Much of what has been written about the future of HR or the future of work, typically involves big predictions or monumental changes. Driverless cars, the reduction in jobs due to artificial intelligence, landslide demographic changes, etc. However, the future of HR also involves little things that need to be considered and planned for. An article on the prediction that earth is going to be a “hot, crowded planet” and an advertisement for make-up with a base SPF level, marketed under the name of Futurist both had me thinking today about the little things that HR needs to consider.
Going to Be Hot
According to Madeline Ashby, author and futurist, in just a few decades from now, the human race will be caught between two difficult places. Mars, the future home of the ultra-wealthy and earth, which will be “a hot, crowded planet.” That is certainly not an unknown or unexpected prediction for someone who professes global warming. That made me think about some of the things that companies will have to be prepared to do to protect their employees.
What Are the Little Things?
There are a lot of little things that may occur that HR and management should pay attention to in the coming years. These include:
- The aforementioned hot environment and precautions that need to be taken
- SPF protection, if and when, the ozone layer degrades (Remember Sunblock 5000 from Robocop?)
- Providing uniforms or work clothing protected by nanotechnology that sheds moisture and dirt (already available today)
- Smart clothing that can recognize an employee’s vital signs and alert medical staff when an employee may be in distress
- Smart clothing that tells an employer if employees are wearing their safety equipment correctly
- Wearable devices that provide seamless collaboration, perhaps even neural connections to connect thought without the accompanying speech.
- Tools that collect and evaluate data in a cognitive capacity without the effort of the employee
- Devices that monitor the ergonomic positions of employees and provide corrective “hints” for the employee
The Employee Experience
Today we spend a lot of time, an ever-increasing amount of time, on the “employee experience. We want employees to be enable to be as productive and connected as possible. I think that part of that employee experience is paying attention to the little things. It is not just making sure they are productive and have the right tools, but making sure their welfare is taken care of when they are in the field. It is making sure they have the proper equipment to allow them to work safely and comfortably.
As we move into the future don’t just concentrate on the big things, think of those little things as well.