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The Future of Work

There has been significant discussion around lately concerning what impact will technology have on jobs, work and importantly the way we work. Will robots take over a large proportion if our tasks? Will we become more like that show on ABC where “ synths” are a part of everyday life? Will they one day rise up and stab us with plastic forks? While many experts have argued  about the full extent of the impact of technology on our work, there is universal agreement that it will impact us. Martin Ford  is a leading expert on artificial intelligence, and is currently in Australia to talk about how the future of work will be affected by the rise of robotics. According to Ford, many of the routine jobs in white collar roles will be overtaken and absorbed by technology in various ways. This will certainly have an economic impact.

However it’s not all bad news. The good news that most experts agree is that technology will not replace those roles that require a human eye or a high degree of creativity. They further argue that anyone undertaking new study should focus on areas that emphasis skills in person to person interaction, creative endeavour or jobs that require empathy. These are all skills that will be difficult ( if not impossible) to cover by technology alone.

In addition to the impact of technology, it is also envisaged that the way we work will change too. As there is a gradual shift and growth in the valuation of flexibility in the workplace, we will find that we will work less hours and work more flexible hours. From home, or office or a combination of both. This is becoming the norm in many European countries and has strong correlation with increased productivity and overall economic wellbeing.

There is also strong evidence that many workplaces will more diverse. This could mean, more women, more baby boomers  and older workers staying in the workforce and of course more ethnically diverse as a result of increasing globalisation. There will aslo be a greater emphasis on environmental impact of the way we work. This means not only that workplaces will become more and more aware of their environmental impact, but also there will be more jobs that are focused on making organisations “ greener”.

Whatever the future holds, there are certainly sure to be interesting and fascinating times ahead. This will inevitably bring opportunities that we would do well to be prepared for.

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