Are You Prepared for the Future of Work?

Have you heard about the future of work? It’s kind of a buzzword, or phrase, going around right now. But what does the term really mean? Well, the reality is it means just what it implies. What will working be like in the future? What changes might be coming for the workplace?

What changes can we expect in the workforce? What role will work play in society in the future? How will businesses attract employees and customers? How will the very nature of work itself change?

These are important questions regarding the future of work. To answer these questions and other important questions about the future of work we have to look at what’s currently influencing the future of work.

The future of work is being shaped by two powerful forces: The growing adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace, and the expansion of the workforce to include both on- and off-balance-sheet talent.

Deloitte Insights

Technology Is Changing Work

If you look at where work is now and compare it to where it was 20 years ago, how much has technology changed how you work? The simple answer is it’s changed everything. Technology affects the way we communicate and the way we actually do our physical work.

It’s changed the way we interact with co-workers, employees, clients and potential partners. Technology has also changed the way we store and access information. In fact, technology has made information one of the most valuable commodities a company can own.

In the last five years, technology has really taken it up a notch and now we’re regularly talking about things like automation and artificial intelligence. These are becoming a driving force in the world of work. Many experts believe that AI and automation will change the future of work forever. And they’re right.

Computers and robots already do many of the menial tasks that human had been doing for years. But the future of work holds even bigger changes. For example, according to a report in The New York Times, some analysts predict that self-driving vehicles will make up as much as 75% of all traffic by the year 2040.

Just imagine the effect that would have on hundreds of thousands of people who work in the transportation business. The fall-out could be huge. And that’s just one industry. Artificial intelligence and automation will affect dozens of industries and likely change the entire future of work, as we know it.

Time to Get Prepared

But before you throw your hands in the air or bury your head in the sand and just give up, all hope is not lost. This changing face of the future of work can be a positive thing.

Of course, you can’t change history and you can’t control the future. But you can prepare for it. You can’t stop technology from advancing. It won’t. But you can improve yourself so you’re better prepared for what’s to come. Here are some of the best ways to get prepared for the future of work.

Keep Learning to Adapt – anyone can get a degree. And anyone can learn how to do certain job requirements. But that means your company can always find someone to replace you if they need to. So your objective is to be so good and so well rounded that your company would never want to have to replace you. Therefore, learning how to be adaptable is even more important than how much talent you have. Your skills are great, but keep learning more, especially how to be flexible and to adapt to new situations.

Learn Emotional Intelligence – one of the things that machines still can’t replace is emotional intelligence. Although AI is working toward that, machines still can’t replace the human element of empathy. So boost your emotional intelligence and learn how to show true empathy. As long as humans are still in the workforce, people skills will always be in high demand. So learn to be a people person and how to relate with others.

Critical Thinking Is Vital – one thing humans can do well is to learn how to apply critical thinking. This is a valuable asset now and it will continue to be valuable in the future. Critical thinking allows you to gather information and then look at that information from all possible angles. You’re then able to make the best possible decisions based on the information you have from a variety of sources. This is a must-have skill to be prepared for the future of work.

Virtual Collaboration – communication and collaboration are important factors for almost any business. As I mentioned technology has changed the way we communicate in work and in life in general. But as the world of work changes, being able to use that technology to your advantage will be important. That means learning how to effectively collaborate with co-workers and managers from remote locations will be invaluable for your future.

Be Tech-Savvy – technology isn’t going anywhere. You don’t want it to steal your job, but you do want to use it to your advantage. So in order to stay relevant to companies and employers going forward, you need to be digital and media literate. That means, keep learning new tech skills whenever you can. Follow the trends and keep up with them. If you learn to do this well, you might be able to help predict future trends, thus making you even more valuable to your employer.

Learn to Work With Machines – if you can’t beat them, join them. Like it or not, machines are a big part of the future of work. The more you can learn about them and how to work with them, the better off you’ll be. Machines are supposed to make your life better. Learning how to use them, instead of seeing them as the enemy, will play a major role in how prepared you will be for the future of work.

Are You Ready?

The work world is changing. No one can stop it. But the good news is you don’t have to. Put yourself in the driver’s seat for success and make these tips part of your game plan. The future is coming. Make sure yours is bright.