Clément, before we get started, can you tell us what your profession is?
I’m manager of AOS teams in IT Operations at Air France-KLM. These teams ensure Level 2 Support of 2800 applications, databases and other components that allow the different teams in Air France and KLM to work in the most efficient way possible. We help developers and engineering teams make sure their projects conform to our quality standards so they can be operational 24/7. My role is to guide my teams in an environment of permanent transformation: new technologies, methods of working, etc.
1. Why will the future of work be different than what we have today?
The expectations aren’t the same in our society: the arrival of technologies like social networks, artificial intelligence, or environmental questions, have changed our behaviors. That’s also true in the world of work: hyperconnectivity, reconciling professional and personal life, looking for autonomy and purpose… it’s therefore necessary to adapt but also to enter into an approach where work evolves on a daily basis. What’s relevant today should not be written in stone!
2. What worries you, when people talk about the future of work?
A dehumanized future, a future we’re subjected to. We tend to imagine the future like a dystopic science fiction book, full of automation, robotization, societal norms… I don’t want to end up in an episode of Black Mirror. Anticipating trends and blindly applying what others imagine is not the solution.
Also, we talk about the future of work as though it were a fixed target to aim for; using broad brushstrokes and vague concepts, they try to sell us on “agile” or even “liberated” companies, all while focusing the debate on miracle methods and processes.
Finally, we need to imagine futures PLURAL. We can’t imagine a single future of work for operational teams that work 24/7 and for accounting teams that work standard office hours!
3. How can we invent a desirable future of work?
The future needs to be built every day, by analyzing the needs and expectations of our clients and our employees, by experimenting and exploring! Above all, it’s a human and organizational adventure, more than a technological one. I like the notion of “tribes” in organizations where each person evolves according to his or her needs, in total autonomy while also finding his or her place overall.
It’s also important to change our behaviors and focus more on how we work instead of just the idea of production. We can do that by having more frequent, open and kind conversations. It’s up to us managers to break down the walls around us!