Category: Personality Development

Does Your Future Have To Be Futuristic?

For many of us who grew up in the 80’s ‘The Future of Technology’ has always meant one thing….the hoverboard. As a child and Back To The Future fan, the hoverboard replacing the car represented to be the most exciting use of technology and innovation. It was the beacon for all things futuristic and technologically advanced.

Fast forward 35 years, and although we still live in hope for this childhood dream to become an everyday reality, in the ‘real world’ we have to look at the technological advancements that have been made, and the exciting potential yet to come.

As a recruitment consultant, working within the world of emerging technology and digital change, every day provides an opportunity to speak with candidates about the work they are doing, research next generation tech and innovation, and see examples of how healthcare, manufacturing, research, and automotive industries are ever-evolving. It is easy to picture the future of technology as one where robots rule, and human interaction somehow becomes less efficient, important, and desirable. Images of robotic production lines, fully self-serviced shopping experiences, automated customer support systems conjure up mixed emotions where the desire for speed and efficiency compete with the emotional need for human interaction and personalized service.

We all want, and have now come to expect instant, efficient, ‘one-click’ style access to goods and services and because of this technology has to meet these demands. Although this expectation now seems to be a societal standard, many still worry that advancements in technology will eventually create a world where robots rule. The thought that we will somehow be
stuck in a real-life sci-fi movie, surrounded by machines has again called on another of the ’80s most famous films, where Skynet and The Terminator got us thinking (and for many of us, worrying) about what the future would look like.

If we stop to consider and remove ourselves from the over-excitement of cinema, we can really appreciate technology and the unbelievable benefits it could provide in the future. A recent report predicted, “Robots will displace 75 million jobs globally by 2022, but create 133 million new ones” (World Economic Forum ). Advancements, particularly within healthcare are offering life-changing and life-saving opportunities for future detection and treatment of serious medical conditions. Automated processes within the workplace are streamlining processes, to ensure repetitive tasks are completed quickly and efficiently to allow the staff team to utilize their
time and skillset on more technically challenging, thought-led roles.

Advancements in cybersecurity are ensuring our financial safety, personal data protection, and physical safety in terms of national and international defense. These advancements may not appear to be all singing and dancing, tangible technology that we have seen on the big screen, however,
this does not diminish their planning, design, purpose, and potential. We rely on amazing technology and those at the forefront of research and development, and although we may not ‘see’ it, we reap the benefits every minute of every day.

For us at Barlow Search, the future of technology holds exciting prospects. We do not worry that candidate selection and recruitment will be a process defined by algorithms and automation, and the role of the recruitment consultant will become obsolete. We want to embrace new technology to efficiently source the best candidates for our open roles, therefore allowing us to dedicate our time to interact with both clients and candidates to build our professional relationships, improve industry expertise………and above all, time to daydream about our future hoverboard commute to work!

5 Tips To Improve Your Productivity

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, many employees have found themselves trying to navigate the unfamiliar territory of working from home. Initially a crisis management strategy, remote working is fast becoming the new norm.

Benefits such as cutting your commute, increased flexibility in the working day, and access to a wider talent pool are causing organizations to question if this may become the workplace of the future, something we would positively advocate. As such, we thought now would be an excellent time to share our expertise and support the positive shift of permanent working from home.

We have been working remotely for quite some time and know that despite the many advantages, it can present a few challenges. Below are five simple tips for creating and sustaining a healthy, productive working environment from the comfort of your own home, we hope they help!

  1. Establish a routine
    Without a clear change of scenery indicating the end of the working day it is far harder to switch off, causing the line between your personal and working lives to become blurred. Establishing a daily routine provides the structure of a traditional working day. Productivity levels often decrease when we are confronted by the prospect of an open-ended working day. To combat this, plan to start and end your working day at the same time. The NHS also suggests scheduling regular breaks throughout the day, avoid eating your lunch in front of your laptop and consider a mid-morning coffee break to increase productivity.
  2. Structure your environment
    Remote working comes with an abundance of possible distractions. If you can, try to set up a designated workspace and encourage other people in the house to respect your boundaries whilst during working hours. Pick a calm corner of your home to work in, keep it organized and turn unnecessary notifications off.
  3. Utilize technology
    Developments in technology mean there are now digital tools to assist with nearly all aspects of remote working, take advantage of them! Video conferencing apps and content collaboration platforms simplify the processes of remote working whilst companies such as Microsoft are providing free software to companies in need. Organizing or participating in virtual social activities with your team will also help to facilitate interaction, boost morale, and curb feelings of isolation.
  4. Maintain communication
    The success of remote teams is largely dependent upon communication. Without clear lines of communication and access to necessary information productivity levels can easily drop. Creating consistent, open communication channels works to keep everyone in the loop and creates a space for collaborative action.
  5. Focus on your wellbeing
    When working remotely it is easy to feel isolated and overworked which in turn can take a toll on your mood and productivity. Make sure to prioritize your own mental wellbeing; forge out time throughout your day to look after yourself, get some fresh air and make time to catch up with family and friends. Even five minutes of meditation or stretching can help to refocus your mind.