Realities and uncertainties on the future of work

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Special Features Writer

There is no doubt that advances in technology will shape the future of work. However,
technology on its own is not enough. The growing diversity of views and expectations
across the workforce will also come into play, pushing companies to stay relevant and
embrace new business models.

Such insights were underscored at the first leg of Spark Series 2019 at St. Paul
University Manila with the theme “Imagining the Future of Work.”

Diving deep on the implications of Generation Z (Gen Z) – the generation after
Millennials, or those born from 1996 to 2014 – into the future of work, Bianca Eleisse
Eyales, associate consultant at Acumen Strategy Consultants, discussed Gen Z’s
unique characteristics that results from the world they live in.




According to Ms. Eyales, Gen Z have great similarities with Millennials. Both
generations are motivated to enjoy life and pursue new adventures. However, enjoying
life for Gen Z comes with a sense of responsibility. They are highly driven by being
matured and hyper empowered, valuing experience over material things, exercising
accountability for their actions, and desiring freedom with limits.

Reflecting such values in the workplace, Ms. Eyales explained that Gen Z strive to
balance their desire from financial security, growth opportunities, ethical reputation, and
even positive workplace culture.

In addition to being matured and hyper connected, Gen Z, according to Ms. Eyales, are
champions of change.

Amid all the bad occurrences they have encountered, Gen Z believe that they have the
power to shape the future. They want to brainstorm solutions then put those into
actions, and not just understand the problem itself.

Also, growing up in a world with frequent instantaneous updates from various
information sources, Gen Z apply a filter of purpose, meaning, and authenticity to how
they approach life.

“Gen Z want to see people to live out their personal purpose,” Ms. Eyales said. “They
really highly value authenticity. Authenticity for them is the sign that someone is truly
honest about who they are and actually doing things that matter to them.”

For organizations to prepare for Gen Z, Ms. Eyales said that they need to anticipate and
respect the values that this generation will be bringing in the workplace. Organizations
shall integrate Gen Z’s passion and interest with their career ambitions, engage them as
co-creators of change, and understand their purpose, among others.

Meanwhile, to answer the question on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform the
workplace of the future, Ignatius Donato Javellana, client servicing director for Mobext
Philippines, opened the second session of the conference.

AI, according to Mr. Javellana, has already invaded some of the aspects of people’s
lives, but such type of AI only refers to technology that focuses on one particular task.
This AI is called Narrow AI.

Mr. Javellana believes that AI will open up opportunities for humans to do their jobs
more efficiently and perform an “array of value-added functions” like data and behavior
science or more creative pursues like design.

“As we progress towards the future, we will be able to gather more and more data which
will help AI better understand its new roles,” he said.

Mr. Javellana assured that AI taking over humans in the workplace is still far from
reality. However, he pointed out that more advanced AI will continue to emerge.

“At certain point, if the AI becomes the Super AI, 50 or so on years in time, it will
become so much more intelligent that we cannot understand it. That’s why we should
always be part of the equation. Humans still need to be part of the development of AI.
We should still be there to not only safeguard it but to understand much better why is
this AI is heading this direction of thinking,” Mr. Javellana said.

“I really think that AI will be for the better of humanity if we guide it correctly,” he added.

Jay Joel Soriano, assistant vice-president and head of Integrated Planning Group of
Energy Development Corp., on the other hand, emphasized the importance of
renewable energy adoption to fight climate change and ensure a sustainable
environment that guarantees continued growth of companies in the future.

“We all need to keep moving forward to achieve it, it’s the only way to energize not only the future of work but of your own future,” Mr. Soriano said.

Mr. Soriano stressed that the future members of the workforce, aside from finding their
niche, identifying their interests, and knowing their strengths, shall work in companies
that are mindful of their impact to the environment and to the society.

“Be a part of a workforce that upholds sustainability at all times,” he said.

The first leg of Spark Series 2019 at St. Paul University Manila was presented by
BusinessWorld SparkUp and Energy Development Corporation, together with Acumen
Strategy Consultants and J. Legaspi Computer Graphics (JLCG), in partnership with St.
Paul University Manila – Business Management and Entrepreneurship Programs, with
media partners Philippine Star and ONE News, and organization Partners St. Paul
University Junior Marketing Association and EntrePaul Society.