When you think of the future, it may seem distant. Yet, the world has been continually transforming over the past century, with the pandemic causing even greater shifts in a matter of weeks. Changes in our world of work have been rapid, and the constant emphasis on technology has shaped not only how and where we work, but also the nature of the roles and skills required in a highly dynamic labor culture.
Three trends caused by the pandemic
It is clear that we are now more reliant on remote work, digital technologies, and e-commerce. This trend is expected to continue. Despite a slight decline in the intensity of remote work since the peak of the pandemic (as it is not suitable for certain tasks, like negotiations), e-commerce is still thriving - it has grown by two to five times in the past two years. People have become accustomed to paying bills online, receiving medical care virtually, or streaming entertainment, which has brought huge benefits to the global industry. According to Jay Foreman, CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores, "the growth of e-commerce has been a critical driver of US economic activity, creating jobs and spurring innovation.” Numbers back this up - the rise of e-commerce is anticipated to continue, reaching $1.4 trillion by 2025. Automation and AI have also been quickly adopted by businesses, mainly to help them reduce expenses and manage uncertain times. This, on the one hand, aids in cutting costs, but on the other, may diminish the number of people in the workplace.
AI is reshaping the labor market
The digital revolution is here, and it's calling for an army of skilled workers - up to 25% more than originally estimated may need to change career paths to keep up. Automation is slowly replacing mundane tasks and creating the need for more highly skilled professionals to design, implement, and manage AI-driven solutions. This applies to health care and all kinds of science, technology, engineering, and STEM fields. As a result, many middle- and low-skilled occupations (such as clerical and administrative work) may become obsolete. The digital age is transforming the professional world, making it essential for employees to be ready to switch roles - more than half of low-wage workers may have to shift to different positions to maintain employment in the near future.
Medical professionals on the rise
The world is witnessing a growing number and percentage of elderly people across all countries. Advances in medical technology have allowed for the early detection and treatment of diseases, as well as the ability to perform more complex surgeries. Life expectancy is now reaching new heights, with many of us living well into our sixties and beyond. From 2015 until 2050, the portion of the global population aged sixty and older is predicted to nearly double, from 12% to 22%. What does this mean for the labor market? Increased demand for nurses, home care workers, hearing care technicians, etc.
As the global economy evolves, not only do companies need to be creative to stay in business but so do employees.