The Future of Work
The world of work is changing, and it’s changing rapidly. It may be changing so fast that some people find it hard to keep up. Technology is advancing at an exponential rate, and the changes this is causing at a social, cultural, and political level are all influencing the way companies and workplaces are run.
When people refer to “the future of work,” they’re usually talking about how work will get done over the next decade. Of course, no one knows for sure what the future holds, but that hasn’t stopped plenty of management consultancies, think tanks, and media organizations from asking the question repeatedly.
Artificial intelligence and automation of manual tasks are factors that many agree will have an outsized influence on the future of work. About 37% of people are worried automation puts their job at risk. It’s a widespread fear and why many believe they’ll have to continuously learn new skills to stay employable in the next decade or so.
Other significant factors in the future of work are the remote and hybrid work model, which has blurred the lines between our personal and professional lives. Many experts agree hybrid is the work model of the future. And if this is the case, there will be significant changes in the way companies are run.
Empire Resume will delve into the future of work, telling you the most significant trends to look for and what the experts are saying.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence continues to advance, which will have a significant impact on companies and employers. Companies are always looking for more efficient and cheaper ways to get things done. And with tech like robotic process automation, firms can increase efficiency without sacrificing quality.
According to Gartner, by 2024, organizations will save 30% on operational costs by using task automation. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as many top-tier companies today already use AI for tasks like data entry.
While this seems like foreboding news for employees, it doesn’t have to be. AI will replace humans in some jobs, but new tech advances will also create new types of jobs, too. The one thing for sure is that the workplace and all positions will likely look very different.
AI will be able to harness the power of data analytics to enable employees and executives to make better decisions. This is already the case for industries like commercial real estate, where big real estate firms are using AI to analyze large data sets and inform critical decisions.
Remote and Hybrid Work
The pandemic was a turning point for remote and hybrid work. Companies were already leaning toward more remote work, but COVID-19 put the trend in hyper-drive. In the future, many experts expect remote and hybrid work to continue to dominate in the workplace. In the war for talent, employers are expected to offer hybrid and flexible work if they want to attract the best employees.
According to the Global Workplace Analytics forecast, about 25% to 30% of American employees are expected to work from home one or more days a week after the pandemic. This makes sense because remote work has proven effective for many employers. Companies have also saved money from remote work and seen increased employee engagement.
The shift to remote and hybrid work won’t come without challenges, though. Some industries and more traditional companies may find it challenging to manage a hybrid workforce. And with remote work, the lines between the home and office have blurred to the extent that it could harm employee mental health.
The technology for permanent remote and hybrid work is undoubtedly there. And if it does happen on a widescale basis, it will have significant ramifications. Going to the office five days a week could become a thing of the past for many people.
The Social Workplace
In many industries, the workplace has become more social than ever. In the old days, it used to be easier to separate work and personal life. But now, with the ubiquity of social media, our personal and professional lives have become blurred to the point where there’s not much distinction anymore.
Companies are encouraging people to “bring their whole selves” to work. While this doesn’t mean bringing all your personal problems, it does mean companies care more about employee interests, hobbies, and what makes people tick. For evidence of this, check out LinkedIn. The days of stodgy, professional updates are gone, replaced by deeper and more personal updates about passion projects, struggles with mental health, and support for social justice causes.
Much of this trend can be attributed to younger generations, like Millennials, rising to leadership positions and setting a new tone in the work world. Experts expect this trend to continue as employees share memes on work Slack channels and the work world becomes more casual.
Emphasis on Work/Life Balance
Another trend pushed by younger generations is increased emphasis on work/life balance. Older generations like Baby Boomers and Gen X have long been defined by a workaholic attitude. However, this is changing with Millennials and Gen Z, who crave more time away from work and more time to just chill.
This ethos of work/life balance has seeped into our work culture, as businesses are encouraging more breaks, employee well-being, and times to recharge that can lead to greater creativity. For example, innovative companies like Google have long encouraged employees to pursue side projects as a way to stay sharp and engaged. This is also a side effect of the pandemic, where many people questioned the role of work in their lives and pursued new passions.
The Future Will be Fast
The pandemic accelerated many trends in the work world that are expected to continue for a long time. For example, remote work was already becoming more common. But after COVID showed how successful it could be, employees now expect remote work when looking for jobs almost as much as health insurance.
Much has been written about the Great Resignation, which continues to cause havoc in the job market. Experts expect the trend to slow down eventually, but employee turnover will likely remain high. With more employees working remotely, the ties to employers will weaken, leading to more frequent job-hopping, which may not be such a bad thing.
Technological trends like AI and automation pose a threat to the employees of the future, but it may not be as dire as it sounds. For every automated job, a new job is typically created, as well. Automation will also make work easier for managers and employees.
Nevertheless, the days of staying in the same job or even the same industry for your entire career could be over. Sixty percent of people told PwC that few people will have stable, long-term employment in the future.
Each significant technological change will lead to workers switching gears, learning new skills, and pivoting on their career paths. The future will be fast, and the employees who are the most agile and eager to learn will be rewarded the most.
Stay tuned to Empire Resume’s blog for more helpful insights on careers and employment, including articles like Mental Health Friendly Companies, How to Interview for a Remote Position, and How Companies Monitor Your Computer.
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Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.