Viewpoint: The Future of Work

10 JAN,2021 | MEDC


 

Covid has forced an unexpected automation in the workplace. The rapid adoption of technology by both the public and the private sectors, will transform jobs, tasks, and skillsets by 2025. According to a global survey, around 43% of businesses indicated that they are set to reduce their workforce due to technology integration, 41% planned to expand their use of contractors for task-specialized work, and 34% planned to expand their workforce as a result of technology integration. It is estimated that, five years from now, work will be divided between humans and machines approximately equally. Those with specialized skills will get the opportunities, and there is a danger of economic inequality rising unless adequate steps are taken right away to nurture the demographic dividend. New roles and technologies are expected to emerge across the healthcare sector, in particular, and also throughout the green economy. Almost all professions will reflect the greater demand for green economy jobs within them. Regardless of how much technology progresses, the human element can never be totally replaced. The new jobs will highlight the importance of human interaction in the emerging economy, through specialized roles in sales, marketing and content creation. These roles will also depend on the individual’s ability to work with different types of people from different sociocultural backgrounds in an increasingly internationalized setting. The robot revolution is expected to create 97 million new jobs, and skill at interpersonal relationships will be essential to hold on to gainful employment. Analytical skills, creativity and mental flexibility will separate the winners from the losers in the workplace of 2025. This includes skills in self-management such as proactive learning, resilience and stress tolerance. Regular skill upgradation will remain a priority for many of the top employers in an increasingly competitive world. The public sector is likely to get more proactive in dealing with its employees, and provide stronger support for reskilling and upskilling of workers at risk of losing their jobs. Remote work will also be encouraged by both the public and the private sectors, and many enterprises will take measures to enable their employees to adapt accordingly. The pandemic has taught us that work from home is not always optional, and we better be prepared to see more of it in an age of increasing uncertainty. The future of work will see both winners and losers, but we hope that there will be more of the former. Covid has clearly demonstrated that nothing can be taken for granted, and that all human endeavours need to pay adequate attention to not messing around with Mother Nature. Technology will play an increasingly central role in our lives, but along with it the importance of the human element will also rise. We need to remember that the more things change the more they remain the same.

*Photo Credit: Google

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