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The Futurist: How will technology alter the future of HR

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Astrid Rainey, head of human resources, Asia Pacific, Clyde & Co on how HR professionals can partner with the business to prepare and help adapt to this future world.

Technology is definitely changing the dynamics of not only HR, but work more broadly. The rapid rise of artificial intelligence and algorithms is already demonstrating many benefits in how we live and work, but there are also potential drawbacks which organisations and policy makers need to consider and take heed of.

The media is full of stories about jobs being taken by robots, while the more measured acknowledge that while jobs will be lost, many more will be redefined. As HR, we need to partner with the business to prepare and help adapt to this future world.

With the new data protection rules (set out in the EU General Data Protection Regulation), some of these obligations are onerous and will take time to prepare for. So HR now needs to consider what new obligations will apply to an organisation and what changes need to be made to comply with these. We are giving thought to this.

What do HR practitioners need to do to prepare for the future workplace?

Be open minded. The future workplace is constantly changing and with it, what is perceived as a “workspace”, is also changing. To attract, retain and develop the best people, you need to be forward-thinking and willing to try new things. I do this within my own team and encourage flexible working and where it makes sense, working from home for example.

What can local HR learn from their international counterparts and vice-versa?

The growth of the “gig”, or the sharing economy as it is also known, has been tremendous and is challenging
ideas on employment globally. Employment status is likely to continue to be a key issue for many HR teams, and particularly those in the gig economy.

Those from economies where this is already prevalent will be able to assist those in economies where this is still developing. The same pattern has been seen with regulation globally, and it’s something we can expect to see more of.

For example, the UK recently introduced compulsory gender pay gap reporting; developments such as this in one jurisdiction
normally always appear elsewhere and it is something that companies, and in particular HR, will need to address.

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