The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the current trends of remote work, automation, and e-commerce, with approximately 25% more workers than before potentially needing to switch occupations.  As a result of the gig economy, every work activity is likely to pull in a workforce on demand from every corner of the world. Cubicles with assigned desks and the “9 to 5” work schedule will soon be a thing of the past. Work is likely to transcend from an office or job into a series of activities and locations, both physical and virtual. Overall, the future of work is heading in a new direction, and we have to embrace it through perseverance and proper planning. Let’s discuss the changing demography of workers, data management, and the need for companies to transform to support the new normal and manage complexities that will shape the future of work.
Impact of shifting demographics on the future of work
The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact has sped up the current employment trends and played a direct role in transforming workplace demographics. For employees at all levels, here’s what you can anticipate in the future of work and how to manage the ongoing movement.
Get ready for skill shortages
After World War II, workforce transformation has developed a global skill scarcity slated to a negative result of 85 million vacant job roles by 2030, as per the latest Korn Ferry report. As a result, technical ability and soft skills such as creativity, leadership, and collaboration will grow. However, at the same time, hospitality, hospitality, administrative, legal, and business-support work will taper off in the future. To mitigate this situation, workers can opt for upskilling and reskilling and add and improve soft skills that will be in huge demand even in the coming decades.
Polarization and the necessity to open up
Uprising social pressure and significant recognition of unfairness, especially with race, will push for transparency from companies towards human capital, inclusion, and diversity programs as the key to recovery and growth. Also, employees and customers are standing their ground and requesting companies take a strong stand on climate change, social justice, and other vital global issues. Just as consumers can show support for companies that align with their moral values, workers can also decide to bring their skills and talents to companies that take thoughtful stands on important global issues.
Remote work is now mainstream
About half of employees believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has ended the routine of going to the workplace every day. Whether true or otherwise, the demand for contingent manpower, hybrid work models, and work from home is peaking. Reducing a company’s overall real estate expenses, improving mobility, and creating job opportunities without worrying about borders will help both employee and employer choices. For workers, this situation means work options are no longer attached to a specific place. With better prospects due to global reach, individuals can advance their careers and look for better work-life balance.
The never-ending gender gaps
Women are unreasonably affected by economic and social issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic and outnumber men in the loss of jobs across various industries, including leisure, retail, and hospitality. Simultaneously, it is a blessing in disguise for women to enroll in reskilling and upskilling programs in exponentially growing sectors like IT, operations, and logistics. Women are an untapped talent group that can be reskilled or upskilled to manage future work.
The future of work is centred around data management
Big data has been around for a decade or more now. It has constantly been dubbed the “management revolution,” “Industrial Revolution 4.0,” or “the next frontier for competition, innovation, and productivity.” Organizations were struggling to fathom the outcomes of these trends on their business operations, and big data has undoubtedly bloomed as the corporate norm.
Big data analytics affects all enterprises, no matter big or small has an impact on some levels and will continue to play a crucial role in the future of work. Especially in uncertain times, data analytics allows companies to identify opportunities to grow as a brand. Through a large stack of structured and unstructured data and the application of advanced analytics, organizations can understand their business environment and grab the opportunities that come their way to stay competitive in the global market. Furthermore, the emergence of descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive data analytics in your work shows that a data-driven way of making decisions positively replaces the conventional method with the help of experience and expertise.
Making the future of work a win-win for employees and companies
During the pandemic, employees around the globe proved that working in employer-supervised workspaces doesn’t impact their productivity or engagement. Instead, they have discovered that flexibility will help them as professionals and improve their personal lives, as they can spend more time with their loved ones and be part of their journey. As a result, most employees are now looking for full-time work from home or hybrid arrangements, even after the pandemic has subsided in many countries.
Work from home is also helpful for companies. It will reduce operational expenses regarding workplace arrangements, improve employee engagement, and recruit employees from any part of the world. The future of work is now being reinvented, creating a win-win model for both employees and companies. The key pillars for both employee and business outcomes are:
- Human-centric work design
- Reforming the culture
- Managing in a hybrid world
- Digital enablement
- Shifting talent and skills
- Rethinking the workplace
The future of work will never be static and will continue to evolve. Covid-19 pandemic has already accelerated the changes in demographics, flexible work timings, and shattering physical boundaries giving a push for a globally connected workforce. Both employers and employees must adapt to these new norms and upgrade their skills to survive and grow in a competitive yet flexible future work arena.
1. Will job positions be more fluid in future work models?
A: Yes. A strict organizational hierarchy will be rare, and employees may have to assume multiple roles in their respective companies. Also, the gig economy may take center stage in the future of work.
2. What is the effect of artificial intelligence on the future of work?
A: Although artificial intelligence looks like a replacement for humans, in reality, it can open up a door for more job opportunities specifically for IT sector candidates and make the existing tasks of employees much easier.
3. What types of skills will be in high demand in the future of work?
A: Although software and other technical skills will be in high demand, there are other skills like emotional intelligence, versatility, critical thinking, social influence, and leadership that will get you ahead in the future work environment.
4. What is the role of freelance in the future of work?
A: Freelancing will be a mainstay in the future of work and is often brimming with highly-skilled individuals who are experts in the latest technologies and ready to offer their services to customers around the globe. Freelancers may be the most flexible class of workers available in the future, quickly adapting to scenarios and challenges as necessary to keep their client base in good condition.
5. How are companies designing the future of work?
A: Companies are designing the future of work through chatbots, which are becoming more and more human-like with the help of natural language processing (NLP). Furthermore, the chatbots will be used on the employee side. Also, there will be a prevalence of cloud-enabled platforms, multi-surface apps, and more data services.
6. What is the framework of the future of work?
A: If a process or a task can be automated, it will be done in the future work environment. Therefore, the need for soft skills like creative thinking, flexibility, and adaptability will be more prevalent.
7. How will the future of work utilize blockchain technology?
A: Blockchain can be utilized to process financial transactions, facilitate corporate mobility, and process time schedules more quickly in a secured and safe online environment.