The ideology that robots will be taking over everyone’s job is a myth. However, we cannot dispute the fact that technological advancement has had both negative and positive impact on the world of work. Unfortunately, according to a study on the future of work, these effects will continue to be felt across the globe. While the concern of many is on the quantity of work, the worry should be on work quality.
The Impact of Technology to the World of Work
Business and IT experts have been on the frontline analysing the impact of technology on the future of work as well as devising ways that will see development steered in a positive direction.
Here are some identified effects of technology on work:
Process automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have disrupted jobs that were once believed to be untouchable. The battle between human workforces and machines will be more intense in the future. Processes and tasks will be run by AI-driven algorithms, as employees doing work that machines can do get replaced. However, there is an outstanding limitation on what technology can do, and the country might end up having a shortage of jobs. It is, therefore, essential to be adequately equipped and prepared for the future of work to remain employable.
Historically, unemployment has been on the rise. However, as far as workforce polarisation is concerned, technology has had its contributions. Workforce polarisation is a situation where low-skilled and high-skilled jobs grow at the expense of middle-class jobs. The ingress of digital technology into the world of work has seen middle-skilled individuals lose their jobs. These are individuals whose work revolves around administrative support and assembly lines.
The Way Forward for the Future of Work
With such an impact on employment, employees can only get equipped for the future of work for them to remain relevant. Here are some recommendations for employees and organisations.
Upskilling and Reskilling
With AI and automation taking over the workspace in most companies, employees are left with only options, to either upskill or settle for low-class jobs. Not every technology that enhances productivity is meant to displace workers. However, such innovations will require some skills for them to be operated. This is why workers will need to learn new skills and get conversant with the language of technology. The future of work will be suitable for individuals who will enjoy lifelong learning. Technology keeps on changing, and having one’s skills enhanced will be an added advantage.
Rebalancing of Fiscal Policies
Fiscal policies significantly influence the work landscape of a country. In as much as countries find it necessary to invest in technology to boost productivity, that should not be done at the expense of human capital. Key economic players such as companies, private businesses, and non-governmental organisations should advocate having the country’s fiscal policy rebalanced. This means that a significant increase in the subsidies towards human capital compared to the investment in physical capital. It is possible to be highly productive economically when social safety nets and worker skills are taken care of, without neglecting technology.