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HR Tech Conference 2021: How workforce tech needs to evolve

Steve Boese, HR Tech Conference chair
Steve Boese
Steve Boese is HRE's Inside HR Tech columnist and chair of HRE’s HR Technology Conference®. He also writes a blog and hosts the HR Happy Hour Show, a radio program and podcast. He can be emailed at sboese@lrp.com.

When we began planning for the 2021 HR Technology Conference, it was clear that we had to showcase one of the most important workplace topics coming out of the pandemic, namely how work and workplaces must adapt and evolve to succeed in the future, or the “new normal.” In fact, this topic is so important to our community that for the first time we have designated an entire track of sessions we have called “Future Ready Workplace” and we have engaged with several HR and HR technology thought leaders who will share ideas, insights, research and actionable plans to help HR and business leaders best position their organizations moving forward.

Jonathan Sears

One session from this new track is “Work Reimagined: How Workforce Technology Needs to Evolve Post-Pandemic” to be presented by Jonathan Sears, Partner—Americas Solution and Technology Leader, People Advisory Services at EY. Sears, who is also one of our Top 100 HR Tech Influencers, will speak at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29. Recently EY published the findings from its 2021 EY Work Reimagined Employee Survey, which was conducted in March 2021 and received 16,264 responses from 16 countries across 23 industries, and focused on how new ways of working, often increased family and personal responsibilities and other external factors have affected workers and workplaces.

Related: Why SAP is embracing flexible work for its 100K employees

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I won’t give away all the survey’s key findings, but the results clearly show that flexibility has emerged as a highly desired aspect of the future workplace. EY found that nine in ten employees want flexibility in where and when they work. More than half of employee respondents (54%) would choose flexibility around when they work and 40% of employees want flexibility around where they work. And the results showed that hybrid working models are likely to be an important element of the future workplace. The data show that, on average, employees would want to work between two and three days remotely moving forward. Finally, when pandemic restrictions ease and workplaces reopen, 22% of employees would prefer to work full time in the office, with 33% of employee respondents saying they want a shorter working week altogether.

This session will take a deep dive into the survey findings, help attendees understand how to translate the data into strategy and what the voice of the workers means for HR and HR technology leaders moving forward. From understanding the impact of new and often hybrid working models on your workplace and employees to maintaining an employee-centric focus when developing plans and workplace strategies, and of course providing insight on the impact and potential or new HR technologies to support all workers — office, remote, front-line – this session is a great example of why the Future Ready Workplace topic is so important right now, and will surely be a highlight at HR Tech this fall.

To learn more, register for the conference here.