By Anja van den Berg
Considering the rapid changes the workplace has undergone over the past two decades, can you imagine what it will look like in the year 2030?
As the world of work rapidly evolves, the predictions made for 2030 may be realised even sooner than we anticipate, says Bianca Solomon, Human Capital Manager at the Executive Development Division of the University of Stellenbosch Business School.
From automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to flexible work hours, mood-matched workspaces and fast-paced learning to bridge skill gaps, the workplace of 2030 will emphasise ingenuity and idea generation – plus empathy and doing good.
“Fundamental shifts are already taking place in how talent will be perceived in meeting the needs of the 2030 workplace,” Solomon resumes. “Forward-thinking leaders should look to embrace the benefits that technology and AI will enable in the working world of tomorrow, and empower themselves with the learnings to be able to step into the future with confidence.”
The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that 35% of the skills required for jobs today will change by 2030. Furthermore, it predicts that 65% of children born today will pursue careers that don’t currently exist.
“You could be a digital death manager, a microbial gut bacteria balancer or even an urban shepherd,” Solomon explains.
According to Solomon, industries predicted to grow the most is information technology (data, AI, machine learning, etc.), caregiving (especially as people are predicted to live longer), education, management, medicine, smart product design and entertainment.
Using information from local and global reports, Solomon created a list of some of the expected changes:
- How you will be hired
The gig economy will be the name of the game. Consultants and freelancers will make up most of the workforce. You’ll be hired through on-demand apps that match your skills to prospective employers. Additionally, all your medical, lifestyle and performance data will be in a central global database you can seamlessly share with HR managers. AI in HR will ensure a fair hiring process, with algorithms that eliminate unconscious bias and pick up pay disparities between genders.
- Training and development
You’ll need to continuously learn as the fast-paced environment demands ever-changing skill-sets. Online learning will become increasingly popular as people scramble to bridge capability gaps. While no one can predict the future, the best way to be prepared for it is through continuous learning and training.
- Your colleagues
Most of your colleagues are also likely to be outsourced specialists capitalising on the gig economy. This means you’re probably going to be flitting between employers and teams. Strong interpersonal and soft skills will stand you in good stead as increasing weight is placed on cross-collaboration between all facets of a company. Additionally, a flatter hierarchy means most people operate on a similar level.
- Your workspace
Cooperative workspaces will have quiet zones mapped out for the mood you’re in – for example, a creative red room could have floor-to-ceiling screens for immersive inspiration. There’ll also be collaborative spaces for physical meetings or virtual reality catch-ups. Your voice assistant will order a driverless ride for you – or possibly an Uber Air if you feel like flying to work. Drones will deliver all the packages you order from office online shopping exploits.
- Your performance
While you may not opt to be microchipped any time soon, AI will play a big role in performance management, according to The Economist. For example, Humanzye already uses smart ID badges to track how well employees interact with each other. AI could help minimise meeting requests and automate many of the niggling day-to-day tasks that take up the workforce’s time. It’ll also collect the data that proves performance and helps guarantee promotions.
In the future, the need for a physical location will be reduced, and a virtual workplace will become commonplace. Many corporations will require both a physical and a virtual space, but online space will be predominant, and the value of the corporation’s virtual space should be higher than its physical space, says a Global Workforce Innovation report.
World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/01/this-is-what-work-could-look-like-in-2030/
Buzz Community: http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/610/178340.html
The Cheat Sheet: https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/5-ways-the-workplace-will-be-different-in-2030.html/
Global Workplace Analytics: https://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics