Does EQ fit in the tech-dominated future of work?

young workersDoes emotional intelligence figure in in the tech-dominated, distributed workplace of the future? It likely does.

EQ was a topic the other week during a panel discussion on the future of work with a group of experts brought together by online staffing platform Toptal. The panel discussion was thought-provoking.

Where is the world of work headed? And what we can do to embrace the realities that we are going to encounter? These topics triggered a series of thoughts.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Satisfaction with staffing agencies (or lack thereof), and what drives it

Here’s a snapshot of what I heard at the future of work event. It can help you better understand using and managing a flexible workforce including remote workers today and tomorrow.

“IQ will get you the job, but [not having enough] EQ will get you kicked out the door,” said Courtney Abraham, senior VP of talent management at The Adecco Group.

IQ does not dictate culture, EQ does, Toptal CEO Taso Du Val said.

Humans may focus on the tasks that require empathy and other things humans are good at. … machines could focus on tasks that require efficiency — things they are good at, said Sri Viswanath, CTO of Atlassian.

Video can improve conversations with remote workers, adding EQ to discussions.

Automation is replacing jobs at a faster rate than people can be retrained. But artificial intelligence may be able to train workers in new tasks.

Of course, the future of work will include a distributed workforce in many instances, and how to treat remote works was another topic tackled by the panel. Ideas included annual in-person meetings, keeping project teams to no more than two time zones and making sure to treat remote workers well.

Treat your workers like you are “running a volunteer army,” said Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech.

At the end of the day, it comes down to culture. Yes, you’ve heard that before. But to attract and engage workers — even remote workers — who are needed for a company to succeed, the right culture is vital. Remember Peter Drucker’s saying that culture eats strategy for breakfast. It’s one mantra that popped up in the panel discussion.

MORE: How Staffing Firms Can Create Better Internal Culture

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson
Craig Johnson is senior managing editor at Staffing Industry Analysts. He can be reached at cjohnson (at) staffingindustry (dot) com

Craig Johnson

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