Home > Ideas and Philosophy > The Changing Face of Work

The Changing Face of Work

February 12, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

When it comes to budget planning, I’ve come to realize that the source of all the stress I’ve experienced over the years is the need to always defend my headcount.  I have been defending my team’s headcount for the longest time.  And the reality of the situation is that I can no longer continue to do so.  It’s not because my team doesn’t have more than enough work to do; it’s more because the approach to doing said work “the way it’s always been done” no longer makes practical sense.

There will never, ever be a time when I won’t be asked to reduce my operating costs.  I need to accept the reality that I will always be asked for headcount reductions – this is not for its own sake, but essentially it’s for the need to get better at reducing our costs and increasing our quality of work at the same time.  Adding more people is no longer the answer to solve capacity issues.  The correct approach is to understand what’s causing the constraints, and find a digital solution to solve it.

Times are changing, everyone’s work is changing, and the needs of the business continue to evolve at lightning speed.  Headcount reductions are dependent on anticipated work efficiencies that come with transforming exactly how we do the work that we do now (the work requirement is still there, but how we do it should change).

People like me need to break out of the mindset of solving workload issues by adding people.  Instead, I have to turn to further automation to handle such issues so that it can at least be brought to a manageable level if not completely eliminated.  The time will come when I can’t add any more people, and as far as I’m concerned, that time has finally arrived.  For all of us in the industry, if we don’t find digital solutions to our problems, then we’ll all terribly suffer for it.

The time will also come when we can no longer reduce the headcount due to these instituted work efficiencies.  When that time comes, and it’s coming sooner rather than later, the next step is to evolve the work that we’re doing.  This needs to happen, because cost reductions and work efficiencies will always be a business objective.  The goal is to adapt to the changing needs of the times – and to continue to remain relevant by meeting said needs.

Disruption is the name of the game.  The face of work is changing, not just for my team, but for everyone in the industry.  We either adapt and thrive to it, or fade away.  It sounds harsh, but that’s the truth of these times.

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