The IPBN is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland under the ESP Grant programme
Thanks in large part to the pandemic and the normalization of working from home that sprung forth as a result: how employees work, the talent pool, and the technology market as a whole has changed dramatically over the last two years.
IPBN member company Bridge In says there are consequences to working remotely. In a recent blog post they say, “Although many companies pulled off relatively seamless transitions to operating fully remotely, we are now discovering unforeseen consequences of the sudden switch. The pandemic introduced additional complexity to the equation: … caring for schooling kids while on the job…and seeing friends [for example]… When home becomes the workplace, [there are] unexpected effects… on employees’ mental health, creativity, recruitment, salaries, office culture, cybersecurity, access to opportunities, carbon footprint, and the overall employee experience.”
Digital transformation, for lack of a better word, has meanwhile been rampant in organizations as businesses had to re-learn how to interact with each other and their clients so, according to IPBN member company Aspira, “It is not a surprise that the most in-demand tech jobs for 2022 are enablers of that accelerated digital transformation.” But it’s not so easy to access top-shelf talent, especially those in tech, according to Bridge In.
While remote work can tear down geographic boundaries when it comes to hiring, some countries protect independent workers more than others while varying contractor labor laws, taxes, and potentially intellectual property can be difficult to navigate. Bridge In says, “To make sure you are offering fair and locally compliant contracts to your employees, you can engage the services of a third-party local entity - an Employer of Record -, acting as an intermediary in an existing employee-employer relationship. In essence, the EOR is the registered employer for the worker but does not have any supervisory or management role vis a vis the employee’s position. The original employer maintains the substantive work relationship, making all decisions on compensation, position duties, projects, and termination.”
In her recent IPBN Master Class, Hilary O’Shea, co-founder of Otonomee shared her expertise in hiring and managing a team that is spread across the globe saying that we have only just addressed the tip of the iceberg for what is to come in “Managing a Team in the New Hybrid Workplace,” the theme of the class. Working in a geographically friendly environment is the cornerstone of the company itself, and Hilary urges companies to decide on the workplace strategy they should adopt: office-based, hybrid, or fully remote. She gave an overview of the history of the workplace starting with cubicle working in the ’60s moving toward the recent remote move pushed on us by the pandemic, a reactionary move made necessary by the pandemic. “The next pandemic will be a mental health crisis,” Hilary says, due to the growing loneliness factor, so companies should take that into consideration while building company culture in the future.
The top skills in 2022 will be analytical and critical thinking and innovation, tech use, monitoring, control, design, and programming, Hilary says, among other skillsets, and Aspira agrees, taking it one step further to pinpoint the specific jobs in the sector that are the most desired. To briefly summarize Aspira’s recent article, they say that the five most in-demand tech roles in 2022 are Java Developer, Cloud Architect, Product Manager, Cybersecurity Specialist, and Data Scientist. Each of these roles feeds into digital transformation through development, creativity, management and monitoring, planning and programming, computer forensics, and using data as a springboard to defining and targeting well-defined market segments among others. Hilary predicts that 70% of firms will be adopting a hybrid working environment, therefore making the demand even stronger for the above-mentioned roles to be filled with the right talent, leaving the question to still be answered by firm leadership: “How does the team manage socialization and camaraderie?”
The answer has yet to be answered by most firms, but each company can find its own source of power to navigate the hybrid world. Employees need nurturing, training, and assistance when they are struggling in order to create a new and sustainable workplace balance. We saw a continuing trend of Irish tech companies moving and hiring in Portugal in 2021 of which IPBN members Aspira, Otonomee, and Global Shares are good examples.
Following the IPBN’s Blue Economy Conference in Sep 2021, there have been many milestone achievements worth mentioning. However, steps in the right direction need to be made more quickly and more often as alarming climate disasters continue to ravage the planet.