Webinar Explores the Rapidly Changing World of Work
Ms Emma El-Karout, the Founder of One Circle explained why remote working might be our new normal and how we can best approach it in her presentation titled: The End of Work as We Know It… Infinite Possibilities and a New World of Work, at a webinar hosted by Professor Ana Martins, interim Dean and Head of the Graduate School of Business and Leadership, as part of its webinar series.
The series aims to empower postgraduate students, alumni and business partners with information that will enable all stakeholders to navigate the extraordinary challenges that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic, which have affected everyone across the globe.
El-Karout noted that the shifting nature of work has moved to the top of global leaders and professionals’ agenda, as they adapt to remote working and consider how to best prepare themselves and their organisations for a future that is increasingly hard to predict. ‘This time forces employers to trust that their employees will deliver on the work and trust that business will still run smoothly.
‘While the workforce structure as we know it is disturbed, through this new norm we have access to networked talent, meaning we have the ability to work out a new ecosystem with our existing teams but also to plug in freelancers and independent contractors. We need to have an open talent mind-set,’ she said.
El-Karout added that although remote working is an alien concept, it will enhance equality and inclusion. Regardless of gender, age, location or social standing, people can now use their specialities to work for international companies in the comfort of their homes without contractual restrictions.
Attendees found the presentation insightful but some questioned how the new ecosystem will work for the university structure, with new graduates arguing that flexible employment will only work for people who are experienced and are experts in their field. Fresh graduates do not have specialist skills as they have not received proper mentorship. This is a scary time, especially with South Africa’s unemployment numbers on the rise.
El-Karout agreed that this will not be an instant change, but argued that it is a great opportunity for universities to invest in technological knowledge, to prepare graduates with open talent mind-set, so that when they leave university, they leave knowing that they can find a job anywhere around the world. ‘Today we have virtual internships; university bodies can look at introducing these to their students as a solution to this new ecosystem,’ she said.
The End of Work as We Know It… Infinite Possibilities and a New World of Work webinar can be viewed by clicking on this link: https://youtu.be/yEL9QGTB6Js
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga