Challenges for today’s work environment and how we as an employer can contribute to the betterment of society

From my perspective, the biggest challenges for today’s work environment are globalisation, digitalisation and automation. Employees are often unsettled and see these topics as threats: Will they affect my work? And will my job position be safe in the future? In this post I’d like to share my thoughts about how we meet these challenges at Testbirds.

Globalisation leads to more trade, cross-border cooperation and wealth. Employees, however, are concerned that their jobs could be outsourced to countries where the work force is cheaper. In reality, in the last years, some companies began to move jobs back as the quality was not as good as desired. At Testbirds, we see the good side of globalisation: In our case, it was the other way around, meaning jobs were not lost to other countries, but due to our success in Germany, we opened new offices in three more countries: in the Netherlands, in Great Britain and in Sweden. Thus with this expansion, we created new, additional jobs.

Also seen as a threat from the employee perspective is digitalisation. People worry about not being able to keep up with innovations and that their job profile could be redundant in the future. I think that this challenge can be met through life-long learning. At Testbirds, we have what we call the BirdUniversity. Here, our employees share their knowledge with other employees and train them. While some job profiles in the world could unfortunately not be needed in the future, new profiles arise: Our company and service model, based on the testing of digital products, would never have been possible without digitalisation. As a result, we created 100 new full-time secure positions.

The latest change in the work environment is automation through artificial intelligence and machines. Employees fear that robots and algorithms will replace them. I can understand these fears. I think, however, there are many instances where a machine cannot replace humans. So, we should try to focus on these parts of value. At Testbirds, we don’t only offer crowdtesting, but also test automation. A machine, however, isn’t able to judge if the usability is suitable, if the colours fit or if the target group likes the product. Moreover, for test automation you need to tell the machine exactly what features it should examine. This works through code scripts that need to be written by developers. As a consequence, slowly but steadily we hire new developers and consultants to be able to tell our clients how to write a script or to do it here.

To summarise my opinion on globalisation, digitalisation and automation I’m deeply convinced that we need to embrace change: The best strategy is to think how we can leverage these changes, otherwise it’s hard to keep up with innovation.

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