When this country began, our hunter-gatherer, farming ancestors worked to live. Not a single iota of energy was wasted in a day. Wasted time equalled starvation.
In this new century, our country is working from the fruits of the industrial revolution, the robotics revolution, and the technology revolution.
Just as our ancestors might have wondered what the future held in working, we are living their future and wondering about our own.
What exactly does the future of work look like?
The Fluctuating Current Work Environment
The worlds of industry, commerce, healthcare, education, and many others are fluctuating, which is causing considerable anxiety. Labor-market opportunities between high- and low-skill jobs, unemployment and underemployment, stagnating incomes for a large proportion of households, and income inequality demonstrate that the job market is already trending toward the future.
Automation and artificial intelligence promise higher productivity, economic growth, increased efficiency, job safety, and convenience. But these technologies also have a broader impact on jobs, wages, skills, and the nature of work itself.
Lots of tasks that workers handle today could be automated. Simultaneously, job-searching sites like LinkedIn and Monster are altering and increasing the ways people look for work and how companies recruit talent. Freelance work has become very enticing with digital platforms like Uber, Upwork, and Etsy making working for yourself much easier.
Another newer trend, especially in tech companies, is remote and virtual employees. This not only allows things to get done around the clock, without commuting, but also provides companies with employees who have hard-to-find skill sets and is a way to accommodate employees who don’t want to move to work for the company.
These shifts in how jobs are done as well as how talent is recruited create both uncertainty and benefits. One of the biggest questions is what role automation will play.