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.



2 responses to “The future of work”

  1. 439253ag says :

    I recently came across this interesting phrase-“Accountapocalypse”-in a blog by Chris Hooper. He has used this phrase to describe the phenomenon of accountants becoming lazy as they barely use their accounting skills owing to increasing automation and standardization of the accounting value chain. To solve this problem, he suggest that changes be made to the training curriculum by adding more useful skills like problem solving and deductive reasoning. As you mentioned in your post, these skills entail creativity and are unlikely to be subdued or replaced by automation. Similarly communication skills can prove to be a very useful asset when it comes to sales, leadership and client-relationship management. Another interesting thing mentioned by Chris Hooper is that accountants too should embrace technology skills which would enable them in becoming adept in business information systems.

    Hooper, Chris (Sept, 2015) 5 Ways Accountants Can Protect Themselves from the Accountapocalypse
    Hooper, Chris (Oct, 2015) Is Technology Making Accountants Dumb and Lazy?

  2. 354902kh says :

    As mentioned in the blog post, it is true that old jobs are replaced by new jobs that demand different skills and capabilities. We can really see the development of organizations and how jobs are changing. However, I would like to view it from a more practical and current perspective where many companies are not moving as fast yet. This is especially the case for large multinationals where employees have been working for decades and where it is extremely difficult to implement new technological approaches of working. Why do they fail? They are probably not lacking the financial resources or the IT staff that is capable of developing new systems. As we have learnt in DBA, there are many caveats of meeting needs and designing a system. However, there is also the question of how to implement it within the current workforce. Many people who do not have the perks of being a digital native actually struggle with these innovations and are resistant to adopt them. It is quite shocking to see how systems are introduced but rarely anyone knows how to use them. And we are looking at an information overload and a system overload. How can companies make sure that their investments into new software are properly landed within their own staff? Is it a question of changing management practices and views about software development or a question of change management within the workforce?

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