We have arrived into the dystopian year of 2019, made a benchmark by Blade Runner in 1982. Though we don’t have flying cars or synthetic humans, we have had our own share of scientific breakthroughs that have reshaped the way we work.
When we thought of the future back then, no one would have foreseen self-service, hologram concerts or smartwatches. We tend to think larger and ignore the minor changes that slowly shape our understanding of the world around us. Smart devices have kept us plugged into work for longer hours, self-service machines have redefined roles in retail, and hologram and video calls have meant that business is global within seconds.
Using the same logic, we’ve had a lot of candidates and clients try to predict the roles and responsibilities of future workers. Here’s some of our picks;
What becomes of the working week and daily commute?
Technology will cost less for businesses to implement. If self-service machines are any indicator, business owners will incorporate them where possible. The cost saving will be directed towards hiring a technical expert. This individual would likely be a freelancer and would work for clients ad hoc.
The mass reduction of employees and dependency on skill-based staff will inevitably change the working week. The 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, will cease to be relevant for the majority of employees. As is currently the case with skilled workers, they are hired to complete a job and then move on.
Driverless cars are on the cusp of release too – yet there seems to be little fanfare. This could be because of Uber’s fatal test that occurred in March 2018, where the car didn’t register a woman crossing the road. Despite this, driverless cars are still on the horizon and set to revolutionise how we travel.
As far as workers are concerned, the commute and working hours will blur. Driverless cars will enable commuters to work en route to the office. Wi-Fi-equipped and expected to eliminate dangerous driving, driverless cars will cut travel time dramatically while offering space to complete daily tasks.
How will the high street fare against VR, AI and robotics?
Robotics and AI have repeatedly topped people’s reasoning for the death of standard working practices – and the high street for that matter. But we’ve been steadily building to that for years with online shopping, high rental prices in town centres and retail parks.
High streets are likely to get greener as workers begin to move away from commercial lots. The space will be used for recreational facilities, and human-focused professions will be prioritised by the younger generations to facilitate the demand of the unemployed. Psychology, human resources and counselling are all degrees we think will increase in popularity as hospitality and retail choose robotics over employees.
VR will change how we experience our work in these fields and how we communicate. Will it be like Ready Player One where we plug in and carry out our jobs remotely? It’s hard to say, but even GPS is moving to hologram technology. It’s not a huge leap to imagine VR as the next step in day-to-day business practices.
Shopping (and lifestyle to an extent) will be suggested to you based on preferences you’ve shown when using smart devices. Alexa and similar tools will start to inform you of when you want to purchase certain items instead of the other way around, making shopping a perfunctory task.
Will education change and affect the global battle for talent?
Education will start to reflect current working practices. While English and Maths still display core skills, the current marking system largely rewards students that are good at retaining information. But this isn’t indicative of a skilled worker in 2019; those in technology industries are finding that their success has little to do with what they learned in school.
In order for countries to prosper, schools will need to support the industries that prop up the economy as opposed to subjects that lead to unemployment or unskilled work. This will likely create the knock-on effect that drives students to choose either skilled-based technology careers or human-focused courses.
Of course, all of this is a limited prediction based on trends that are happening right now. There’s no real way of protecting your business or career against any of these concerns. However, you can seek ways to future-proof yourself with the right staff and procedures. Partnering with us can help you secure the necessary talent.