• Michelle Carter, Senior Manager |
  • Nadine Fahim, Associate Director |

Employee needs and wants have changed and it has become clear that the workplace will never be the same again. The traditional ways of working are no longer fit for purpose and organizations have to come up with new models that support their people for the long term. 

Now remote and hybrid working are here to stay and, partly as a consequence, competition for talent has intensified. Companies are looking for new innovative solutions that will help them and their people thrive in the future. The future of work has been disrupted and there are now many opportunities to challenge the status quo of what it means to work for an organization and what “going to work” looks like.  

Innovators take a fresh perspective on the future of work

At KPMG, we began asking: what's the alternative to the everyday ways of working? Can we identify and solve the real challenges of this new era of work? What could the digital future of work look like if it was imagined by some of the world's best minds?

To get closer to answering some of these questions, we ran a Digital Future of Work innovation challenge and hackathon from 21-22 April 2022, which brought together some of the greatest subject matter experts, researchers and innovators from BP plc, the University of Cambridge, Microsoft and KPMG. 

Timed to celebrate the United Nations' World Creativity & Innovation Day, KPMG's Digital Future of Work hackathon focused on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal of “Decent work and economic growth”, which is designed to promote full and productive employment and sustained, inclusive economic growth.

The participants crossed continents to physically and/or virtually gather in London, UK, for a two-day hybrid hackathon event, which was preceded by a virtual idea challenge hosted on the KPMG Illuminate platform. Teams were challenged with the following questions:

  • What technologies will employees and employers need in the future?
  • How do you break down the barriers to truly global working with people in different time zones and territories?
  • How do you bring the benefits of a face-to-face experience into the digital world?
  • How do you create a sense of culture and belonging in the hybrid workplace?

This cross-pollination of participants from different organizations and industries allowed us to drive greater co-creation among our vibrant innovation ecosystem. The teams were designed to bring together people with different perspectives, expertise and mindsets. Connecting individuals from different organizations was one of the key parts of the co-creation process, which sparked creative thinking, challenge traditional thought processes and bring new insights and learnings to the future of work. 

The challenge went far beyond theoretical debate. The seven teams, made up of participants from all four organizations, were tasked with brainstorming, developing and prototyping an inspiring idea or solution that could change the way we work in the future. The judges were on the hunt for fresh perspectives and diversity of thinking, as well as innovative use of technology and the potential for global impact.

At the end of the hackathon, KPMG presented a series of prizes with the winning prize being awarded to the “Good Job Tool”, a platform that helps organizations design future jobs that meet market expectations.

Co-creating can lead to greater impact

Through this model, KPMG was able to create a unique experience that saw talented minds from various corners of the world come together to tackle some of the biggest problems companies are facing today. There continues to be challenges associated with the future of work, and right now we're only at the very beginning. We are just starting to imagine what the world will look like in 10 or 20 years from now. The growth of the metaverse and adoption of new extended reality technologies will help revolutionize the way we engage with people and continue to serve clients. Through initiatives like these, we can accelerate action and help create real impact in the world by innovating across organizations and across borders.

Watch the video and find out more about KPMG’s Digital future of Work hackathon here

If you're interested in collaborating on an innovation project with KPMG, please contact the Global Innovation team at innovation.team@kpmg.com.

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