How to prepare for the future of work

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The future holds many changes, and some businesses are taking notice. People like Gabriele Zedlmayer are analyzing the data, and understanding how businesses can adapt.

Don't get comfortable

Changes are afoot - the world as we know it today is unimaginable when compared to the world a mere 25 years ago. The economic landscape, thanks to automation, globalization, technology, and the gig economy, have lead to rapid change. Everything is being disrupted - old industries, big and small companies, even individuals.

The Latvian technology center VISMA is aware of these changes, and invited visionary Gabriele Zedlmayer to talk about the future of business to the opening of their new headquarter. An appropriate topic to be covered, as the new offices are futuristic beyond imagination, which strikes visitors from the very moment they arrive, as their elevators have no buttons.

Gabrielle highlights that technology is not at the forefront - it undoubtedly plays a large role, but the main factors in the emerging economy are data, partnerships, and task-based employment.

These are the trends that will drastically shape our futures

  • Our world population is experiencing exponential growth - by 2100 there will be an estimated 12 billion people on the planet
  • We're already consuming more resources per year than our world can produce - eventually, something's gotta give
  • The amount of data we have is doubling - our data doubles every year, and this exponential growth means that in two years, the amount of data we collect will double every two hours
  • The cheaper computing power gets, the more advanced artificial intelligence can become

What these trends mean for the future of work

The future of work means that there will be increasing data, that AI will be able to process itself - no more need for data analysis. This has major implications for the medical field, letting a computer access a wealth of information, millions of data points, and source knowledge from a wider range, making for more accurate diagnoses.

In addition to medicine, delivery is being automated, as we speak. Elon Musk is a month away from unveiling self-driving trucks, which will then put a lot of drivers out of work.

In terms of manufacturing, if once the product was the object of interest, now the interest has shifted to the data that it can collect and product.

Zedlmayer emphasizes that the work force of the future has to get comfortable with uncertainty. That means becoming agile, picking up necessary skills, pivoting to relevant markets.

As Darwin stated: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

The workforce will have to be open, with its data and knowledge. Collaboration skills will become key, and owning, and not sharing data, will only lead to short-term benefits and later social ostracization.

Lastly, the individual will have to begin to seriously invest in their own personal development. Learning new skills, being able to pivot and adapt to new working realities as they will inevitably pop up.

The hosts of the event, the VISMA technology company that creates administrative software, accented the importance of being open to change. Not only does the foundation of their business depend on it - selling clients on innovative software solutions for their businesses, but they also implement even the smallest changes in their own working environment. The button-less elevator being one very visible example, and another being their own custom-built software for their hundreds of employees to minimize the amount of paperwork done in an office - receiving and viewing pay stubs, denoting vacation time, and having expenses accepted.