“You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret…
…is to press play.”- Jay Asher
The world is changing fast. Isn’t it always? The world of work has gone through several quite radical changes in the last few years as a result. Pandemics, wars, financial shake-ups, and technological advances, to think of just a few, are some of the things that have shifted our work culture and employment trends permanently. The future is looking radically different to the quite recent past!
So, as life on this planet continues to move forward, and as causes continue to effect, what might be some of the big changes we can expect in the world of work in the very near future?
1. The Role of AI
Let’s get this one out of the way first! It will be no surprise to anyone that AI is going to have an increasing impact on the way that the job market is shaped across pretty much every industry. Many people find the idea of AI terrifying, with concerns that it will take over and remove jobs from huge swathes of employees. Now although the unknown is scary, and we can’t possibly know how AI will shape the workplace many years from now, it is worth noting a few things.
First, although AI will undoubtedly result in obsoletism for some human jobs, the growing AI industry will also create jobs. AI is set to become one of the leading industries in the world over the next decade. It is also worth saying that AI is not new. We work with AI right now. In many cases, it makes our jobs easier. Google, speech-to-text, voice-activated assistants and targeted marketing are all things that already streamline tasks. There are many more conveniences to come, I’m sure.
2. The Gig Economy and the Death of the ‘Career for Life’
The gig economy, that is to say ‘side-hustles’, is booming. This is for a number of reasons. First of all, many people have been turning to side jobs to supplement their income. No surprises there. However, as traditional workplaces are still catching up to the desire for flexibility of working, many people have turned to freelancing to be able to take control of their own schedules. I am one such person. Freelancing as a writer means that I can work easily around childcare requirements.
The career for life is also outdated. A much larger proportion of people are sidestepping into different industries from the one they started in. Some of the reasons include burnout, boredom, the desire for a different pace, changing personal priorities and growth opportunities.
3. Evolving Workplace Structure
The ‘work-from-home’ boom of the pandemic years has proven that it is a setup which makes employees much happier whilst positively affecting productivity. Many industries are still lagging behind on this… however, expect them to catch up to this particular wind of change in the next few years. The future should look much more work/life balance focused.
4. Financial Expectations
The recent financial struggle that most of us have been experiencing in some way due to, amongst other factors, inflation, has, on the whole, made people more focused on their income and whether they are getting a fair rate. It is no secret that, although many people have seen a generous play rise in the last twelve months, pay rises have generally been below the inflation rate… therefore resulting in a real-terms pay cut.
The upshot of all of this is that there has been a swell in the demand for pay rises. This is not likely to slow down anytime soon, meaning that companies will have to assess their pay rise strategies and come up with attractive ways to retain their employees far into the future.
By Chris Thomson
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