I was at the ATD conference last week listening to the Future of Work speech only to hear about the past. There was nothing about the future, I tell you that.
What does the future of work look like? HR buzzwords were going through my head - AI, burnout, well-being, flexible working, mental health etc.
A few days later, I debated with my bestie about the current culture of everyone is "healing from some trauma". I don't respond well to this, so I said, "Ok, but why are we all having issues? This is because we have removed women from the homes and are all dealing with its consequences."
What do we remove when we remove women? Love, care, nurturing, and supervision/attention.
Now don't kill me before you read this to the end. I am a feminist (the traditional one who wants equal rights and opportunity) raised by an alpha female & male, and my message is not that women need to go back to cook and to clean. I would never support that!
I am saying that maybe we should acknowledge that since women's integration into the workforce, we have been having issues we didn't have before. Anti-social behaviour of kids, juvenile crime rate, divorce, single and lonely people, childlessness and eventually a variety of mental health issues. I am not putting all that on women being at work, but it has significantly contributed to it.
It is difficult for women to have two full-time jobs, and if you don't believe me, look around. They are dropping one. They are choosing work and dropping families. When women go home after a long day at work, little energy is left for love, care, attention and nurturing to be given to children and men. Yes, men.
The slogan is true; behind every successful man, there is a woman who is there to support and put him back in his place when needed.
Now, what has HR got to do with this?
HR has a fantastic opportunity to stand above all stakeholders within organisations. Forget about the bloody seat at the table! You can play the most significant role in society, restoring some balance in family structures by using AI.
AI is not here to replace us, so stop scaring people! AI is here to reduce our workload so we can spend more time living life & building relationships.
It is ridiculous that we still need to be at work for 40-50 hours a week when we have technology that can do 30-50% of our jobs!
HR's role is to hire AI experts whose job is to implement AI tools that free up our time so the future of work is about less human labour and increasingly more AI-driven output with the same pay. This is the first step towards transitioning into a world where humans receive universal basic income instead of the current structure that no longer makes any sense.
AI and HR drive the future of work if HR is smart. The future of work is productivity and private-time focused and has moved away from all the engagement mambo jambo. The future of HR says this:
We are deploying AI to cut human labour without impacting the number of jobs or salaries. Why? Because we want people, men & women, to spend time with their kids and families. We want them to have time to find a partner or a hobby and have a healthy life outside of work. We want to see a healthier society, which is our ultimate goal. Why? Because we can do it.
This way, we can modernise the old saying of; behind every successful man..... to; Next to every successful person, there is a family and friends.
So if you are an HR professional who is not actively employing AI specialists to reduce the workload of your people and restructure work in a way that allows them to build healthy family and social structures, you are missing the point of your role and technology.
This is how I imagine the future of work.