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  • #7: We need entrepreneurship more than ever; Writing code, the dying profession - Nvidia CEO; The 6 time thieves at work; 4-day-work-week, on its way to becoming the norm.

#7: We need entrepreneurship more than ever; Writing code, the dying profession - Nvidia CEO; The 6 time thieves at work; 4-day-work-week, on its way to becoming the norm.

BONUS: The faces of child exploitation; Germany is in trouble, Europe feels the shock; Better conscious than obedient.

Welcome to the newest edition of Hacking Work International Newsletter!

Here’s what you can expect every Thursday:
Updates on the global job market; the latest developments in leadership and organisational culture; valuable insights into professional and educational landscapes; modern perspectives on careers; and the evolving nature of work.

In today's email:

Writing code is a dying profession, says Nvidia CEO.

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, says that software engineers whose basic skill is writing lines of code are about to become unemployed. He also believes that knowledge of programming languages will soon be a completely obsolete requirement to work in the digital technology sector.

According to him, humans have no chance of writing code with the speed and precision that AI already works with, so the future belongs to those who understand how to work with it, not trying to compete with it through traditional programming.

Jensen Huang believes that the huge advances in AI, machine learning techniques and natural language processing are already giving programming skills to those who don't have the training or experience, so traditional software engineers are losing their main professional advantage. "Everybody in the world is now a programmer. This is the miracle of artificial intelligence," says Huang.

The Nvidia leader suggests that young people and IT professionals should turn their attention to exploring and deeply understanding vital economic fields such as agriculture, biology, industrial production or education. The skills of software engineers can remain valuable if people can translate the needs of these sectors into software programming requirements for AI applications, so some technical knowledge will be needed to guide and integrate AI solutions into various areas of human activity.

In other words, those who understand the specific business needs of particular industries, sectors, cultures and geographical regions and can build digitally-enabled business structures and processes will be the masters of the game in the years to come. Huang says a rapid re-calibration of the way we treat education and training today is absolutely essential, with an emphasis on human creativity, adaptability, and collaboration with emerging technologies.

A modern cowboy, blending traditional and tech gear, sits on a cutting-edge tractor with a laptop, showcasing the fusion of heritage and technology in a farm setting.

Source: Dalle 3, by a Hacking Work team prompt

Reskilling and upskilling: the path to professional survival in the digital age.

Reskilling and upskilling are becoming a major concern among employees as AI reshapes the way we work. Around 41% of Gen Z employees in the US plan to attend physical classes to learn new skills, outpacing Generation X and Baby Boomers, according to a LinkedIn survey.

Young people's preference for traditional learning may be driven by a desire for the interaction they didn't get as students during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Dan Brodnitz, director of content strategy at LinkedIn Learning. This tendency also matches the work preferences of Gen Zs, who are more likely than their older colleagues to prefer hybrid work.

However, the majority of employees turn to online courses to improve their skills: around 59% of Gen Z employees, 65% of Millennials, and 60% of Gen Xers.

Are you feeling insecure about your career as automation continues to evolve? It's a common concern, but the key is to stay proactive and prepared. Our latest article on Medium dives deep into this topic, offering insights and strategies to help you navigate the shifting landscape of work. Discover how to anticipate changes, develop essential skills, and position yourself for success in the evolving job market. Don't let uncertainty hold you back—empower yourself with knowledge and readiness. Read the full article here.

How does entrepreneurship help us and why do we need it more than ever?

Entrepreneurship is the driving force behind the growth of the global economy, experts say, and it plays a crucial role in stimulating innovation. As a result, we need an environment that encourages and supports entrepreneurship by providing access to finance and promoting education and training initiatives.

Here are the top eight ways entrepreneurs are making a real difference in societies that really understand these needs:

  • Being catalysts for innovation: Entrepreneurs bring new solutions that are essential for technological and economic progress.

  • Creating new jobs: By opening new businesses, entrepreneurs create new employment opportunities and stimulate the economy.

  • Driving economic growth: Entrepreneurship contributes to economic development by investing in ideas and innovation, generating income and wealth.

  • Improving trade: Entrepreneurial enterprises explore and open new markets, facilitating international trade.

  • Driving technological progress and digital transformation: Entrepreneurs drive the adoption of new technologies, driving digital transformation across industries.

