From holographic receptionists to gamification approaches business management and administration styles are changing fast. Technological innovation and globalisation is seeing traditional hierarchical organisational structures become increasingly flattened as new capabilities, like the smartphone and cloud computing give rise to the on-demand economy.
Online services like Freelancer “the world’s largest freelancing, outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace” now connects over 14,268,468 people across 247 countries. UK self-employment has risen from 3.9m in 2008 to 4.6m in 2014, while Workforce.com reports that half of American employees will be independent by 2020.
Old style security is being replaced by modern flexibility, but with companies like the notorious Uber grabbing headlines for driving down worker pay in the name of customer convenience, what does the on-demand economy mean for those workers in business management and administration?
MANAGEMENT TALENT – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES
Now complex tasks can be divided and subcontracted to specialists across the globe and SME’s can employ virtual teams management is increasingly coming to mean self-management. But a recent report, Agiletown, claimed as other work became more automated management skills would become ‘increasingly desirable’. As co-workers become more widely dispersed, even working at different times of day Great Place to Work says: “the best workplaces continue to find innovative ways to create personal and meaningful connections with their employees.
Increasingly concepts like gamification, which uses game-inspired techniques to initiate participation and promote engagement, means managers are guiding teams towards personal achievements which contribute to the business and their own success. Aspiring managers must demonstrate they have the requisite soft skills – such as flexibility, adaptability and inspiration – to flourish in today’s workplace. Indeed, Gallup claims: “businesses that scientifically select managers for the unique talents it takes to effectively manage people greatly increase the odds of engaging their employees.”
To ensure you’re ready to showcase your talents in a range of testing scenarios agencies, like Angel, not only possess broad knowledge and industry connections but can help present and prepare you for the complexities of today’s interview process.
TECHNOLOGY – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES
Back in the ‘60s it was predicted the “secretary of the future” would start work at 12 noon and take long holidays, thanks to the computer. Fast forward to today and Brent Council are replacing receptionists with a holographic assistant called Shanice – it would cost £12,000 in total in comparison to £30,000 per year for a real receptionist, they explained.
While software, like MS Outlook, may enable bosses to manage their own calendars, if they choose, increasing technological choice is leading companies to seek out bespoke technological services provided by human beings. The ‘typical’ administrative role no longer exists, so companies are keen to harness unique skills and experience that align with their particular business style and aims. A working knowledge of MS Office, Mac Os and social media skills are particularly in demand, plus companies often have in-house software you’ll be expected to get to know too.
This means keeping up-to-date with your training is paramount, while ensuring the knowledge you’re investing in is relevant to where you want to go. A good agency, like Angel, will support you in navigating this potential minefield. “Your account manager will provide expert guidance on the tech know-how you need and the best way to put your personality across to get the competitive edge,” says Jonathan Scott-Bryan, specialist recruitment consultant at Angel Human Resources.
ON-DEMAND ECONOMY – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES
Agility is the buzzword in today’s business world. Traditionally, western companies tended to be overly bureaucratic and slow to respond to change, but in today’s fast-changing landscape that can be costly. Widespread access to increasingly sophisticated technological communications not only means more work is being outsourced, it’s done so on-demand. For candidates that can evoke the precarious notion of the zero hour contract, but that’s not the whole story.
New approaches to work can actually provide a more flexible working style which means people can fit work around other commitments – like children or caring – or provide more lifestyle choice. In fact last year a survey found there had been an 85% annual growth in virtual PAs with 69% saying they’re happier working in a freelance or contract position.
While working this way can seem daunting in fact agencies, like Angel, have been working with temporary and contract workers as a matter of course. As such, a good agency will provide you with the support you need to ensure you get the work you want when you want it.
The business landscape has changed exponentially in the last decade. Technological advances have seen jobs and companies evolve and adapt to a more agile climate which can mean more opportunities to channel business administration and management skills into roles which really suit you.