The term ‘Future of Work’ is one of the hottest topics on the internet today. Even a single search for the term on Google gives about 3 million results, showing how professionals are preparing for the change. Not only this, you will find several research reports on the future of work and what it would bring.
But that wasn’t always the case. Before the pandemic, most of us hadn’t even thought of getting prepared for the future of work. We assumed that the working world would stay the same, so focusing on making businesses more efficient was more of a thing at that time.
When the pandemic hit, most businesses realized that being agile was the key to surviving and thriving in the new reality. Now, they understand that the future of work is full of uncertainty and change. They know they need to adapt their ways of working and use new technology to become more flexible and responsive.
But they still have many questions about what the future of work actually looks like and how to plan for it. So, today in this blog, we will deeply understand the role of the Future of Work, top trends and predictions related to it, and how one should get prepared for it.
The future of work is basically a vision of how work, workers, and the workplace will change in the coming years. It’s a topic that worries many CEOs as they try to balance their current success with their future readiness.
To help and advise the C-suite management, where strategic decisions are made based on the direction of the work of the world, HR professionals and managers need to be aware of how the future of work will impact their workplace.
The future of work is not only about technology, but also about other factors, such as working remotely and the gig economy, that influence not only how work will be done, but also who will do it and from where.
Moreover, employers will need to think about what the work is, as a 2020 research report revealed that “85 percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 have not been invented yet.”
There are different aspects that experts have included in models describing the future of work, but most agree on three basic elements to consider: how the work is done, who does the work, and where and when work is done.
The corporate world today is facing the most pressing issue - how to prepare for the future of work. It is clear that the current way of working is not sustainable, as there is a huge gap between the skills that workers have and the skills that employers need.
According to some estimates, 30%-40% of workers in developed countries will have to learn new skills by 2030 to keep up with the changing demands of the labor market.
Some forward-thinking organizations are already taking steps to address this challenge, such as Amazon, which announced that it will invest $700 million to help 100,000 of its employees transition to higher-skilled roles.
Simultaneously, many businesses are struggling to find and keep the right talent. Some experts warn that by 2030, there could be a huge gap between the skills that workers have and the skills that employers need, which could cost the global economy $8.5 trillion in lost revenue. This is why many leaders are looking for ways to get ready for the future of work.
While the Future of Work is a new buzzword, there is a lot of talk about it, especially in the working world. So, let’s take a look at some latest trends and top predictions by experts on the Future of Work.
Many people think that AI will take over human jobs. For example, some marketers are worried that AI writing tools will make them obsolete. But the truth is, AI is only as good as you make it. It means that it can help you do your work better, not replace you.
Some once-popular companies like Kodak and Nokia failed because they didn’t adapt to the new technology fast enough. So instead of worrying about losing your job, think about how you can use the power of AI, machine learning, and natural language processing.
Many people might assume that remote working is a thing of the past in a world that has recovered from the pandemic. However, the reality is different. Many studies have revealed that employees enjoy working from home or in a hybrid mode.
According to a Gallup survey, approx 54% of private employees prefer a hybrid work model. 37% also say they would rather work from home all the time, while only 9% want to work from the office full time.
Remote work is not only beneficial for employees who get more flexibility and perks. It also offers great advantages for employers who can hire talent from across the world.
As employees change their jobs frequently or even become self-employed, the fractional workforce will become more common in the future. This means that organizations will have to adapt to how they can best use and benefit from a mix of full-time, part-time, gig, and leased workers.
This is a smart way of working flexibly that allows organizations to access different talents and skills while giving workers the opportunity to balance their work and life.
Approximately 90% of employees say that their feelings at work are important to them. However, only about half of them, 49%, think that their company cares about improving their well-being.
With the high levels of stress and burnout, it’s essential that organizations take employee wellness seriously.
Fortunately, some businesses have started paying attention to employee well-being as 58% of enterprises invested in enhancing their employee experience in 2021.
The last trend is already a hot topic of discussion in the corporate world: four-day working weeks or flexible working hours. Rising burnout and stress levels in employees have led many organizations to raise their voices to shorten working hours.
