Moving people around jobs within the same company is the future of work, says a study.

A report by Forrester Research found that AI solutions helped companies respond to the shocks that are shaping the future of work and achieving faster time-to-labour.

Using the example of a pharma firm, the report showed that a worker from sales had a biochemistry degree. The AI found this information and suggested her redeployment (with her consent) to the vaccine lab, improving and increasing the skills in the lab.

This, it says, is the first step to creating an agile and adaptable workforce. The study also points out that the better employee experience with workplace variety means they’re more likely to stay.

AI technology can also take rote, predictable, and repeatable tasks off the plates of employees and automate them instead, leaving employees with strategic capabilities.

The report also calls for a radical idea where businesses remove the notion of job descriptions altogether. It says within large companies, workers could be deployed to different projects according to their skills. This would create a ‘gig workforce’ within the company.  

This allows employees to see more parts of the company than they normally would and also allows the company to have jobs done by people with those exact skills.

The report says: “No organization retains 100% of its talent. As such, companies that adopt this model will need to continuously engage with the external talent marketplace to support growth and to nurture a continuous pipeline of diverse talent.”

According to the report, using the no-more-jobs model – instead of distributing tasks, the firm distributes capabilities among employees. This allows processes to flow from those employees’ competencies. 

This model is already being used by the Chinese firm Haier. It’s nearly 80,000 employees are being organised into 4,000 self-managing microenterprises to respond adaptively to customer demand.

The model means talent will split into two, says the report – those who manage complexity and those who execute defined tasks. 

The report predicts HR teams will be using this model in some form within three years.