Redifining our work: how new rules have already started to change our jobs
Over the centuries, there have been certain events that have led to a general transformation of all known areas of life. A very representative example in history was the industrial revolution, when, back in the second half of the 18th century, the known world turned into a new era due to the appearance of industry and new forms of technology. This fact meant a progressive change in all areas of society, but I would like to highlight two: social way of life and work environment changes. While industrialization started to transform society, some types of employment disappeared – such as the more manual ones – furthermore, new ones, more mechanical-natured – such as those related to industry – started to emerge. However, this transformation was not the only one over the centuries. Looking back, I can clearly remember the changes for the sake of digitization, when a huge social and labour change was also developed with the appearance of the internet.
Nevertheless, society is used to adapt to challenges to which – willingly or not – it is subdued. A similar example in terms of magnitude to these milestones that I have previously mentioned, is the huge change that the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to society. 2020 has been an unprecedented year, however, the capacity for adaptability and resilience are inherent to human beings. Even so, there are social advances yet to come that we may not be able to fully anticipate due to their extensive magnitude, as it happened with the industrial revolution and with the appearance of the internet.
“In times of great changes, adaptability makes a comeback in all sectors. The great digital step that we have taken in the last year and a half has settled a new working future.”
Focusing on the two before mentioned aspects that I have highlighted, I would like to emphasize the idea that this pandemic has meant a life-change. However, these changes are being constantly adapted due to some current uncertainties that need to be solved. Having been deprived of our knew-to-date life – to a greater or lesser extent – meant that our environment has been affected almost entirely, specially, social way of life and work areas. In times of great changes, adaptability makes a comeback in all sectors. The great digital step that we have taken in the last year and a half has settled a new working future. Rules have already changed.
In 2019 it was inconceivable to predict – even in short or medium term – working remotely. However, this is one of the great current changes in work environments. Teleworking has emerged as a key tool for current job development. Due to this, a new way of working has begun to be settled. Regarding this change, there are many new benefits such as being able to work from anywhere without being tied to a place, the reduction of travel costs, recruiting for knowledge workers can be expand to new geographies and also including previously underrepresented populations, etc. Giants such as Google or Facebook have proposed to maintain this work path even once the pandemic is over. However, despite the fact that teleworking is the one that hits the headlines, other changes that are equally important for the future labour market understanding can also be foreseen.
“As CSR is becoming more and more important within business, we are likely to see a transformation regarding sustainability policies and strategies.”
On one hand, teleworking along with new technologies has opened the door for freelancers. In past years, freelancers were viewed as a last resort. However, nowadays talented individuals are starting to bet on themselves. For this reason, freelancers are now on the top of mind as they offer agility to companies that must adapt to unexpected challenges.
On the other hand, as CSR is becoming more and more important within business, we are likely to see a transformation regarding sustainability policies and strategies. As every business is trying to become “green”, every organization will need workers that combine digital and tech skills with environmentally-friendly business processes.
Last but not least, automation and AI augment the workforce. Due to the pandemic wake, logistics operations have increased their demand on automation services, for example, to ensure social distancing and safe work environments. Moreover, the digital transformation needed to keep pace with pre-pandemic times has given a great push to automation. For this reason, related jobs have been gaining more and more importance.
Unsurprisingly, these changes have led to the accelerated appearance of jobs of the future that have arrived early. Many of them are emerging as top contenders in the post-COVID future. According to World Economic Forum, by 2025 professions emerging in the wake of the pandemic will be: Work from Home Facilitator (due to remote work), Fitness Commitment Counsellor (remote work reduces physical activity, so it is important to take care of yourself), Smart Home Design Manager (our house is now our castle), XR Immersion Counsellor, Workplace Environment Architect, Algorithm Bias Auditor (to ensure the future workforce is also the fair workforce), Data Detective, Cyber Calamity Forecaster, Tidewater Architect and Human-Machine Teaming Manager.
There is no way to predict exactly how global labour markets will rebound in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, what we must extract from this analysis is the increasing jobs related to post-pandemic digital changes and the capacity for facing new abrupt problems.
Luis Pardo Céspedes
CEO de Sage para España y Portugal. Mi pasión es hacer crecer negocios, PYMES y personas a través de digitalización, innovación y liderazgo. Mi último libro trata sobre #humanismodigital.