Blast From The Past: Your Job and The Future of Work

The Future of Work
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    According to a new report recently released by the McKinsey Global Institute, nearly 15% of the global workforce might have to switch jobs within the next 15 years. By 2030, 75 million to 375 million workers will change their occupations, and the world of workforce development will transform.  

    While it’s clear that soon millions of workers will change course, what’s less clear is the impact this shift will have on the economy and the importance of handling displaced workers with speed and efficiency. We are here to help. This post will take a look back at labor shifts throughout history, and highlight the importance of focusing on employee displacement in the age of automation. 

    The Future Of Work and Our Past 

    Looking Back, Moving Forward: We are not the first humans to experience changes in labor demand. One of the greatest shifts occurred in the United States and Europe in the early 1900s, when young workers left farming careers due to the rise in industrialization. 

    People ultimately left their agriculture jobs to take on mechanically focused jobs and positions in factories. A whopping eleven million people moved from rural to urban areas between 1870 and 1920, and the twenty-five million immigrants who came to the United States in this same period flocked to cities. 

    By 1920, more Americans lived in cities than in rural areas for the first time in US history. While in the United States, the number of workers employed in the agriculture industry declined dramatically, the overall employment rate rose between 1850 and 1970.  

    Political Change and Employee Retention

    Society and Technology: Like in the early 1900s, studies show that new jobs will balance out those displaced by technological advancements. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that even if millions of new jobs are created, there will still be difficult consequences for some workers. 

    During the Industrial Revolution in England, average real wages remained stagnant for decades, despite the rise in employee productivity. Eventually, wage growth caught up to and then rose beyond productivity growth. 

    The impact of innovation was not purely economic. While the transition period for workers in England was difficult for individuals, it did let up after substantial policy reform. During this time:  

    -The foundational texts of both capitalism and communism were created

    -New political parties rose

    -Trade unions were formed

    -Protective tariffs were created to stimulate industrial growth

    In other words, the change in technology ushered in a change in society. This is something to keep in mind in our lives, as we might need to stay patient during the beginning stages of automation, workforce development, and employee advancement.

    Employee Engagement for Displaced Workers 

    As suggested by the Mckinsey Institute’s research, If displaced workers can be reemployed within one year, automation could lift the overall economy. If we put our efforts into quickly repositioning 

     employees, full employment is maintained in both the short and long term, wages will grow quickly, and productivity will increase. 

    While automation is likely to lead to layoffs, there’s a right way and wrong way to handle the process. For example, In 2008, Nokia decided to close a mobile assembly plant located in Germany because their current model was not cost-effective.  

    The company, however, pledged to take an active role in supporting employees. Workers were:

    -Notified months in advance of future closures

    -Supported in finding another job at Nokia

    -Granted access to new training opportunities

    -Encouraged to apply for grants to pursue a different career path

    -Invited to career fairs that even included competitors in local markets

    Throughout the transitional process, Nokia was able to maintain its high employee engagement scores and build trust within the workforce. 

    Moving Forward in Workforce Development 

    Today the world is undergoing a period of technological change that even exceeds the changes felt during the Industrial Revolution. There is major potential for reshaping of both the workforce and society at large, and it’s up to us to be as prepared as possible.

    In what ways do you think society could change for the better as a result of automation? Do you think your company will focus on caring for displaced workers? Share your thoughts, opinions, and experiences with us as at WeLearn’s Learning Development Blog.

      Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

      A recent US census estimated that 5.2% of US workers (8 million people) worked remotely. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, that number has unquestionably multiplied. But is remote work as strange as it seems?

      Major companies like Twitter have embraced the trend in remote work and have actively made working from home a permanent change for their frontline talent. With so many opinions on the future of work, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. This post will guide you through the possible pros and cons of remote work and help you find the best fit for your team’s professional development goals.

      Is Remote the Right Learning Philosophy?

      A Loss in Creativity: In a recent article, Kevin Roose of the New York Times warned key stakeholders and workers that ditching the office could lead to feelings of isolation, a decrease in employee engagement, and a loss of innovative thinking.

      Before making the switch to fully remote work, weigh the importance of teamwork at your business or firm. Studies actively illustrate the innate power of working with people face-to-face, and employees collaborating on a project together in the same room may be motivated to solve problems faster than remote teams.

      Employee Burnout: Remote workers could feel more pressure to always be available and productive in their supposedly “more relaxed” work environments. Be wary that your remote team might be taking shorter breaks and fewer sick days than an office-based one, and consider how that might impact their ability to create their best content.

      If you are the kind of boss that wants your employees to stay healthy, happy, and motivated, consider creating strict boundaries. Set a “no text after 8 PM” policy, and try your best to grant your workers the weekends they deserve. 

      The Pros of Employee Engagement at Home

      Happy Workers, Healthy World: The average commute of an American hit over 27 minutes in the past year. While at an office-based job a commute is inevitable, a remote position grants employees more freedom to spend time on things that matter, such as their health and family. Surely your team will feel better after a 27-minute walk with loved ones than nearly half an hour spent in traffic!

      If you want to take a look at the bigger picture, consider the environmental benefits of remote work. More than ever before, your company has the chance to lower the number of cars on the road and help reduce harmful Co2 emissions.

      Equality In The Workplace: Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where 86% of employees believe physical appearance matters, and 73% actively believe it impacts a person’s competency on the job. Working at home places emphasis on an employee’s ability rather than their wardrobe or looks.

      Working remotely may motivate female or minority team members to be more productive, as they will be experiencing far less sexual harassment or office-bullying. Zoom might be tiresome, but in the end, it unifies us by how imperfect we all look at home.

      Questioning Workplace Culture

      Face-Time is Overrated: Recent reports have shown that American companies spent 54% of their time on email, meetings, administrative tasks, and office-based “interruptions”. Michelle Ruiz of Vogue recently referred to the obsession of face time and challenges its importance.

      In her article, Ruiz suggests that face time is the ultimate “mirage, the symbolic appearance of working (going to meetings, chatting with co-workers) but not getting much done.” So, if you want your team to feel more comfortable and focused on working rather than putting on airs, consider remote work.

      Positive Productivity: While managers need to be aware that their team might be taking on more as remote workers, it’s not always a bad thing that employees are inspired to push themselves.

      In Stanford University’s two-year remote work productivity study, researchers followed 500 employees after separating them into their respective “remote” and “office-based” groups. The remote working group didn’t feel the need for as many days off, and results showed a work productivity boost equal to a full day’s work.

      The Future of Work: Uncertain But Promising

      While it is impossible to predict the future of work, the surge of remote working has provided companies and employees with more options than ever before. To encourage the best work possible, try making the office an optional space for employees to choose based on their preferred working style.

      Let your workers know that whether they are in the office or their living room, they are still relevant to the company and appreciated for their efforts. Share your story on remote working with us here at WeLearns learning development blog! We would love to hear your thoughts, and move together through these unprecedented times.

      Share This Post:
      Share on facebook
      Share on twitter
      Share on pinterest
      Share on google
      Share on email
      Share on print

      Subscribe to Our Blog:

      Leave a Comment

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Scroll to Top