Predictions for the Future of Work

September 22, 2020

By looking at surveyed and predictive statistics, we can begin to understand the next normal we’ve found ourselves in.

The future of work is here.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the COVID-19 pandemic have created a dynamic duo that is reshaping our lives.

By looking at surveyed and predictive statistics, we can begin to understand the next normal we’ve found ourselves in. Read on for a deeper dive into future of work predictions, and join us at Propulsion 2020 for more expert analysis on workforce trends.

The Future of Work infographic Propel
Join us at Propulsion 2020 for more expert analysis on workforce trends.

The Rise of Remote Work

We all know that the rise of remote work was dramatically influenced by the coronavirus pandemic.

But, workers believe this shift will stick, with a majority of folks saying they’d like to work remotely at least part of the time.

What does this mean for manufacturing? It means you need a robust, integrated PLM solution that enables everyone at the organization to be on the same page.

When it comes to manufacturing, there is a blend between those who can work remotely and those who cannot. This makes communication and collaboration even more difficult. By having a single system where everyone can see product specs, updates, and issues across the organization, you enable remote workers, in-house team members and those in between to do their best work.

Automation Domination

Automation has been accelerated. For example, Japan has deployed human-powered robots to stock shelves at convenience stores — blurring the line between humans and robots.

But, today, only about 10% of jobs are actually automated. While we will definitely see this number increase and employees be displaced by automation, we’ll also see a rise of new job opportunities.

More than two thirds of school children will have new, never-before-seen jobs. This means employers must invest in enhancing the skill sets of existing employees in order to create a fair and equitable working environment while other jobs automate.

Technology-Driven Workplaces

Soon, before we know it, Millennials and Gen Z will make up the entire workforce.

Gone are the days of clunky, hard-to-use software. If an employee can’t grasp initial concepts of a software in a matter of minutes, their likelihood of adopting and integrating it into their work is slim.

This is because both Millennials and Gen Z grew up with new technologies. Their understanding of consumer tech is immediately — maybe with bias — transferred to enterprise software.

This means your organization must adopt technology that is not only cutting-edge, but that is easy to adopt and understand. Nowadays no one wants to sit around reading a manual - they expect a few Google searches (at maximum) will deliver the results they’re looking for.

To stay ahead of the curve, employers will invest in Industry 4.0 technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, and 5G.

Freelance Freedom

Did you know that nearly 60 million Americans freelance today? By 2027, just a few short years away, half of the workforce will be freelancers.

This might be the biggest change in the future of work because the traditional 1:1 style of employment will be disintegrated.

Either individuals will take long contracts or will work for many individual companies at the same time. Most will be considered independent contractors, meaning they don’t have to follow the same rules and regulations as traditional employees.

For example, independent contractors don’t have to work on a set schedule, especially while remote working. This eradicates the typical 9-5 workday, commutes, and can reduce work-life balance difficulties. Beyond this, independent contractors, or freelancers, have the right to perform work in any way they please, as long as the final result is what the company asked for. This means getting everyone on the same page might be dramatically more difficult.

Finding Future Success

If you’re like us, you’re already being impacted by the future of work. You’re already using freelancers to get small or precise projects accomplished, you’re adopting innovative technologies, and understand the nuances of working remotely.

But… What are your blindspots when it comes to the future of work? Take a step back so you can leap forward. At Propulsion 2020, hear from speakers like Zone to Win author Geoffrey Moore on how to compete in an age of disruption. RSVP now to get a free physical copy of the book!

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Kathryn Kosmides


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