Future of Work Series (Part 1 of 4)

I like to stay on point about the future of work. What will it look like? How do and should we stay relevant on how this impacts our place of work as HR professionals and business leaders? What about technology, AI, robots - how will that shape new jobs and eliminate other jobs?

Our 4 part series will highlight these key areas to be considered as part of your HR hiring strategy whether you have a designated Human Resource Director or Manager, or the CEO of a small business with 10 people. Our article will break down what predictions speak to our future in HR, job opportunities, and how we need to keep an eye on these trends.

  • Part 1 - Future of Work,

  • Part 2 - Skill Development,

  • Part 3- Selection Process,

  • Part 4 - Jobs of the Future.

The questions raised above have been top of mind since the First Industrial Revolution. As technology and automations improved, some professions like a clock keeper, film projectionist, switchboard operator, etc. were no longer required. Since Smartphones made their appearance on the market in 2002, photographers and videographers will be the first to share their thoughts on the impact that digital cameras and mobile phones document the world with pictures, videos, and special effects. Photographers and Videographers have become digital storytellers that had to upskill their knowledge and learn new technology tools to innovate.

As a matter of fact, it seems that every day there is some new technology update (think of how frequently your phone updates happen), a new product on the market, and then we add on how technology moves at what appears to be lightning speed. What will the impact be on human resources? After all, the word HUMAN is in the name of the department and job role. Industry forecasts have stayed the path of keeping a balance between technology and humans.

There has been quite a bit of concern about the role human resources will have in the future. Imagine a world in which the human resources function as we know it vanishes and is replaced by automation, outsourcing, and self-organizing teams. Or a world in which top talent is fought over so fiercely that the most adept tech workers hire agents to negotiate and manage their careers. What to do? Let’s look at four possible outcomes the world of work might morph.

Four Possible Worlds of Work in 2030

According to a report shared by PwC, sees four alternative worlds of work, all named after different colors. One world could move away from big companies as new technology allows small businesses to gain more strength. In another, companies might work together for the betterment of society as a whole. Let’s have a look:

1. The Red World: Here, technology will allow tiny businesses to tap into the vast reservoirs of information, skills, and financing. HR will no longer exist as a separate function, and entrepreneurs will rely on outsourced services for people processes. There would be fierce competition for talent, and those with in-demand future skills will command the highest rewards.

2. The Blue World: Here, global corporations will become larger, powerful, and more influential than ever. Companies see their size and influence as the best way to protect their profit margins. Top talent is fiercely fought over.

3. The Green World: As a reaction to strong public opinion, scarce natural resources, and strict international regulations, companies will push a strong ethical and ecological agenda.

4. The Yellow World: Here, workers and companies will seek out greater meaning and relevance. Workers will find autonomy, flexibility, and fulfilment while working for organizations with strong ethical and social standards. The concept of fair pay will predominate in the future of work.

As we continue to move into the 2030 workplace, why does this matter? It is because of PowerSkills (a/k/a Soft Skills). As more and more job activities become automated, PowerSkills, which cannot yet be replicated by machines, have become more important. In 2017, Deloitte also reported that "soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030" and that hiring employees with more soft skills could increase revenue by more than $90,000.

The Workplace of 2030

According to independent studies published by CBRE and Genesis, and a report in