PANGEO Roundtable: Navigating the Big Shifts in the Remote Work Era

 PANGEO Roundtable: Navigating the Big Shifts in the Remote Work Era

The modern work environment has taken on many changes. The growing preference for flexible work arrangements, the increase in access to global talent, and the rising number of professionals on the move have all shifted candidates’ expectations and priorities. 

In this session of PANGEO, moderator Craig Goldblatt, VP Partners & Alliances at G-P, joined Ester Kang,Head of ICT & Future Tech at Unico Search; Shagun Kumar, Head of Asia Pacific at TMF Group; and Rob Squires, VP and Head of Sales for Asia and Japan at Ceridian, to discuss the different ways to navigate the major changes in the new era of work. 

Impacts of remote work on employees and companies 

Kang shared that the overall impact she has observed has been how employees outright choose companies that offer work flexibility over companies that do not. Without even a hybrid-based working model to provide that flexibility, companies will struggle to attract and retain top talent.

Hybrid work is a benefit that goes without saying for many employees now, in that ‘if you don’t have that kind of setting, then I don’t want to work for you,” she said.

Squires acknowledged that remote work has made it difficult for employees to have an immersive employee experience. He emphasized that since remote work is here to stay, companies must consider new and innovative ways to communicate and ensure that employees are engaged despite not being in the office. 

For Kumar, he recommended that providing flexible work arrangements will help make the modern workforce more productive. He added that the hybrid setup is the most inclusive option as it addresses the preferences of all types of employees. 

Top trends in digitalization 

Squires shared that human capital management systems are seeing significant growth in usage since these provide the framework for the organizational needs of global teams. He elaborated that the leading workforce technologies successful companies invest in have been those that help in the delivery of effective training, measurement of employee performance, and aid in workforce scheduling. 

Similarly, Kang has observed that a lot of companies have increasingly leaned towards using SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms to streamline operations. She particularly highlighted how startups not only use SaaS frequently but are also not afraid to immediately change or replace their software if they determine that it is no longer effective or that there are other solutions that work better.    

Kumar agreed with Kang, adding that he has observed so many new technologies and supporting data emerge in the market, which give companies options and the opportunity to adjust as they go. He recommended that companies will be best served by tech when they are not fully reliant on the solutions but are more “people-led then technology enabled.” 

Opportunities and/or challenges to expect in the coming years 

Kumar believes that upcoming challenges will likely differ slightly from previous challenges, and these will offer the opportunity to test what companies and leaders have learned from their prior experience. He shared that new challenges also offer companies the opportunity to reassess their value proposition and make necessary adjustments regarding how they operate, what their market needs are, and how they hire employees. 

Kang, on the other hand, emphasized the utilization of data, particularly the opportunity it presents to keep up with what employees and customers are looking for or expect from the company. 

Squires shared that technology – depending on how companies utilize it – presents either an opportunity or a challenge. Continued advancement in SaaS and communications enable companies to diversify their workforce and hire globally. However, it also presents a challenge, particularly to organizations that do not make any effort to be compliant in utilizing technology or do not invest enough in training their people to use those technological solutions. 

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