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The Future of Work Ain’t What It Used To Be

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Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly
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Blog
Marketing, Discussion, Employee Experience, Newsletter, Work Tech Trends, Work Tech Weekly

Hello.

In Q1 2022, it appeared this saying had never been more true: The War for Talent is over, and the talent won. What a difference a year makes. Consider a few points:

  • Remote/hybrid work is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. U.S. Labor Department data released last week showed that 72.5% of business establishments said their employees teleworked rarely or not at all last year. That number is up from 60.1% in 2021 and close to the share of establishments (76.7%) that said they had no employees teleworking before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There’s increasing anxiety about Generative AI disrupting professional work. Many white-collar professionals who once felt safe from tech disruption are increasingly concerned. The same was true for mathematicians, interpreters, writers and nearly 20% of the U.S. workforce, according to the study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and OpenAI. Innovation is outpacing readiness for change. As a result, some AI bigwigs are calling for a development pause.
  • The enterprise metaverse is flaming out. Meta and Microsoft are backing away from metaverse development. This doesn’t bode well for the metaverse as the workspace of the future — especially if automation obviates the need for collaboration.

So what? Employers clearly feel emboldened right now. The fast-growing EX startups of 2020-21 that powered remote and hybrid work could find their business models upended as automation moves to the forefront. Employee Experience (EX) is taking a backseat to Shareholder Experience (SX) with remarkable speed. 
Some tech companies got the SX memo, and some didn’t.
 Salesforce got lean in its shift to profitability and has managed to shake off Elliott in its proxy fight. However, lots of tech companies have actually been burning more cash, not less, this year and until recently still hiring lots of people.

The impact on Work Tech? Business models and growth models based on 2022 assumptions will need to be rethought. Pivots will be needed. Many disruptors may find themselves disrupted.

What else is going on this week?

Funding

  • Workera raises $23.5 million Series B. The Palo Alto, Calif., startup offers a skills intelligence platform. (TechCrunch)
  • Axios HQ raises $20 million Series A. The Arlington, Va., company that helps business communicate with employees is betting big on AI expansion. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Salt Labs raises $10 million pre-seed round. DailyPay founder Jason Lee is back with a NYC startup that focuses on loyalty and payments for frontline workers. (FinSMEs)
  • Risekit raises $4.75 million. The Chicago startup is innovating the ways companies source untapped and diverse talent from community organizations. (FinSMEs)
  • Patch raises $3.67 million. The London startup is developing neighborhood spaces for work, community, and events. (FinSMEs)
  • SVB was the largest issuer of venture debt, and its collapse could have long-lasting effects on startups. (Fast Company)

Work Tech events, 2023

Conferences are back in full swing post-2020. If you’re attending or exhibiting at an event this year, you ought to get the most out of it that you can. Wondering what to do? Take a look at our latest e-book, Know Before You Show: The big book of Work Tech events, 2023, for survey results from Work Tech leaders and hot takes from our SMEs. Check it out!

MICROPODCAST: What’s the secret to PR success for a b2b tech company?

Straight from the team of experts at our full-service CX agency: Matt Tatum talks to Matt Lee, former rockstar and current PR  star, about what makes a b2b tech company successful in PR. Check out the micropodcast!

Industry notes

  • First Citizens acquires Silicon Valley Bank. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Many startups operate without a CFO. That was a challenge when SVB collapsed. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Open AI turns ChatGPT into a platform overnight with the addition of plug-ins. (VentureBeat)
  • Deel and Ramp Global announce partnership to help global employers grow at scale. (Press Release)
  • Pluralsight study finds that 72% of tech leaders plan to increase investment in skills development. (Press Release)
  • HR and recruiters are getting the ax. (Forbes)
  • Accenture cutting 19,000 jobs. (TechCrunch)
  • Glassdoor cuts 15% of its workforce. (Memo)

Around the shop

Things we’re talking about or find interesting right now.

  • RIP Gordon Moore. The Intel co-founder’s prediction about rapid advances in chip technology charted a course for the high tech age. (The New York Times)
  • Microsoft moves into a new era of advertising and automation. (MediaPost)
  • 16 Essential skills every tech executive should know. (Forbes)
  • Ryan Reynolds: Marketing genius? (The Hustle)

That’s it for this week!

 

Everybody love everybody,

Steve Smith

Steve Smith

Partner & Chief Marketing Officer

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