  • Creating social impact: Entrepreneurship plays an important role in community development and social initiatives, improving the quality of life.

  • Encouraging healthy competition: New businesses increase competition in the marketplace, leading to better quality products and services.

  • Stimulating the cash flow: In addition to creating jobs, entrepreneurs contribute to the economic cycle by generating income and profits that can be reinvested in expansion and innovation.

The office of the future makes it easier to focus and collaborate.

Employees who work in a hybrid environment face a real problem during their day in the office. According to a survey of 14,000 employees around the world, the most important feature of the office is a place where they can focus on their work, followed by the ability to meet and collaborate with others.

On average, individuals spend 35% of their working week engaged in solitary tasks, with 73% of that time demanding a high level of concentration. In response to this challenge, companies are developing designated areas where employees can work independently, such as libraries, pods, or cubicles, aiming to offer privacy and a distraction-free environment. The current trend in office design focuses on adaptability to accommodate the diverse needs of employees and strike a balance between collaboration and concentration within the framework of hybrid working.

Byte-sized news

Fired three months after relocating. At 28, Gabrielle Dawson left her home town for a promising job. Three months after being hired and relocated, she found out via Zoom that her job no longer existed. She rightly wonders why she was hired if there was no need (or budget) for her job. Her TikTok video sharing her experience of being fired has over 7.8 million views.
Better conscious than obedient. Twitter employees saved Musk by ignoring his orders. Despite his insistent request to grant reporters “access to everything on Twitter... without limits,” experienced IT employees chose not to comply, thus protecting the company from a potential breach of government orders regarding security practices and, at the same time, from a new accusation from the Federal Trade Commission, in the context of the “Twitter Files” saga.
Electric car maker Rivian has laid off 10% of its workforce in a bid to cut costs. The company's CEO told employees to wait until the next day to find out if they were among those laid off, according to Business Insider. As part of its cost-cutting plans, the company will close a plant in Illinois in the middle of this year and upgrade its production line to increase production rates by 30%. This is the company's third round of layoffs in the past year and a half.
There are serious allegations of child exploitation against an American company that allegedly hired minors as young as 13 to clean dangerous equipment during night shifts. The US Department of Labor has accused Fayette Janitorial Service LLC of using 24 underage workers to clean factory equipment - including machines used to split the heads of slaughtered animals and meat-cutting belts - activities for which it is illegal to employ anyone under 18.
Exploited at a young age - child influencers bring money to parents at the cost of innocence.

The four-day working week is becoming a norm.

Most companies in the UK have opted to permanently adopt a four-day working week following a successful trial, according to a recent report by think tank Autonomy. Out of 61 participating firms, 89% have kept the policy, with 51% making it a permanent fixture. CEOs and project managers unanimously lauded the positive impact on their organisations, with 55% describing it as "very positive." The study also revealed ongoing benefits to employee well-being and satisfaction, signalling a significant shift towards prioritising work-life balance in the modern workplace.

Three mistakes to avoid at work

In a recent interview, Valerie Rodriguez, an HR expert, highlighted three essential behaviours to avoid in the workplace. Her insights provide a practical guide to navigating the professional world.

Rodriguez reminds us that avoiding excessive disclosure of personal information can protect integrity and career opportunities. She also urges us not to underestimate our achievements, as excessive modesty can overshadow our talents. In addition, she advises us to be mindful of the time we spend at company events, where prolonged socialising can mask risks to our reputation.

Classified data in the hands of AI - a major problem in organisations

57% of employees use public generative artificial intelligence tools at least once a week, and 22.3% do so daily, according to a new survey of 11,500 employees in several countries.  The concern stems from the fact that 30% of employees have given AI customer information such as bank details or addresses.

Reasons for using it included research (42%), composing emails (41%) and improving writing (40%). Some 29% gave AI sales figures, 28% financial information and 25% personal information.

It seems that some of them are less concerned about data security and more worried about how AI will be used by colleagues. 53% of respondents felt that a colleague's use of generative AI tools gave them an unfair advantage. In addition, 29% said that such colleagues should be brought to the attention of managers, and 27% felt that they should face disciplinary action.

However, the majority (90%) believe it is important to have these procedures in place, and 68% believe it is necessary for everyone to know the "right way" to use generative AI.

Amazon to pay hundreds of migrant workers after human rights violations.

