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How 40 consultants hacked the future of work

Written by Leslie Hemmerechts on 27 May 2019 for Tech Graduates

1 challenge, 40 motivated Exellysts, 1.576 post-its (give or take) and potentially a beer or two. The perfect recipe for the first edition of HackSmart, Exellys’ very own two-day innovation hackathon.

As part of our two year Start Smart program, a training and coaching program which aims to bring young graduates to a tech professional level, this hackathon brought together all the skills we focused on during the last 24 months.

Hacka-what? If you don’t have a clue what we’re talking about, check out the after movie!

Still can’t wrap your head around the concept? Well, according to the internet, a hackathon is a design sprint-like event during which a team collaborates intensively on a specific project. But which project? What kind of challenge did we have in store for these Exellysts?

The challenge

Technology is evolving more rapidly than ever, disrupting industries at an accelerating rate and completely changing our day-to-day lives. As young employees, we should be embracing this revolution, starting to grow with it and letting it empower us to become fully enabled.

How might we shape the workforce of the future to fully unlock human talent?

Of course, this is still a bit broad so we broke it down in four different sub challenges of which the participants could pick one…

How 40 consultants hacked the future of work Have a look at all pictures on our Facebook page!

#1: How might technology fully augment traditional employee capabilities?

Industry 4.0 will need 4.0 operators, a new generation of tech-augmented human workers on the factory floors, as well as in our offices. Think assisted AI in decision making, robotics for labor and AR in data analytics.

#2: How might we improve the physical and digital workspace of today by leveraging technology?

Technology is powering unprecedented collaboration in the workplace, from AI wearables to VR presentations to smart whiteboards. Industry 4.0 and the digitalization that comes with it allows people to be on the same page, no matter their location.

#3: How might we transform learning/training on the work-floor into a more personalized experience?

Ever heard of the forgetting curve? Within one hour, people generally forget 50 percent of the information presented. How can we tackle this? Immersive learning, gamification, realistic simulators, etc. The possibilities seem endless.

#4: How might employers offer a personalized experience to elevate employee happiness?

Companies today have a retention problem, an expensive retention problem. The average employee spends only just over four years at the same company. How can we elevate their happiness? Tracking and/or monitoring with IoT wearables and personalized tips or gamification of work might offer a solution.

The results

After two days of problem exploration, ideation and prototyping, each team had five minutes to pitch their solution to the judges. We were more than pleasantly surprised with the innovative solutions that came out of this two-day hackathon. There were three different prizes, let’s quickly have a closer look.

Best overall

OptimAIl: AI augmented e-mails or e-mail on steroids, we’ll let you decide. Want to know how it works exactly? Alexandru, Bavo, Fred & Domien can definitely tell you more. Congratulations guys!

How 40 consultants hacked the future of work Have a look at all pictures on our Facebook page!

Best pitch

WetU: “The office brought to you”. With a well thought out concept this team made remote working great again. With their mobile office pods WetU offers a high-tech, local and immersive work experience. Congrats Henri, Jolien, Hendrik & Pieter!

Most innovative

Sit Smart: Flexdesks are becoming the norm instead of the exception. But what about your office chair? Or more importantly, the settings of this chair. Sit Smart solved this issue with a simple app (and a next level office chair). Hendrik, Ellen, Maxim & Kathleen can tell you all about it. And again, congratulations!

How 40 consultants hacked the future of work Have a look at all pictures on our Facebook page!

HackSmart 2.0?

Later this year, we’re taking HackSmart to the next level, and you can be a part of that! Like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn because that is where you’ll hear it first. Or just apply right now and experience the Start Smart program yourself.

See you soon? Great!