At the same time, employees who are parents can enjoy this level of flexibility. This also allows them to have full control over their working schedule.
Getting ready for the Future of Work is a need of the hour and should be taken likewise. But how? Below are some of the ways to prepare for the Future of Work effectively and efficiently.
Automation is taking over many jobs around the world, and it is expected that by 2030, about 45 million workers in the U.S. alone will be fired because of it. To avoid being replaced by machines, workers need to learn new skills and improve their existing ones.
Workers need to focus on digital skills that are in high demand in today’s market, such as computer literacy, web development, and social media marketing. These skills will help workers stay relevant and valuable to their employers.
Nowadays, the working world is changing fast, and so are job titles. You might have heard of new and exciting roles like “innovation consultant” or “experience architect” that combine different skills and domains.
Employers are not looking for “ordinary” workers; they want people who can master hybrid professions, which are jobs that mix traditional functions with more technical or specific knowledge.
If you have a conventional job title (for example, content writer), you can explore the possibility of adding more responsibilities to your role. Or, you can learn from someone else in your company or network (for example, a digital marketing manager) while still doing your regular tasks.
Another option is to find a need or a problem in your workplace or team and see if you have the skills and interest to address it along with your current role. Discuss it with your boss and see what happens.
Being a techie is a necessity in today’s world, especially if you work in a place that relies on digital or tech solutions. Even if you are more comfortable with traditional methods, be open to trying new technology and embracing innovation.
A recent study found that more than 75 percent of workers in automated businesses say that new technology has made their jobs easier, and you might find that it can benefit you as well.
Also, make use of how technology can enhance collaboration and teamwork. Besides improving your work efficiency, having a basic knowledge of digital collaboration tools, such as Slack, Trello, and Google Workspace, is becoming must-have and high-income skills in many industries.
Creativity is something that computers and robots cannot imitate. It is a skill that makes you more valuable to your employer, and less likely to be replaced by automation. Therefore, you should invest in developing your creative abilities: Participate in workshops, take courses, and try new things. It will benefit the working class in the long run.
The future of work may be uncertain, but here’s a reassuring fact: You have more power in this change than you may realize. The key is to look ahead with readiness and optimism - not with fear and skepticism - and start taking action now instead of waiting for tomorrow to come.
To get ready for the future of work, you need to know which skills you are lacking or required for the future. After that, you can train and reskill your workforce as needed.
But ensure you offer reskilling based on employees’ preferences — using resource management software to monitor your workforce’s current interests and skills helps with this.
Yet another option to overcome your skills shortage is to recruit people based on their abilities, since many skills like data analysis can be used for different roles.
Another good idea for meeting your skill needs is to work with the gig economy or freelancers, especially if you are not able to hire full-time staff. You can also retain your existing employees by giving them some benefits in exchange for their mentorship or other services.
The impending skills gap makes it understandable why HR managers chose developing essential competencies as their main goal for 2023. However, not all skill-building methods are equally effective.
Some leaders wrongly view skills as an inventory issue and think the best solution is to acquire as many abilities as possible. In reality, skill-building is a flexible process. Since business demands and employee aspirations will constantly evolve, upskilling and reskilling programs must be adaptable.
Employees don’t want to follow rigid and predefined career ladders anymore. Instead, workers are demanding more access to meaningful career growth opportunities that match their sense of purpose and long-term goals.
As the hiring market gets more challenging, businesses must make sure that their people are truly engaged with the work they are doing. That begins with giving workers more control over their career advancement.
Dynamic career pathing tools have become a vital resource that shows employees various paths their careers can follow, based on their unique skills, experiences, and aspirations.
Many companies are struggling with the talent shortage to meet their future revenue targets. This challenge can be worsened by hidden biases that limit the career growth of some employees.
In the past, factors like personal connections and educational backgrounds influenced talent management decisions.
Some employees got many opportunities to develop their careers, while others from underrepresented groups were often ignored. That meant that employees with valuable skills were frequently missed out.
The skills you have may matter more than the education you get when you apply for a job in the future. Employers are looking more at skills-based assessments than formal degree qualifications, and we think that’s a good thing.
