By Amanda E Jojo
HUMANS and technology are more powerful together than either can be on their own, robust results are obtained when companies invest in human capital as an engine of innovation. Thus, organizations should evolve their thinking about technology replacing humans to using technology to collaborate with humans.
United Nations stipulates that the technological innovations have enhanced the productivity of workers and created new products as well as markets, thereby generating new jobs in the economy.
In an interview with The Entrepreneurial Magazine, Human Resources consultant and psychologist Memory Nguwi said technological advances are creating new work and not eliminating work.
“While pessimists have predicted a jobless society, scientific evidence shows that new and more jobs will be created. Humans are going to invent new ways of doing work, new business models are going to be created and new industries are going to be born,” Nguwi said.
He highlighted that this will drive the creation of completely new jobs which will require new forms of expertise, and create opportunities for rewarding work.
“The majority of the forecasts agree that the future workplace will need people who are capable of reasoning about what they and their machines are doing, and who are ready to meet new challenges as the nature of work changes,” Nguwi added.
The unpredictability and scale of the COVID-19 has forced the world to adjust to a new way of working. Technology also necessitated ease of work in the COVID-19 era where most people had to adopt working from home.
“Developed economies are more equipped to work from home, however, majority of occupations in developing countries cannot be done from home as a result of large swath of informal sector jobs which cannot be done from home,” Nguwi said.
In the Zimbabwean context, he outlined some factors that have been deterring working from home such as the rigid organizational structures.
“Most organisational systems are not structured to work from home and the traditional hierarchical structure will struggle to cope and generally managers are finding it hard to extend their influence into the virtual work arena.
“Employees are finding remote collaboration to be mentally taxing than being in the office,” he said.
The pandemic pushed companies and consumers to rapidly adopt new behaviors that are likely to stick, remote work and virtual meetings are likely to continue albeit less intensely than at the pandemic’s peak.
“The number of people working from home is likely to be substantially higher than pre –Covid and the best predictions seem to point towards a hybrid work situation but predominantly in the developed economies, Africa has no infrastructure at this stage for that kind of luxury,” he said.
She stressed on the COVID-19 Induced practices that are likely to stay on which include the working from home model because it reduces other costs related with the office; rent, office consumables, lunch, security, less corporate travel.
“Most meetings are likely to be done online in the future saving billions of dollars and digitalisation will continue the level of digitalisation and use of data intelligence systems will be key,” he said.