The future of work
Technology is changing the way we work, and many of the exciting new developments are just around the corner. But these developments also make a lot of people worried about whether they might be let go since many companies rush to implement automated systems (Fiscutean, 2015) for the sake of efficiency and to avoid human error.
Already long before IT, the way we worked has always been changed by new developments. For example, the upcoming mass production in the industrial revolution caused many people to start working for a boss instead of for themselves. Right now, technology is affecting the type of work we do, how we do it, where we do it, and who our competition is (Choudary, 2015). Crowdsourcing is now creating a completely different competitive market, and new communication tools makes physical distance much less important. In addition, technical advances equip us with new tools to do our work, changing the way we used to do it. For example, mobile sensors and machine learning are helping people in healthcare make decisions.
The type of work is influenced by the amount of automation that is adopted by an organization. Software can, and already has, taken up repetitive jobs from workers (Fiscutean, 2015). Therefore, some jobs will surely be automated out of existence (Choudary, 2015). But new jobs are created as well, the work done by humans will increasingly shift to more innovative thinking, creativity and social skills, as machines don’t typically do these things well (Choudary, 2015).
So just like what happened before, inventions do change the way we work and will make some jobs obsolete. And logically, people fear these developments. However, again the new technology will make people shift to new jobs instead of putting them out of business (Thibodeau, 2014). And these new jobs will entail more creative processes (Fiscutean, 2015) and more implementation related tasks. The real challenge for businesses is to implement automation where it is beneficial, and to exploit the qualities of their people that software is unable to grasp.
- Choudary, S.P., 2015. Freelancers on the Network. [online] Technology review. Available at: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/541526/work-in-transition/ [Accessed 28 Sep 2015]
- Fiscutean, A., 2015. The ‘software robots’ changing outsourcing: ‘Up to 60 percent of the tasks can be automated’. [online] ZDNet. Available at: http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-software-robots-changing-outsourcing-up-to-60-percent-of-the-tasks-can-be-automated/ [Accessed 28 Sep 2015]
- Thibodeau, P., 2014. One in three jobs will be taken by software or robots by 2025. [online] Computerworld.com. Available at: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2691607/one-in-three-jobs-will-be-taken-by-software-or-robots-by-2025.html [Accessed 28 Sep 2015]