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Remote work is the 'new frontier', but is it really the death of the office?

There's a new wave of companies embracing "remote work", with employees spread across continents and time zones, freed from the cubicle and a soul-sapping daily commute.

Gone are the days of water cooler chat and bonding at a messy staff Christmas party. Remote companies find innovative ways for their workers to connect, whether that's Skype pyjama parties where pizza is delivered to each worker's home, or online book clubs with everyone comparing notes on Slack.

2018: When AI will humanise the workplace - HR Trends for Australasia

The rapid growth of workforce data has led to a transformation in the way organisations are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop and personalize their HR services and building a more compelling and attractive Employee Experience (EX) for their people. AI has already transformed HR Insights and now drives nearly every component of a HR strategy. We have seen the same transformation with Customer Experience (CX).

The learning continuum: HR’s role in future-proofing the workforce

In today’s ever-changing world, there is a demand for new skill sets every year. For organisations to survive in the long term, it is imperative they ensure staff remain future-ready and embrace a culture of lifelong learning.

In such an ever-changing world, Jennifer Wu, vice-president of talent and operations at LEWIS Asia Pacific, says: “It is our role as HR to facilitate a learning mindset within the organisation and cultivate a passion for knowledge that will lead to employee development by ensuring that adequate resources and channels are in place, and more importantly, on an individual level, they are inspired to take proactive measures towards constant improvement and development.”

She points out the need for learning to evolve with the new and emerging technologies that employees engage with in their personal lives.

A world of change in the modernising workforce

If you’re concerned about the future of work in Australia, don’t look to iconic Australian band Men at Work for guidance. While I’m a big fan of their ironically named 1982 debut album, Business as Usual, the central message of their song Down Under is that if you hear thunder, you’d better take cover. In this case, running is not the answer.

I’m not saying that atmospheric conditions are benign. The rumblings of significant change in the labour market came to popular attention in 2013 when West Australian machine learning expert Michael Osborne and Swedish-German economist Carl Benedikt Frey published a novel (and, to many, extremely frightening) study, which estimated that 47 per cent of US jobs were at high risk of being automated out of existence in the coming decade or so.