5 | Perttu Pölönen: Future of work

In the future the nature of work gets more demanding and intense. Robots can tackle many issues faster than humans and thus, some jobs will disappear and stop existing completely.

For this reason, we humans should focus on developing the skills that separate us from robots. Robots are good with numbers, but they still lack qualities such as curiosity, creativity and compassion. These ‘meta-skills’ are the skills that should be taught in schools and in organizations. These are the skills that will help people succeed even though the world changes.

In the fifth episode of Better Monday podcast Milla interviews Perttu Pölönen (a 25-year-old entrepreneur, author of ‘Tulevaisuuden lukujärjestys’ (Curriculum for future), keynote speaker and futurist) about the soft skills that will be in high demand in the future, when automatization increases.

Learning soft skills

Soft skills cannot be taught in a traditional way. Nobody can hand out a model of ‘how to learn to be more passionate’. The process has to start within yourself. Don’t just wait for someone to teach you how to become more curious but think: “How can I foster my curiosity myself?”.

Organizations can also do a lot for their employees. By gently pushing people to the right direction companies can help their people to understand something about themselves. In the end it’s about team spirit and having the right kind of people around us. We need other people to help us see clearly and we can do a lot to help each other succeed.

“The biggest gift we can give to anybody is to show them what their passions are.”

From “attracting talents” to “creating an attracting environment

It’s not about attracting the right talents but rather creating an environment that “naturally brings people in”. Organizations should think of how to create such a workplace that invites people in and makes them want to stay.

Measuring soft skills

While recruiting new people, organizations need some validation that they are hiring the right kind of a talent to the right job. Measuring soft skills is still in its infancy but there are some tools to get directive references. For example, Berkley Innovation Index (https://berkeleyinnovationindex.org/) measures soft skills like trust and resilience. However, no measurement system is perfect since these skills are not as clear as math.

Make it easy and acceptable!

It’s important to understand how expensive it is if companies won’t take care of their employees. Organizations should put effort into their employees’ well-being and also understand that people are different. Thus, same things won’t work with every person. The key is to make well-being easy and acceptable and not just something that one has to re-think and hesitate every time when going for a short walk, for example.

Well-being and work-life balance

“Find the things that work for you!” says Perttu, encouraging everyone to increase their self-knowledge. When it comes to recovery and rest, the trick is to do something different. It doesn’t need to have any value to your life itself, but it should take your mind out of your work. Also, “make sure you have the right kind of people around you”.

Perttu’s choice of a happiness act that makes company a better employer than others:

Everyday think about one thing that would make everybody feel a bit better and happier and then do it.

Read more about Perttu’s book ‘Tulevaisuuden lukujärjestys’ (Curriculum for future) from his webpage.