The automation and innovation brought by the latest technologies have fundamentally changed the job market. It is only by understanding that we can adapt and benefit from them. Robots and artificial intelligence make this automation possible. And I bring the promise of safer, easier, faster, more productive and more efficient activity. And that ultimately translates into economic growth. But all of these new technologies also raise many questions about the impact they will have on the job market and our future. How are our jobs going to change? Are we going to end up losing them? Are we going to end up being conquered by robots? Or will we cohabit in the most pleasant way?
On the one hand, all of these uncertainties create anxiety. On the other hand, expectation, impatience and optimism. Many of the jobs we have today are starting to be automated. For example, entire depots are already coordinated and arranged by robots. In this context, some believe that new technologies should bring less prosperity and less human effort.
However, few can boast of working less than 15 hours a week, as economist John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that his grandchildren would work. Today, most of us stay more than 8 hours in the office. The dream of working 15 hours per week is therefore in 2020 so far from the truth. In some situations, people work 15 hours a day.
In this context of a possible future dominated by automation and robots, a study conducted last year by McKinsey & Company showed that no less than 30% of the activities carried out in more than 60% of jobs could be automated. So the jobs we have today will change and more and more of us will get to work and be helped more by technology.
Consequently, people already adapted to this contact with new innovations will be the main beneficiaries. In the meantime, others will have to adapt and accumulate these new experiences in a very short time. Even greater pressure will be placed on this category, given the potential for automation of all repetitive activities.
And yet we must not be afraid. Technology has created more jobs than it has destroyed. Just think of perhaps the most discussed category on the job market of the moment, respectively IT. In fact, it is said that technology has led to the elimination of one job, that of elevators. Obviously, this is not the case, we still have this type of job in many institutions (for example: in hospitals).
We can therefore certainly not speak of complete disappearance of jobs, but perhaps of a redefinition of these. But, of course, people will have to learn new things for the roles that await them over the next few years.
A 2013 Oxford University study called The Future of Employment looked at 702 occupations, finding that some of them, such as cashiers or call centre workers, are more prone to automation than others, such as dentists, doctors or psychologists.
As I said before, the robots will take over repetitive tasks, leaving us with slightly predictable jobs (you break a pipe in the house, call an installer, not a robot) or involve emotion (or rather, which is based on human relationships) or creativity.
Doctors, nurses or psychologists can be reassured that their work is not in danger. In addition, artists or creatives are also in a happy situation. But as for them, I don't think we can say with certainty that in 20 years, robots could not paint, speak or sing as well as we do. You can give a pencil to a robot and it will draw you something. You can do it even today. But does that mean art? Today we could say no, but maybe more than 20 years we will believe the exact opposite. We'll see. It is certain that today, more than ever, we must try to become as good as possible in our jobs.
The robots are coming and we have to be ready for any changes they will make. What can we do? Faith Popcorn talks about the fact that people have to become as agile as possible and develop as many skills as possible in order to provide the economy with as many variants as possible. Popcorn predicts that in the future, people will have 7 to 8 jobs, working for several companies at the same time. She also said that this trend is being seen right now, as people no longer want to work for a single large company, turning more and more to self-employment.
Are these predictions true? BrainReserve, whose CEO is Popcorn, has a reputation for accurately predicting things. It is said that the trends named therein are more than 90% true. I only remember the case of Kodak when BrainReserve was hired to predict trends in the film industry. They said the future would be digital. They were then fired by Kodak. Obviously, we all know the future of Kodak, and the presence of the film industry is truly digital.
In addition, American is convinced that robots will become a fundamental part of our life.
So the safest strategy for the future is just like a stock market: you never hold everything on one card, but try to diversify your portfolio. In our case, let's do this as much as possible. So we can learn to do as many things as possible (if possible from different areas).
Under the threat of a future in which many of our activities will be automated, we wanted to see what is happening. How the job market has changed compared to us. What is happening now and what the future looks like.
The trade-offs would be those that govern the labor market during this period.
Employers do not have a wide range of candidates to choose from.
b) On the other hand, they must understand that employees are no longer so much in a job, either because they want to change the organization, or because they want other challenges. And in this case, they must develop their internal development plans to retain valuable employees.
vs. On the other hand, employees want a flexible work schedule. And more and more companies are looking for ways to organize the work program.
The reality of the job market is that we face a severe shortage of staff, with most companies experiencing a shortage of staff. We find that there are many companies which, due to the insufficient number of employees:
a. they cannot exercise their daily activity
b. they cannot be extended, despite the fact that they have an increasing demand for the goods or services they produce/deliver.
vs. they can close their business
In this context, companies are compromised during the recruitment process, which in turn creates many internal problems that affect employee retention in organizations.
Other specialists in most areas are highly sought after. In a marked development in recent years are placed the Call centre and Shared Services companies.
In addition, employers are extremely interested in young graduates and offer attractive packages to attract them to organizations. In the same context, people without experience but eager to learn and to specialize are sought.
The areas with difficulties are IT, catering, education, transport, but without this list being exhaustive. Despite the openness offered by employers, the demand is so high that candidates can make another choice at any time.
A special feature of this period is the flexibility of the work program, many companies being willing to organize the employee program to be able to follow the courses or why not have 2 jobs each.
How do people choose their work? What new criteria have emerged in their choices?
The criteria that have now become extremely important are the distance to work, the benefits offered by the employer, the absence of overtime and the flexibility of the program.
In the next period, it will be interesting to look at the industries that will increasingly replace the human factor with robots for activity. We know that there have been many studies in recent years that attest that in some industries, where jobs involve predictable physical activity, the possibility of automation is over 70%. We can illustrate activities in areas such as food or logistics.