Businesses in Wales must get ready to tackle ongoing challenges arising from the cost of living crisis, climate change, Brexit and post-Covid changes to the workplace for years to come.
This was one of the outcomes of the first ever ‘Future of Work’ conference, held in Wales this week to support employers in sharing best practice and experiences as a means to navigating new ways of working in the post-pandemic world.
Launched by the Wales HR Network in partnership with UK recruiter Acorn by Synergie and law firm Darwin Gray LLP, the Conference looked at issues affecting HR decision makers following the Covid-19 pandemic and other global events arising in recent years.
Fflur Jones, Darwin Gray LLP’s Head of Employment and Managing Partner, said the Conference had been a resounding success in bringing together a wide range of experts who provided invaluable insight into what the future workplace could and should look like in Wales as a result.
“It is clear to all of us who attended the Future of Work Conference that organisations should apply strategic foresight to their workforce and workplace planning going forward, and to utilise the lessons we have learnt from how we adapted to the challenges of the pandemic.”
“Doing so will allow employers to prepare for the inevitable future challenges posed to our working world by issues such as Brexit, our significant costs of living increases, and climate change too”.
Taking place in Cardiff Bay, experts speaking at the inaugural event covered wide ranging HR related topics including the challenges of hybrid working, maintaining wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, leadership, data and more.
Delegates heard how Principality Building Society has recently transformed its workspace for hybrid working and from Sunil Patel, Director of Operations at No Boundaries, on how the trainer and consultant is working to close the gap on inclusivity in the workplace.
Ruth Llewellyn, Head of HR at Merthyr Valley Homes, also told those gathered of their experiences in introducing a four day working week, and also heard from Annette Mason, Head of Talent and Inclusivity at Dŵr Cymru.
Speakers also included representatives from the University of South Wales, workplace design company Orangebox, and Paul Rance of Acorn by Synergie, who all appeared alongside television presenter Sian Lloyd as compere at the event.
Bernard Ward, Managing Director at Acorn by Synergie, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted with the outcome of the first ever Future of Work Conference to be held here in Wales, and what we have achieved as key employers and businesses by coming together collectively to discuss what the working world looks like today, and how it needs to be shaped for the future.”
“It’s no secret that two heads are better than one, and in standing together and sharing our lived experiences, it is our hope as businesses that workplaces across Wales and beyond will continue to thrive following this event and the discussions that have taken place as a result.”
“We are really grateful to all of the organisations that stepped forward to be a part of the first ever Future of Work Conference, and also to Darwin Gray in working with us to help give us all space as employers based in Wales to deal with ongoing changes affect the entire UK marketplace together,” Bernard added.