We all know that the current pace of technological advances will undoubtedly change the way we work in the near future, but what will our jobs look like in 30 years?
Oxford scientists predict that some 40% of all jobs will be lost to automation, perhaps some jobs of today might still be around, but just exceptionally different from the way they are now. The fact of the matter is that the future of work will soon be in the hands of those of us who are most adaptable to change. As technologies fundamentally change the way we work, jobs will become even more changeable and multifaceted in the future.
“Workers of the future will need to be highly adaptable and juggle three or more different roles at a time,” says Anand Chopra-McGowan, head of enterprise new markets for General Assembly.
To keep up-to-date with the latest tech advances, people will need to consistently re-train themselves and ideas such as “landing a job for life” will be passé.
Where will our kids work after the robot revolution?
With the dawn of the imposing new world, there will be winners, and there will be losers. The workforce is probably going to shift towards more of a part-time, freelance-based environment, where people work in jobs for as long as they are needed, so long as they’re trained and kept in the loop of things.
Specialism will become the number one focus of employers, not merely the number of employees a company has. They’ll consider who they need and for how long they’ll need them, zooming in on finding talent that shows creativity, leadership, and excellent self-management skills.
This means that we’re going to have to ensure our children are being engaged at school level in technology, giving them the support they need early on in their careers. There has to be a cycle drive which will foster a better digital environment if we want them to survive the post-revolution world.
What the Future Workforce Might Look Like
Since productivity in the workplace was an idea established during the last industrial revolution, we’ve got to face the fact that this might soon be an outdated way of viewing work. Jobs in society are still found in plentiful supply – careers in elderly care, child care, and volunteer work – jobs to which we assign very little value.
In future, we’re going to have to move away from the idea of only working for the salary package, and we’ll also have to completely avoid the stereotype of men working and women being housewives.
Yes, we are decades away from creating actual working artificial intelligence; “There’s a huge potential for robotics, but you must remember that making a robot is hard,” says Dr. Sabine Hauert, lecturer in robotics for the University of Bristol. “For example, if you wanted to create a robot and ask it to fetch you some water, that is amazingly complex. First, the robot needs to understand the home environment, then see the glass, and then locate you. These challenges are extremely hard to solve one by one, and at the moment they’re almost impossible to solve altogether.”
But she also adds: “Robots can be programmed to do specific tasks, rather than doing everything,” which means that robots and algorithms can and will be programmed to specialize in certain tasks.
A decade ago, we praised machines for making old practices, ways in which we worked, that much faster and cheaper, but as we come to the dawn of an era where machines can learn and adapt, that applause may soon turn to despair. Business will be faced with two options: either take the saving that automating the workforce will make and run, or take the savings and use it to create new jobs.
Right now, the future of work might seem a little unclear, but individual journeys will probably always be the most important aspect at play. One thing is sure though: the nature of work is going to change, and the jobs we know today will not be the same as the jobs of tomorrow! The time to start thinking creatively, outside of the box, has never been as crucial as it is in modern times. Are you on track towards future-proofing your job?