In our changing future of remote work, the education we get and the skills we learn are not permanent. They need to be updated or replaced as time goes by.
That’s a bonus tip for you to stay on top. Being adaptable is a key skill for the future of work, as technology opens up new possibilities and challenges. You may need to handle multiple projects at once, instead of focusing on one for a long time.
How can you improve your ability to multitask? Don’t get stuck in a routine, but switch between different tasks when you feel motivated. Also, look for new opportunities, connect with interesting people, and don’t always choose the easiest option.
Now that you have a better understanding of the Future of Work, it is time to talk about the most in-demand and highest-paying skills for the future.
Digital technology is already a huge part of our work and personal lives, but it will become even more pervasive in the future. To keep up with the technological advances, you need to be familiar with various digital tools and platforms.
Some of the emerging technologies that will shape the world by 2030 are artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
These technologies will create new opportunities and challenges for professionals. You should learn about them and how they can help you develop high-income skills in 2023.
In the future, social and emotional skills will have a huge part in the corporate working environment. It will count among the high-income skills without degree. Artificial intelligence will take many tasks from today’s jobs in the next ten years, but it will not replace the need for human empathy and professionalism.
To improve your emotional intelligence, you need to learn how to listen attentively to people and understand their problems. You also need to pay attention to body language signals that can help you communicate better.
Creativity is one of the highest-paying skills in the future, as it will be hard for artificial intelligence and machine learning to replicate the human brain’s ability to generate original and novel ideas.
To boost your creativity, you should not limit yourself to the conventional or the obvious but explore different possibilities and perspectives.
You should also work with your team members and challenge each other with stimulating questions to identify and solve problems. By doing so, you can create unique solutions that add more value to your work.
Critical thinking is and will count among the high-income skills without degree that can make you stand out from the crowd. While many people accept the status quo without question, you should not be afraid to challenge existing practices and look for better ways. This curious mindset can help you become a more efficient and effective worker in the future.
To develop your critical thinking skills, you should not take things for granted, but examine the evidence and logic behind them. Once you have a clear understanding of an issue, you can propose informed suggestions on how to improve a crucial task by adjusting the process or focusing on a different aspect.
The pandemic caused a major change in work, with millions of businesses and employees switching to remote working. As many organizations keep this approach even after everything becomes normal, a more flexible environment could become the standard by 2030.
If that happens, workers need to be able to manage themselves. Instead of relying on a boss to supervise you and keep you motivated, you need to use online methods to communicate effectively and do your work using digital collaboration tools.
This way, you can work efficiently from anywhere in the world. The best part is that it is one of the high-income skills to learn at home.
Data is everywhere, and it is constantly growing in quantity, quality, and diversity. By 2030, we will all need to know how data impacts our work and lives. We will need to know how to find the data we need, how to analyze it with the right tools, and how to follow the rules and ethics of data use.
Learning how to use data to improve our performance and outcomes will be one of the key skills that employers will look for in 2030.
Machines can help streamline your business process but one of the things that they are not very good at is motivating people. Effective leadership requires the very human skill of recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of others and helping them to achieve their potential.
Whether you are leading a small project, a team, a department, or a business, leadership skills rely on many of the other skills we have talked about here – problem-solving, emotional intelligence, and creativity – to direct others toward a shared vision of business success.
More importantly, it means that success is not only achieved, but also done in a way that allows everyone involved to grow, develop, and flourish. People who can demonstrate these leadership qualities will be very valuable and always respected.
The most recent survey by Forbes reveals that Work ethic and integrity are the most important factors in the workplace. Having a strong work ethic means that you are willing to work hard and do your best in any situation, even if you are new in an organization and still learning new skills.
Many employers prefer to work with someone who has a strong work ethic and a desire to learn than a skilled worker who is dishonest and unmotivated.
The future of work is uncertain and unpredictable. So the best bet is to keep learning and improving your skills. Start by making your personal development plan as soon as possible.
List the skills you already have and the ones you will need to get your dream jobs of the future. Find out what you love to do and then make a strategy that includes both small and big learning opportunities to become your best work self.