The future role for the traditional workforce is a hot topic. As a technology optimist, Symphony is committed to playing our role as a global citizen, navigating a sustainable path for our clients, their employees and their customers. We work closely with our clients, partners, academics and non-profit organizations to study the impact of ‘Future of Work’ dynamics on today’s workforce.
Impact through Work
No stranger to creating career opportunities for those in developing nations, outsourcing has recently been harnessed by non-profits and socially oriented firms in order to create stability, opportunity, and upward mobility for those in the most disadvantaged communities. To date, growth has outpaced the overall outsourcing industry, attrition is lower and quality is at the same level if not above industry standards.
Significant portions of the workforce may see automation removing elements of their work within the next 15 years. Refocusing and retraining the labor force is more important than ever to sustain economic growth and to protect standards of living. It will be necessary to create bespoke and scalable academy programs to ensure skill levels, interests, age and aptitude are accommodated. Enterprises that can up-skill their own workforces will reap significant rewards.
New Job Creation
Repetitive, low value and rule-based work in the front, middle, and back offices is disappearing, just as physical labor in manufacturing disappeared decades ago. The uptake of Artificial Intelligence will further ensure that elements of judgment-based, cognitive, and creative work can be migrated. Enterprises will have the opportunity to ensure that their deeply experienced staff can dedicate themselves to more interesting and value-added tasks in customer experience and service design. There will be a renaissance of jobs focused around creative and customer oriented tasks.
Education systems developed over 50 years ago are no longer fit for purpose. Modern students need to develop new skills, nurture new learning behaviors, and exercise creativity in order to prepare for the job market of the future. New learning platforms, freely available online course ware, and analytics are empowering students in ways never before possible. Enterprise must work with education to ensure tomorrow’s required skill sets are being taught today.
Shorter Working Weeks
Developed nations are faced with a balance of gainful employment and productivity, versus a decreasing need for output from each economic player. Many nations are considering shortening the working week to address work/life balance and to more evenly distribute wealth. In a world not dependent on the output of each individual, policies and subsidies are powerful measures to ensure that distribution.
As people enjoy longer and healthier lives and are met with the uncertainty of pension provision, there is a need to consider alternative working models that allow senior citizens to stay engaged in the economy. Remote working, crowd platforms, and part-time work arrangements must be considered to exploit the expertise and opportunities offered from an older working population.