Rapid advances in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have driven the way we imagine the workforce of the future. But in the post-Covid landscape, employers have been encountering a workforce of changing demands and priorities. Added to this mix of changes is a 2021 McKinsey report that claims that by 2030, more than 25% of the initial estimates (14%) of the global workforce might have to switch domains or occupations.
So, how will companies accommodate this digitally transformed workforce? Let’s find out.
What is the Workforce of the Future?
The digital transformation of industries is an instrumental factor behind the monumental shifts in the workforce and organizational effectiveness. The rate of transformative change is also accelerating and increasing the pressure on recruiters to cultivate a flexible talent pool. In a 2022 PwC Workforce of the Future report, Blair Sheppard, PwC’s head of strategy and leadership development, mentions, “To stay ahead, you need to focus on your ability to continuously adapt, engage with others in that process, and most importantly retain your core sense of identity and values. For students, it’s not just about acquiring knowledge, but about how to learn.”
What Does the Workforce of the Future Focus On?
Mapping this steady change over the years holds a defining moment for businesses worldwide. It thus becomes imperative for the workforce of the future to focus on the following aspects to surf the tides of AI, automation, and technology:
- Making Large Leaps: The ongoing decade will witness multiple complex scenarios of industrial transformation. Business success is imperative to radical change and preparing for a dynamic future
- People are the Backbone of an Organization: Companies should strive to retain their workforce and their toiling teams by upskilling and incorporating agility toward change. The modern workforce will be guided by empathy and compassion—the prime boosters of productivity and organizational health
- Embracing Automation: Automation is inevitable and so is its effect on employees. A keen understanding of disruptive technologies will enable organizations to build a concrete narrative around innovation. It will also determine how your employees feel about the innovation strategies
5 Traits That the Workforce of the Future Will Have
What do managers need to know about the workforce of the future? What are the trends that can be easily missed? Let’s find out.
1. They Will be Tech-Savvy
The workforce of the future will be comfortable handling AI, robots, and real-life ML applications. The Human-AI synergy entails innumerable learning opportunities to maximize the potential of human resources in a company, acclimatizing future employees to the changing demands of a professional workspace.
A 2021 HNG Leadership report emphasized the immediate importance of a tech-savvy workforce in the face of massive operational changes and skills shortages. It states that over 60% of companies worldwide have shifted their core operations to the cloud, while 24% of them have already faced major cybersecurity setbacks in the preceding two years. These facts, alongside a whopping 67% of skills shortages in the industry, only point toward a burgeoning demand for tech-savvy individuals to fill different organizational roles to boost productivity, infrastructural security, and customer engagement. When technology fuels innovation, the innovator needs to improvise!
2. They Will be Empowered
The Great Resignation of 2020 made employees reevaluate their choices, reasons, and decisions behind joining an organization. The workforce of the future will identify with endeavors that boast strong ethical and social records and look for greater meaning and relevance in their daily activities. Corporate responsibility thus becomes a crucial business imperative—making organizations collaborative in nature and providing autonomy to their talent landscape. Farsighted companies have already harnessed the potential of an empowered workforce by investing in environments of learning and continuous improvement. In the future, companies will be primed to retain a highly engaged and intuitive workforce that knows how to balance work and purpose.
3. They Will be Data-Literate
Data literacy is the entire set of processes involved in extracting, analyzing, and making sense of raw data to convert it into contextual information. The data-driven analytical culture is the primary catalyst for the rising demand for data-literate individuals. Data analysis is teamwork that requires stringent collaboration between the technical and the nontechnical to come up with actionable insights. A 2022 Globe NewsWire report claims that data literacy will be the most in-demand skill by 2030. All these aspects point toward a massive shift in the workforce of the future in terms of skill acquisition. If the future of businesses and industries belongs to AI, the future workforce will increasingly join the data analysis bandwagon to increase their job prospects.
4. They Will be Intuitive and Display Creative Intelligence
A work culture modernized by AI will inevitably lead to a spike in overall workforce creativity guided by rationale and intuition. While the major technological shifts generate anxious excitement among employees, they also reshape and reinvent the prevalent workflow processes. If machines/algorithms automate the tenuous, repetitive tasks, creativity becomes an exclusively human domain. Creativity will be a vital currency of success in an automated world—a free-flowing network of humanistic ideas actualized by AI and ML. A 2022 IBEM report mentions that companies that invest in creativity have happier and more productive employees. This not only reinforces the importance of intuitive thinking but is also a central proposition for companies to prioritize organizational and individual creativity.
5. They Will Have Measurable Soft Skills
Soft skills represent the nontechnical set of skills that show how one interacts within a professional environment. A September 2022 Forbes article deals in-depth with soft skills and how they were featured in the maximum number of jobs posted on LinkedIn. It means we don’t even need to look at the workforce of the future for this trend, we are living in ‘the future’. This is in line with a 2021 McKinsey report that talks about the rise of social and emotional skills as crucial preferences among recruiters. In a data-driven world, regular, repetitive tasks would have already been automated.
There will be a vacuum for managers, leaders, and visionaries—roles where people are trained to make decisions related to strategy, culture, and stakeholder relationships. Communication skills, diplomacy, patience, empathy, business acumen, and team building would be equally integral. As employees get more empowered, they will eventually form a vast networked space of shared talents that move beyond technical work paradigms.
What Will the Workplace Look Like in 2025?
The best part about innovations is their unpredictability. No one can gauge exactly how things will turn out in the future. However, studying the pace of change in technology and organizational culture, it’s safe to assume the following:
- The rise of purposeful multidimensional roles
- The complete dominance of hybrid and remote work models
- Multimodal communication strategies
- Hybrid and diverse teams incorporating values of equity and inclusion
- Strong understanding of employees that they are inseparable from the surrounding innovation
- The increase in environmental impact assessments by companies
- The rising importance of organizational change managers
Be Future-Ready with Emeritus
Continuous learning, agility toward change, and talent management are keys to building an alternative workforce from scratch. If you are looking to be that change, Emeritus stands at the helm of sustainable business practices with its best-in-the-market courses on digital transformation, HR, coding, data science, and more. You can opt for one of these and upgrade your career to be part of the workforce of the future!
By Bishwadeep Mitra
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