When it comes to the hottest jobs in the office, HR and IT aren't areas that normally come to mind. In fact, they can often be viewed as stuffy and dull. But in the ever-changing future of work, they just might be some of the most important job functions, and, dare I say it, even the sexiest.
The old stigma surrounding HR is that it's the stodgy place where people go to get hired, fired, declare an office romance, or when they get in trouble. Typically viewed as stagnant and outdated, human resources was often the brunt of complaints about a company's culture and organization and seen as a major source of frustration for employees at all levels. But that has changed with the evolution of offices that are modern, engaged, and flexible. In today's horizontal office structure, HR is at the hub of it all.
The future of work centers on people, and HR is responsible for finding, training, and retaining those workers. Along the way, HR also focuses on creating employee experiences. In a world where employees want to be engaged and valued, HR can be the driving force in new initiatives, employee feedback, and culture change, taking an organization to the next level. Human resources has the potential to rethink and retool how a company operates down to its core and can, when done correctly, enact major change. Pair that power with new technology, including the use of Big Data to measure employee engagement and happiness, and HR is one of the sexiest and most influential areas of the office.
It used to be that IT was the department you called when you needed to reset a password or if you got locked out of the company intranet. Employees were mainly focused on putting out fires and keeping the organization's network humming along, without any major issues or excitement. These days, the role of IT professionals has been completely reinvented. Instead of simply maintaining the status quo, the information technology department in many innovative companies is now the hub of technological change and has the power to affect the outcome of all business units.
The focus in IT now is more strategy-driven, thanks to the notion that the future of work depends on getting the right technology into the hands of employees. In a flat organization, employees are engaged and provide feedback to get the tools that will help them the most with their jobs, which feeds right into IT. With innovations including wearables, the cloud, the Internet of Things, sharing services, mobile offices, and more, IT pros have a nearly unlimited arsenal of tools to connect and empower the entire organization. Management and employees may have ideas to take the organization to the next level, but IT is where the rubber hits the road and the technology goes into effect.
Moving toward the future of work is definitely a team effort that requires the input of all employees. With an increased demand for innovation and flexible work environments, it's often up to the HR and IT departments to put new plans into action. These sexy departments can affect all areas of an organization and have a huge impact on the company's future and bottom line. A lot of mindsets shift as the workplace changes, but perhaps one of the most important paradigm shifts is to realize the importance and cool-factor of these two vital departments.
What do you view as the sexiest job function?