When we think about the term “future,” our imagination skyrockets to robotics and flying cars; when the word “work” is attached to the future, the term, future of work is different for everyone. Some believe that robots will take over human jobs. Some believe that soft skills will no longer be needed.
Whatever the case is, the evolution of technology has revealed a lot about what the future of work will look like.
Here are five future work myths that need to be discarded in 2022 so we can direct our energies towards developing skills that will be most relevant for securing good jobs in the future.
When we see technology replacing less-skilled jobs, we fear that robots may take over our jobs in the future. As a result, robots can do jobs like manual labor, accounting, financial services, etc., better than humans because of their capacity to process vast amounts of data and no need for rest and leisure.
Even though many manual jobs are at stake in the future, many myths instigate concern and fear. Therefore, it is best to break these myths to understand what people need to work on to become compatible for the future of work.
1. This is the First Evolution of Work
For many thinking that this is the first time humankind has felt threatened by technological advancements, you are wrong.
This is not the first time society has had a 180-degree turn in its way of doing work. For example, many products that are not manufactured through machines like shoes and clothes were made by hand.
And even before that, the invention of the wheel might have driven many people out of their jobs, for example, palanquin bearers.
In this regard, humankind has transformed its skills to work with the upcoming technologies. A survey conducted by PwC revealed that 77% of workers said that they would learn new skills to improve their future employability, which is precisely the way to go about a technological revolution.
2. AI will be Sufficient for Decision-making
The age of Big Data has dawned upon us. Many tools help humans make decisions by analyzing these figures. Even though AI has improved on the value we gain from data, it still requires human intervention and supervised learning to generate useful outcomes.
While AI could eliminate the huge costs associated with making wrong decisions, it will only augment humankind. For example, one research indicates that AI will cause a billion people to lose their jobs over the next ten years (Source).
Another research by the World Economic Forum suggests that while 85 million jobs will be displaced by 2025, 97 million new jobs will be created across more than 26 countries because of AI (Source). This shows that while the new world will use AI increasingly for decision-making, it will require employees to improve on their skills that can manage AI-controlled jobs.
3. Robots will Take Over Jobs
Just like AI is expected to take over decision-making roles, one myth is that robots will take over manufacturing jobs. However, the term “take over” is probably used in the wrong sense here. While robots will be doing many of the jobs that were manually done earlier, they will just redefine the work for the employees who are replaced.
Therefore, while some types of jobs will be lost, more will be created because of the new ways of working. The interaction between humans and machines may change, but robots cannot “take over” the jobs completely.
4. Soft Skills will no Longer be Needed
Since it is believed that AI and intelligent robots will take over jobs, another myth is that soft skills will be a thing of the past. Therefore, the workplace will no longer need skills like leadership and teamwork.
However, the opposite is true. With machines and automation changing the workplace, soft skills will be needed more than ever. In fact, with the evolution of the workplace, businesses will have to change managerial practices. The “new world” will demand skills like emotional intelligence and managerial practices like people development.
5. The Industry Won’t be Disrupted
While all of the other myths are on one extreme, the other extreme is those believing that their industry would not be disrupted by technology. With the disruptive change that communication technologies have brought, many industries are not concerned with or working towards preparing themselves for any other changes.
However, with many technological start-ups on the rise, many industries will face disruptive technologies that will give them a 180-degree turn. As a result, the companies cannot succeed without upskilling their employees. This includes investing in upcoming skills like data analytics, working with AI tools, and learning to operate new machinery in the industry.
While industries are forecasting an AI boom, it is only plausible for businesses to prepare themselves to embrace the change.
Upskilling the employees with the upcoming trends like Big Data analytics, industry 4.0, robotics knowledge, and AI is a great way to get started towards the disruptive journey ahead.
Therefore, holding training sessions, getting employees enrolled for higher study programs, and conducting workshops can help in preparing the workforce for the changes ahead.
Furthermore, with the huge changes expected, there should be leaders in the making who can facilitate the change process and help the employees to transition from the present to the future world of work. Companies that don’t do that will lose their competitiveness and will not sustain themselves in the future.
There has been a lot of talk about robotics, AI, and big data being a threat to the workforce. This means robots and AI technology will soon replace humans.
However, the change should mean the augmentation of the workforce rather than looking at it in a negative light. There have been many revolutionary technologies before this, and the human race has evolved for the better.
Businesses must equip their workers with the upcoming and in-demand skills like industry 4.0, Big Data anal tics, AI, and robotics so that they are not at the back end when the industry is disrupting due to new technologies and styles. This is the way it has always been done, and this is the way that humankind will progress.