Ep 129: Digital Disruption Trends to Watch Out For at Work #SXSW

The SXSW Interactive Conference is happening later this week. At the conference I’m attending sessions, watching demos and meeting new people and companies that are on the forefront and pulse of new and emerging technology.

The conference for me is one of my favorites because it’s not an HR or recruiting conference or event. It’s a technology conference that showcases tech and new advancement from all areas and verticals. I love to see where tech is changing and think about ways it might be impacting our jobs in HR and in the workplace.

Episode 129: Digital Disruption Trends to Watch Out For at Work with Jay Samit (@jaysamit)

In this Workology Podcast episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay Samit who is the Independent Vice Chairman of Digital Reality for Deloitte and best-selling author of Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation. Disrupt You! has been translated into six languages. 

Jay is presenting later this week at SXSW and his session titled, Augmented Reality: Job Killer or Economic Savior got my attention. Jay shares the average adult spends 5 hours a day on your phone. Technology is our lifeline whether it is personally or professionally. Jay says that the most disruptive workplace technology includes 1) chatbots,  2) augmented reality and 3) collaborative and remote work. Whether it’s chatbots that talk to candidates or voice-activated tools like Alexa or Google Home, these tools are replacing the traditional interview and recruiting process. A number of his clients are moving to fully automated interviews and candidate selection processes that utilize chatbot technology eliminating bias and allowing for better culture fit and candidate selection.

The average adult spends 5 hrs a day on their smartphone. Click To Tweet

When it comes to augmented reality, Jay says that employee onboarding will have the greatest impact. New hires can use AR glasses and technology to experience their first day at work being shown their desk and be able to learn and locate things like the breakroom, bathrooms, and the location of their first company all-hands meeting using this growing wearable technology.

Workplace Collaboration Change Happening Thanks to Virtual Reality

As the workforce becomes more dispersed and more and more employees are working remotely, companies and leaders are challenging in finding ways to engage, work together, and lead remote and dispersed teams. According to Jay, virtual reality is the critical technology component that will make working together remotely easier and more fluid. Imagine being able to work with your remote team across the globe but using VR you are able to be in the same virtual room sharing ideas and writing on a virtual whiteboard. It’s the future of our workplace and it’s happening faster than you might think.

AI & chat bots will eliminate more than 47 million jobs says @jaysamit #sxsw #work #workplace Click To Tweet

There are a number of experts that are touting this increased use and reliance on technology as a job killer, however, Jay pushes back saying that this tech while it will eliminate 47 million jobs, it will, in fact, create more. He says that the technologies mentioned above will allow professionals to have more expertise and broader skillsets that will create new job opportunities and different career tracks. In short, we are working in a world that is moving so quickly, we can’t even predict the types of jobs we will be doing in ten years or less.

And it’s a prediction like that can be exhilarating or exhausting. Jay challenges leaders to prepare their teams and employees along with themselves for this new technological reality. Those individuals and organizations that are flexible and familiar with tech will be able to quickly adapt and adopt with these changes in the coming months and years.

Talking to Jay reminds us that the speed of change when it comes technology is happening and it’s moving at a faster pace every single day. We, as leaders make a conscious choice to join the revolution and try our hand at these tools and technologies or resist them. I fear the latter choice will push HR further behind. We need to be the creators, the innovators, and the game changers, and in my opinion that starts with understanding the tech so that we can become the defacto workplace expert and leader in our organization on the subject that everyone wants to work, partner, and collaborate with.

You can see Jay’s presentation at SXSW on Monday, March 11th, 2018.

Connect with Jay Samit on LinkedIn.


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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