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The world of work changes every day, so what is the future?

The world of work changes every day, so what is the future?

It matters so much – The Future of Work In 5 Years Is Both Good News and Bad.

While unemployment continues to fall and things generally pick up it’s timely to look around at the world of work in general and start to think ahead.

We’ve looked at work through different angles on MBF Blogs in the past, listed below for reference. But what are the prognostications being made at the present?

Three Distinct Groups

According to predictions collected by Zurich Insurance for their Future History Now project, the workplace in five years time will be radically different. We would expect that, so much else will be too.

Some 40 leading business figures and thinkers have arrived at a collective view that ‘developments in technology, demographics, politics, economics and society’ would shape work and workers.

There will be, they reckon:

  • a ‘squeezed salariat’ of full time workers with obsolete skills under threat from outsourcing and automation
  • a ‘precariat’ of part time and self-employed vulnerable to losing work through lack of skills
  • an elite group who will prosper

This has been said before and our blog In the Future, The Average Is History, the Machine Is King, (30 September 2013) explores the ideas about how those with particular skills and mindsets will do well, the rest will fail.

Other Viewpoints

They also think there’ll be an increasingly obvious importance on hard skills and soft skills with:

  • ‘earnback’ systems in place to determine pay based on outcomes
  • a rise in cognitive and geographic inequality
  • logic and problem-solving skills more in demand than qualifications
  • Silicon Valley will become a ‘rustbelt’ as no place can gather all required skills
  • traditional retirement will vanish with older workers valued working part time
  • more blurring between life and work
  • less uniformity as companies prize different values from different people
  • workplaces will be means of improving public health and damage prevention
  • more transfer from state to individuals for financial well-being

Many observers are optimistic about these likely developments, believing they will engender deeper personal relationships, a stronger community and more loyalty.

The Future of Work already argues that work ‘is no longer a place you go; it’s what you do. In the economy of the future people will get their work done where and when they need to. . .’

Surely we’ll still need plumbers, electricians, road menders, kitchen fitters? Or will all these jobs be done by robots?
Do you share the hopes? Or are you downbeat?
Is such change inevitable?

Other blogs about work:

Beyond Blue Sky Thinking Will Sort Out Jobs for Our Future, 27 January 2014

Some People Have Seen the Future: It’s a Legal Minefield, 26 November 2013

Young and Unemployed? You Shouldn’t Be in This Digital Era! 17 September 2013

Summer Exam Results Bring Out the Old Controversies About Young People’s Digital Activities, 13 August 2013

School Holidays Are No Break from Studying Futuristic Issues, 29 July 2013

Digital Footprints Can Follow You and Your Job Prospects for a Long Time, 26 March 2013

Wanted: More British Inventors, Engineers and Designers As Everyone Can’t Be Web Entrepreneurs, 12 February 2013

London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ Provides a Carnival of Good News, 19 November 2012

The Longest Coffee Breaks In the World,, 11 July 2012

A Hard Day at the Office, 24 April 2012

Image: Cromemco