There has never been so much talk about the future of work and the ever-changing world of work than now. We live in an age of technological acceleration and unprecedented global events, never has so much changed in such a short time.
Technology influences the way we live. Today, we can order hot food that has just been made at your favourite restaurant and have it delivered to our doorstep. We can call a private transport through an application. We can even visit the doctor virtually.
We can work from anywhere in the world!
Technology has greatly influenced the way we view not only work but the workspace itself. From traditional paper cluttered offices, we migrated to open space spaces and collaborative co-working spaces.
With the coronavirus pandemic, companies that insisted that workers be on-site from 9 to 5 every day have discovered that most work can be done remotely. With all this change, it is natural that more and more studies are emerging trying to understand what the work of the future will be like:
- How will we be working in a few years?
- Will we even have offices?
UASA’s 18th Annual South African Employment presented by Economist Mike Schussler, has already shed light on some of the changes we should expect to see in the world of work.
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Studies show that today’s students will have 8 to 10 different jobs by the time they are 38. The tasks and services they will provide will be completely different from what they are studying. It is estimated that about 85% of the jobs that today’s students will have in 2030 have not yet been invented.
Many of them will be freelancers, the global trends are rapidly moving in that direction with European and American countries already leading the wave in the multi-employer type of services and contracts.
It’s essential that each of us who wants to take an active part in this world of constant and rapid change must know what digital is. Digital is the land on which we move daily as individuals, and it is urgent that we quickly (but intelligently) adapt to the changes that are happening to the way we work.
In addition to digital literacy, we must focus on developing personal skills that enable us to be fully ready for everything, even that which we can’t predict.
The most important of those skills is adaptability.
Constant adaptability is what will make a worker successful no matter what the work landscape looks like. Critical thinking, understanding, and the ability to quickly accommodate the challenges ahead are all elements of adaptability.
What is needed right now is education on social and human behaviour so we will be able to analyse change, critique problems, and adapt to find solutions.
It is necessary to teach these soft skills so that we can analyse everything that happened in the past and what is happening in the present so that each one of us can be fully prepared and adapted to the future.
Even with the best work experience, with the best degrees on your resume, if you don’t evolve your knowledge, what you know today will do little or nothing for a job that can be completely different tomorrow.
We have already seen so much change in the freelance industry in the past few months. In a future that is less distant than you think, you will have to deal with the disappearance of many tasks that are part of your work today.
Are you ready to react?