The future of jobs is one of the most critical questions of the global workforce. There were several economic challenges, technology advances, and pandemic-related changes that happened in 2020.

According to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs 2020 Report (insert link), the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the labor market’s change. This research has shown that what used to be considered the “future of work” has already arrived.

Wondering how your business and your work can still be a part of the jobs of the future? Here are the eight most important things about the future of jobs we have to take note of now.  

1. Reality: Automation is fast-tracking for almost all businesses.

The future of automation in the workplace is here. Automation is the use of machines and computers for processes or systems to operate without human control. According to the World Economic Forum’s Report, the year 2025 will see a future of job automation which means that jobs dividing humans and machines will emerge. This will eventually disrupt 85 million jobs and affect medium and large businesses across 15 industries and 26 economies worldwide.

2. Because of automation, roles are rapidly decreasing in data entry jobs, accounting, office support, and administrative positions.  

This is also a result of more digitization in more workplaces. To add to this, 80% of business managers and executives deploy new technologies and choose to digitize processes through remote work. If you are in one of these roles, better rethink your strategies and engage in learning new skills or strengthening them as machines have started to replace these processes.

3. Good news: New job roles will be created to fit the needs of the future.

In this Report, millions of jobs will evolve, especially in the following economies: the care industry, content creation fields, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, product development, green economy, and engineering. Look out for jobs where people are needed because of human skills in managing, communicating, interacting, and reasoning.

In another article by the World Economic Forum, it listed jobs that were non-existent in the past ten years that are popular today, such as app developer, social media manager, cloud computing specialist, data scientist, sustainability manager, YouTube content creator, and drone operator.

4. Upskilling and reskilling the workforce is a must for all companies.

The majority of the employers surveyed through the Report, 66% to be exact, recognized the need for upskilling and reskilling their workforce and expecting a return on investment through these initiatives within one year. World Economic Forum’s Managing Director Saadia Zahidi said that most competitive businesses of the future had invested heavily in their human capital about the skills and competencies of their employees. 

5. Top skills needed are identified, and reskilling needs to be done urgently.  

Core skills such as problem-solving, social skills, analysis, and critical thinking are on top of the list for reskilling and upskilling for educators and businesses.

In 2020, self-management skills such as self-development, flexibility, resilience, and stress tolerance were already identified. The move to remote work is a significant change for almost all businesses and their employees. These skills are determined to help avoid work burnout for remote workers (insert a link from the previous article).

Workers are advised to immediately provide skills training for jobs in content writing, sales, and marketing. If you want to further your skills at work, there are available opportunities to learn online, and your companies may also provide some learning programs.

6. Remote work is the new normal, and the workforce should adapt to changes.

The pandemic hit a major nerve in the global workforce and businesses as they adapted to remote work. It accelerated automation in almost all companies as it has to adhere to lockdowns, isolation, and forced homestays. This then prompted more employers to move their workforce to remote work. This move ultimately forced everyone to learn new applications to increase productivity and communication at work (insert link for the previous article about best applications for remote work).

McKinsey’s (insert link: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/whats-next-for-remote-work-an-analysis-of-2000-tasks-800-jobs-and-nine-countries) featured insights of future work, and remote work said that 41% of employees surveyed stated that they were more productive working from home than in the office. This study showed results from April to May 2020, the first few months of lockdown due to the pandemic. More employers are now seeing better productivity from their remote workers.

7. Career transition proved inevitable for a growing number of people.

Career change or career pivots has also proven to be the new normal. With the shift in the labor force and available jobs, some roles were almost non-existent because of the inactivity of specific industries. This new-found reality has proven to be a challenge to most people as some functions were redundant. Some were even furloughed or eventually retrenched because of the pandemic.

There were new roles that emerged during the abrupt changes in the labor force, and those who have survived had to shift to other roles to remain relevant in their industry. LinkedIn data over the past five years showed that 50% of career shifts into data and artificial intelligence from different fields. Sales roles, content creation, production positions, and engineering roles have long been identified as those who have embraced new occupations.

8. Jobs are available for the unemployed.

The unemployed might see a vast range of available work online. Even before the COVID-19 situation happened, remote work in different industries is available through Upwork, Fiverr, and other hiring websites. LinkedIn is also used by companies and headhunters looking for skilled and experienced workers.

You may likely find yourself enhancing your skills by learning digital skills in data analysis, content creation, computer science, digital creatives, and information technology for those in-between jobs. There is also a steep increase in online shopping, and this can also add to more jobs in online store specialists, shipping, and delivery.

Automation, Remote Work, and its Effect on the Future of Jobs

Automation and remote work are incredibly relevant issues for businesses, and the workforce as the future of jobs is discussed. It has caused a lot of speculations and many maybes. It also is noted that there are many types of automation such as Industrial Automation (IA), Business Process Automation (BPA), Robotic Process Automation RPA), and Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). These have varying degrees of automation that also go with the level of control of human beings in these processes.

But what it has shown so far was the redundancy of jobs due to automation and technological advances. For the last ten years, the Report listed several assignments that have tremendously declined in the United States, such as secretaries, computer operators, telemarketers, mail sorters, and brick-masons.

Although there are jobs that will be eventually outdated by 2025, as The Future of Jobs report stated, new jobs will be created and will ultimately emerge as industries evolve. These new jobs may have developed due to these factors:

·   Increase in technological changes and advances

·   Changes for professional and personal behavior that were products of the abrupt COVID pandemic

·   Escalation of concerns regarding the climate crisis

·   The rise of social media

More so, there are still jobs that need the intervention of human beings, as robots or computers will not have the critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities of humans. The human factor is required in healthcare and caring employment, teaching in higher education, construction, and the service sector.

The Report also stated that the robot revolution would create 97 million new jobs. Still, there is a need for businesses and governments to support these disruptions that will significantly affect industries that are most automatable such as the manufacturing industry, low-level service sectors, and agriculture.

Automation should not be seen as a negative factor, but its impact can be measured alongside several factors like technological advances and current economic situations in different countries. Automation will not replace workers in the healthcare and caring industries since the skills remain challenging to automate.

More about the Future of Jobs

The future of jobs after COVID may yet to be seen, but there are promising gains to be achieved as businesses, and the labor force adapt to the challenges that it poses. These changes might come in phases and several shifts. The different industries strive to invest in training and reskilling workers, change in technologies, digital infrastructure, and exploring more potentials of remote work.

Given the predictions on the future of jobs, new jobs will be available, but it comes with a certain degree of adaptation that can be boosted by training people to be equipped with the necessary skills for role changes. The future is in both the employers and the employees on how they can eventually overcome these changes.

Talk to us at Rivermate on how we can help you with global payroll, remote work, and hiring.