Amazon will pay about $1.9 million to more than 700 immigrant workers to settle claims of human rights violations following exploitative labour contracts in Saudi Arabia. After hiring a third-party labour rights expert, Verité, the company admitted violations of its supply chain standards at two warehouses in Saudi Arabia. Last October, reports by Amnesty International and other investigative groups revealed the appalling conditions for migrant workers in Amazon's Saudi facilities.

Workers, mainly from Nepal, were cheated by recruitment agencies, forced to pay illegal fees and lived in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions. Aware of these problems, Amazon conducted audits and confirmed improvements by a labour supplier, Abdullah Fahad Al-Mutairi Co. However, Amazon's handling of labour practices is still under scrutiny, with serious concerns over worker safety.

What steals our time at work? 6 “energy thieves” and how to work around them.

Are you able to accomplish your planned tasks, or do you often feel like you're not making any progress at the end of the day? Our productivity is frequently hindered by distractions such as notifications, lengthy meetings, and various other disruptions in our surroundings. This is the reality of a world filled with diversions that diminish our focus, breed frustration, and hinder productivity. To regain control, we've compiled the primary time drains that impede our goals, along with solutions to overcome them:

1. Email overload: Roughly 68% of employees identify email as the primary source of distractions at work. Phil Strazzulla, founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, offers guidance on navigating the maze of incoming messages:

  • Organise emails using labels and folders;

  • Unsubscribe from irrelevant email addresses;

  • Establish clear boundaries and communicate availability hours to colleagues and clients;

  • Employ email management tools.

2. Social media breaks: Social networks serve as a refuge but consume an average of 151 minutes per day in wasted time. Restrict social media usage to designated breaks, and use reminders to stay focused on work. Utilise website blockers like Freedom to minimise distractions and opt for healthier alternatives such as outdoor walks, sports, or hobbies.

3. Manual data entry: A survey by Zapier found that 76% of participants spend up to three hours daily on manual data entry between devices. Despite automation options, manual typing persists. Overcome this challenge by employing tools that automate data transfer between applications.

4. Multitasking: Juggling multiple tasks to save time ironically results in decreased productivity. Research indicates that attempting to do everything at once negatively impacts productivity, particularly with complex tasks. Adopt a more effective approach by tackling tasks one at a time, prioritising based on urgency, and allocating realistic timeframes. Daily to-do lists aid organisation, provide structure, and alleviate anxiety.

5. Procrastination:

  • Maintain efficiency throughout the day by addressing procrastination:

  • Identify common justifications for procrastination and take proactive steps to counter them;

  • Establish achievable goals and break them down into manageable tasks;

  • Group similar tasks for streamlined completion;

  • Use productivity and task management tools tailored to your needs;

  • Visualise positive outcomes to sustain motivation;

  • Partner with someone facing similar challenges to hold each other accountable.

6. Inadequate planning: A lack of clear planning hampers productivity. Tools like Sunsama facilitate goal-setting and time management, emphasising the importance of thorough planning. As Brian Tracy aptly states, “Every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.” What other strategies have you found effective?


SmartBrief on Workforce — The top stories in recruitment and retention, leadership and development and compensation written for HR professionals and executives. In other words, for HR nerds, this e-zine has lots of great links about talent, organizational behavior, and management, sent on a daily basis.

SmartBrief - While You Were Working  — A daily snapshot of news and information you actually want to talk about at the dinner table. (Imagine that!)

Germany’s aging, Europe tremble.

Germany, Europe's largest economy, is facing a serious challenge: a major shortage in workforce, caused by an ageing population. Robert Habeck, the country's economy minister, says this is limiting economic growth. This year's growth forecast is just 0.2%, well below previous estimates.

With almost 700,000 jobs unfilled, Germany's growth potential has fallen dramatically, and it is estimated that the skills shortage will worsen, with Germany needing more than seven million skilled workers by 2035.

The proposed solutions? Financial incentives for those who want to work into old age, but also reforming social benefits to encourage more people to work. Another approach is to improve migration policies to attract skilled foreign workers. This includes faster visa procedures, more language courses and better access to the German labour market for foreigners.

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The newsletter is written by the Hacking Work team: Cristina, IoanaIzabellaAndreea, Ionuț, Loredana, Tibi, Iulia, Alexia and Doru.

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