In today’s dynamic business landscape, the challenges faced by professionals are multifaceted and demanding, says Amanda Childs.

As we deal with the rapid evolution of technology, shifting human needs and pervasive economic uncertainty, the working world can be a very stressful place. Whether we label these challenges as “business hurdles,” “HR headaches” or “cognitive overload,” they all require considerable time and effort to overcome.

Slaves to the ping

Modern professionals have undoubtedly developed a dependence on technology, be it wearable gadgets, smartphones, or laptops. The irresistible allure of these devices has become compulsive, driving us to interact with them incessantly.

All too often, the insistent ping of a notification on our phones leads to an abrupt shift in our current conversations, hijacking our time and attention away from crucial business matters. This addiction to technology poses a genuine issue within organisations, as the urgency for immediate responses limits our ability to focus, leading to work fragmentation and a drop in productivity.

Information paralysis

In this age of information overload, we all have access to an unprecedented amount of data. However, the skill of discerning what is truly essential has become an art. Each individual has their own way of organising and processing information, which means that problems can take longer to solve. People often feel compelled to keep gathering information, even when they already have sufficient data to make a decision or resolve an issue, creating a cycle of information paralysis. This over-reliance on data and individual preferences poses great risk to community-driven problem solving and traditional collaboration efforts.

‘Geared-up’ to work at speed

The pace at which we connect, exchange information, and make decisions has accelerated dramatically. Yet, our ability to work efficiently falls short of our expectations, resulting in an imbalance in employee output.

With five generations in the workplace, spanning a huge variety and richness in experience, the technology playing field is far from level, as everyone has differing skillsets and capabilities. In a world where time never stands still, keeping up with technological advancements is a relentless challenge and demands ongoing learning efforts.

Overcoming the impasse

To overcome these difficulties, there are three key areas where professionals should focus their efforts. These are relevant to anyone, from new starters with no previous experience, all the way through to seasoned industry veterans in charge of large teams.

  1. Be human

To navigate the technological whirlwind, we must acknowledge and support employees as human beings, not just cogs in a machine. Modern work practices should adapt to account for societal shifts and incorporate the latest insights from neuroscience. As resources become scarcer, employees will seek a more holistic approach, beyond just salary and benefits, and large corporations must find innovative ways to address this shifting dynamic. Creating welcoming, comfortable and well-equipped office spaces is one way to do this.

  1. Create connected communities

It’s important that we engage in transformative practices that foster authentic connections between people and a harmonious sense of community, both of which have been somewhat neglected over time. While individualisation has its merits, this approach has left us feeling emptier and more unfulfilled than we realise. Organisations can begin to bridge this gap by introducing initiatives designed to strengthen existing relationships between employees and actively cultivate workplace communities. Any activity that encourages team-building and communication between different employees is helpful here.

  1. Adapt to succeed

Embracing continuous upskilling and reskilling is no longer a choice but a necessity. Every employee must acquire new skills to develop professionally and adapt to the ever-changing workplace. Leadership roles will also experience new pressures as the workforce evolves. Therefore, proactive learning will be pivotal in unlocking both personal and business performance in this transformative era. Employees should be encouraged to expand their skillsets, but businesses must also provide the opportunities to train in new disciplines or learn about new ways of working.

To thrive in the modern working environment, we must navigate the distractions of modern technology and information overload, and figure out how to use the abundant resources at our disposal to build happier, more productive and more agile workplaces. By embracing humanity, encouraging connected communities, and actively adapting to change, forward-thinking businesses can lead the way in shaping a brighter, more resilient future for their employees and the wider company.


Amanda Childs is the Group HR Director at Kyocera UK.