment of Gustavo demonstrates [our] commitment to hiring an A-list team of talent. The latest addition to the Mobiquity team supports our vision of global growth in Asia-Pacific, as a recognised partner within the banking and finance ecosystem’.