We’ve been living through the greatest workplace disruption in generations and the level of volatility will not slowdown in 2022.
The emergence of new Covid variants during the year ahead will accentuate the current pressures faced by businesses, such as crippling staff shortages and may cause workplaces to temporarily go remote again. Hybrid work will create more unevenness around where, when, and how much different employees are working. Staffing absence and related issues will be the biggest problem Australian business will face this year.
These realities will be layered on top of longer-term technological transformation.
What does the 2022 workplace look like?
Unfortunately for many organisations, increasing flexibility will not slow turnover in today’s tight labour market; in fact, turnover will likely increase, for two main reasons.
First, there will be weaker forces keeping employees in seats. Employees that work hybrid or remotely have fewer close relationships at work resulting in weaker social and emotional connections with their co-workers. These weaker connections make it easier for employees to quit their job by reducing the social pressure that can encourage employees to stay longer.
Second, there will be stronger forces enticing employees away as the pool of potential employers increases. With hybrid and remote work as the norm, the geographic radius of the companies that someone can work for also expands. This increased attrition risk remains even in a hybrid model where employees are expected to come into the office at least once a week. Employees are much more willing to take on a longer commute when they must do so less frequently; the pool of potential employers expands alongside employees’ commute tolerance.
These factors will lead to sustained higher turnover rates compared to any historical norms. The great resignation will shift to the sustained resignation.
The growing digital skills shortage
Talent shortage for the tech sector is not a new phenomenon, it has just been exacerbated by the pandemic. Companies are struggling to hire workers across the IT sector as a whole, ranging from computing infrastructure to security.
The pandemic has accelerated Australia’s digital transformation, which in turn, has led to a huge surge in demand for software engineers, designers, digital marketers, product managers, project managers and business analysts.
According to a recent report from Gartner, businesses think that talent shortage is the biggest barrier to the adoption of 64% of new technologies.
Australia produces its own tech specialists but nowhere near enough to meet demand.
Both public sector and private sector employers have long relied on migration to make up for the shortfall. (For example, pre-pandemic, a sizeable proportion of the 100,000 skilled migrants arriving in Australia each year were cyber specialists.)
Two years of closed borders have resulted in a severe skills shortage. One that has reportedly pushed up wages for software developers, cybersecurity specialists and data experts by around 30 per cent in the space of 12 months.
Business leaders across industries are left grappling with how to do more with less, forcing many to scale back expansions and reduce days and hours of operation.
One way around this issue is by undertaking a staff outsourcing strategy. This strategy can help your business outsource your workload to contractors or freelancers who are more than capable of handling it without compromising on quality.
Reinvent. Automate. Outsource.
Take a fresh look across your entire workforce to find where you can stop doing work by changing standard operating procedures, simplifying processes, and deploying technology more effectively.
Turning to an outsourcing partner can help reduce up-front costs of automation by using their off-the-shelf solutions. First consider whether the work could be stopped–and if not, focus on finding areas where technology could enhance the way teams work and unlock new opportunities.
Outsourcing repetitive roles can free up talent to move into more rewarding roles and focus on higher-value, more interesting and impactful work.
Every business should be looking at how they can redeploy and optimise their current staff members into roles that will drive competitive advantage and can only be done inside the business.
As such, effective leadership in business is paramount, and strong leaders need to be thinking beyond the pandemic.
Adapt and be open to change. Solve problems creatively. Foster innovation among the workforce.
In IT, Standardised Operating Environment (SOE) is one function that can be outsourced with ease. Especially with fewer people in the office, a trend that is set to continue well beyond 2022, a full time, in house SOE resource is a luxury business can no longer afford.
With managed SOEs, IT teams can automate the deployment and maintenance of end user computing devices. With fully automated provisioning, applications can be deployed faster and with fewer errors. Then, when systems are online, a managed SOE helps ensure consistent and timely patching and other maintenance.
Working with an external partner provides companies with access to more vendors and experience, allowing organisations to have mixed vendor fleets if they choose to. A mixed fleet can bring ancillary benefits with it, primarily because when you create a competitive environment you can drive better commercial, technical and business outcomes.
Gartner says, “To build the workforce you’ll need post-pandemic, focus less on roles – which group unrelated skills – than on the skills needed to drive the organization’s competitive advantage and the workflows that fuel this advantage.”
The workplace is no longer the place where workers go to work. This fact alone is reason to assess support and services across the entire organisation and carefully examine where the most value is to be gained based on current activities and costs.
In addition to actions leaders can take to address the current shortage, it’s equally as important to take a longer-term view and shift both thinking and strategy when it comes to transforming their business.
Contact us today about our MOE solution and focus your precious resources on driving competitive advantage and building organisational value.