Big changes are coming, whether we like it or not, more and more of what is currently considered to be work done by humans is being automated. Some predictions estimate that as many as 50% of existing jobs could be gone in the next five to ten years. While this is a scary prospect, it is also an opportunity for all of us to focus on what we are really interested in and take steps to future proof our own future careers.
Education will be vital
Stuart Phythian, AI and #futureofwork writer offers the following insights in relation to the importance of education and continuing to learn new things. “Lifelong learning will be a necessity, especially in computing and related fields.” Students will “expect more outcome based results, rather than many of the rote-learning courses criticised in the past or ‘useless’, humanities subjects. Cognitive, task-based, problem solving and interpersonal skills and abilities will be the key to this as will on-the-job learning as a pre-requisite for the future.” All of this highlights the value of taking steps to take control of your own future work options, and pursuing the relevant educational steps to help achieve this. Digital Skills Academy BSc Degree and BSc Honours Degree programmes play a part in educating the workforce with the skills needed to work alongside AI.
Future technology will continue to make remote working easier
The recent and ongoing improvements in personal computing has made it easier to work from remote locations and assess people on the quality of their work. With tools like Skype, Sllack, Trello and other workflow tools, this will only increase.
Our digital footprint will be our brand and our reputation
As we become more able to work remotely, so the significance of our digital reputation will become more important. This will provide more opportunities for the highest quality workers to rise to the top, regardless of race, gender, religion or geographical location. Already many businesses are assembling top quality teams based solely on their digital reach and track record, sometimes without ever meeting in person.
Some jobs will become automated
Some jobs are rapidly being automated like the examples of automated file delivery and driverless cars. It is quite possible that this will in turn lead to a demand for higher human related levels of analytical skills, and human judgement calls, potentially requiring more imaginative and interesting work. It is an open question if as many jobs will remain after the automation upgrades, however those workers who have developed their digital skills will find themselves more in demand.
These changes will affect companies, whether they are ready for it or not
Geetu Bharwaney, who has written extensively about remote working, and, after being diagnosed with cancer in 2005, moved her own business to a remote working model offers the following insight.
“I think the larger companies will have to change. I come across many large companies who don’t want their workforce to work from home. I sense this is missing a big opportunity and will need to shift eventually. The productivity gains from home working are significant. Imagine all that wasted time to travel into an office.”
In this context, it might be a strategic move for you to begin considering your own future work environment.
Finally if you’d like to read more about what the future of work might look like, see Caira Garvan’s predictions “2017 will mean even more change and that includes your workplace.