The Future World of Work

How will Artificial Intelligence (AI) change the future of work
May 2, 2018
Career Readiness Workshop
April 3, 2020

The Future World of Work

The future world of work has been one of the hottest topics since 2017. However, I personally came across this concept around 2012 when myself and a colleague were tasked by the Executive Committee of my former employer to look into the project called “future world of work” and the impact this has on organizations. After extensive industry research on the topic our recommendations were turned down and we were told that the organization is not ready for such changes. I wonder if organizations will ever be ready for the evolving future world of work.

Our recommendations covered areas such as space optimization, flexible working hours, process automation and we also looked at project based vs permanent employees.

Fast forward to 2018 where the world is talking about artificial intelligence and the gig economy, the world of work has evolved rapidly. I remember when I started working in 2006, we used to capture information on spreadsheets for reporting purposes and now those transactions are automated and one could get desired results within a click of a button.  Data is live which enables top management to make instant organizational decisions.

Also, with increased connectivity in the world there will be a rise of flexible working hours instead of fixed hours in the office. I am of the view that organizations should focus more on productivity then a physical body sitting in the office. This could also mean that the organization could lower its overhead expenditure by allowing the flexibility and mobility of its employees to work anywhere they wish. This also brings me to the question of whether employees should be outsourced services or not and if this type of model will work for the future or not. For me, there are some skills which could be outsourced, this could depend on what is core and critical within that organization. Currently we are seeing a lot of organization outsourcing all their non- core and refocusing on the core business.

What does this mean for organizations and its employees today?

In 2018, we must realize that it is not a matter of machine vs human, but rather how human and machine work together to solve the world’s problems. Besides, it is a human that makes those machines and therefore I believe that humans are ultimately the decider of the next course of action. Organizations will have to look at reskilling its employees in order to respond to evolving world of work and also employees need to take an initiative to become multi-skilled. An era where employees are only focused on one part of the job is gone; this new era requires creative thinkers and thought leaders. It also requires people who are ready to shift the mind by being adaptable and agile. The gig and sharing economy is driving a culture of collaborations, transparency and openness. This means that there will be fewer and fewer traditional company hierarchy replaced by project based defined relationships. Digital will also play a critical role in organizations as we have experienced over the years how technology creates new and smarter ways and for shorter hours. Now, the question is…Are you ready for the future world of work?

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