The Future of Work
How the Future is Already Determining the Workplace
The traditional full-time career as we know it, is becoming obsolete. For the first time in recorded history, less than half of Australian workers are in full-time permanent positions. Technology, artificial intelligence, longer lifespans, diversifying nations and the ability to access resources instantaneously is changing the workforce forever. So, what does this mean for the future of work?
The driving factors of change
There are a multitude of factors changing the workforce including who does the work, where the work will be done and more noticeably, the work itself. The fear that robots will take over our jobs and make unemployment rates skyrocket is plaguing the nation, but we are finding out that the opposite is true.
Currently, nearly 60% of Australian students are studying for jobs that will become automated. However, with increased automation comes new opportunities. To put that into perspective; When smart phones were invented an entire new industry was born, for app developers and IT professionals. The same will continue to happen with all new technology. If you stay up to date with technology and industry trends, and continue to develop your skills, there is no need to fear unemployment.
What are the most important skills for the future?
Soft skills will be more important than ever – communication, creativity, people skills and interdisciplinary knowledge will be highly valued by companies. The future workplace is going to demand new ways of thinking, innovation and creativity. Robots can’t currently compete with a human’s ability for creativity, empathy or emotional intelligence.
Another important skillset will be decision making and judgement. Of course, machines can collect data and process information far beyond a human’s capability, but ultimately humans will be making the final decision. Having the ability to recognise broader implications and make decisions will make this an important asset to have. Most importantly the ability to embrace change. Change is imminent, being able to adapt and be flexible in the workplace will make you more employable and a better part of the team.
What sort of jobs will be available?
The world will never run out of jobs because there are always going to be new problems. Although we can’t predict exactly what sort of jobs will be available in the next ten or twenty years, we can make an educated guess. We can base this off what is already happening and the direction the world is taking in technology, economic changes and climate.
Therefore, we can assume there will be jobs in careers like biomedical advancements, artificial intelligence and technology, cultural, demographic and economic change, global challenges and the continuous drive for entertainment. According to research by Luca Martini, 80% of Australian workers expect their job to become automated, but the same percent also know that upskilling is the key to successfully remaining employed.
How companies will employ their workers
The workplace isn’t the only thing that is changing, traditional methods of employment are also on the way out. According to Nvoi, Adrian Wicks, the vice president of marketing and communications at the Australian contingent labour market, - more and more people are preferring to manage their own work life, and realise that a growing contingent workplace is likely to occur. Nvoi also said that 25 percent of the global labour force is now contingent and expects figures to double by 2020.
More importantly, companies are coming to realise that traditional hiring methods are too slow for the current pace of business. What does this mean for businesses? Well, they will have a core group of people that are critical to the company and hire skilled professionals on a temporary basis to complete work outside of that.
What can we do now?
We are yet again redefining the work force. A company’s success will rely on three imperative tasks – imagination, planning and development. To plan for the future, we need to imagine the possibilities, by researching industry data and insights and determining what transformations will occur in specific workplaces. Whilst simultaneously taking advantage of automation and technology and developing new structures for how we can collaborate as a planet to prepare for a bigger and brighter future.