Visualizing The Future of Work
The future of work and employment is changing as rapidly as many other aspects of our lives. Indeed, our current economic cycle has altered the traditional vision of jobs, with many jobs simply going by the wayside.
So, what does the future of work hold? What are some of the changes? Let’s take a closer look.
The Changing Workforce
The world of work is a much different place than it was even just ten years ago:
- People change jobs often. A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the average Baby Boomer would look for a job 11.7 times in his or her career.
- Nearly 40% of U.S. workers work on a contingent basis, with platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit leading the way.
- Many aspects of traditional work are now automated as augmented intelligence (AI), robots, and sensors have become mainstream. Jonathan Kestenbaum, Executive Director of Talent Tech Labs, believes that traditional workflows will be replaced by artificial intelligence, making more mundane tasks automated while “leaving employees to focus on the creative” parts of their jobs.
- The vast majority of corporate leaders feel that the structure of corporations must change.
The Future of Work
In a recent article in Forbes, the future of work is divided into three areas of life in which it will have the most impact: personal, organizational, and societal.
- The personal impact
There are many ways in which our careers and future employment have a personal impact on our lives, from the reasons why we work to how work fits in our lives to how we keep our skills current.
- Work is more overwhelming, disruptive, and dynamic than it was a couple of decades ago. Two-thirds of organizations say their employees are overwhelmed while the average vacation in the U.S. has become shorter.
- For many people, work no longer represents a smooth climb “up the ladder.” Employees can’t depend on one company to take care of them for life.
- Constant messaging serves as a distraction while also making employees feel more productive (when they aren’t)
2. The organizational impact
The organizational side of work is similarly changing at a rapid pace:
- Augmented intelligence has replaced more mundane tasks.
- The role of sensors – in everything from smartphones to voice-activated transactions to sensors used to help farmers plow their fields more precisely – has expanded at an exponential rate.
- While the majority of companies believe they must change their organizational structure, few of them know how to make those changes. The answer, it appears, is to empower people in small teams and then to link those teams together.
- Technology has reduced the role of traditional manager roles.
3. Societal impact
A common fear is that jobs are going away as technology continues to change the nature of work. But the truth is that jobs aren’t disappearing, they’re changing. And those changes mean:
- Employees have to learn new tools.
- Organizations must understand and embrace technology to enhance the employee and customer experience.
- Organizations must create a more dynamic career model.
- Employees must adapt their career strategies. The notion of personal reinvention, i.e., letting go of what you are today while recreating yourself as jobs change, is more prevalent than ever. For many people, that means letting go of the idea that “you are what you do.”
The bottom line is that, while the world of work and careers has changed and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, the road ahead is bright for both employees and recruiters. The future of work isn’t as scary as many make it out to be.
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