We’ve built up a rather cosy relationship over the years with our modern way of life. We go to school when we’re young. We get a job in adulthood. Then we specialise, all the while earning higher wages.
But that’s an old model, based on the economic realities of the mid-twentieth century, not the twenty-first. And businesses know it. As more and more technologies come down the pipeline, they’re going to change how businesses operate. Here’s what’s coming.
Have you ever asked yourself why students spend so much time in college learning things they don’t later use in their jobs? It seems like a big waste of time and money. And, to a great extent, it is. But with college tuition fees rising, and the returns to a college education falling, it’s becoming less attractive.
Meanwhile, we see the growth of industry-relevant, technical qualifications, like JIRA training, explode. Why? Because these are the skills that are in demand right now. They’re what’s needed in today’s rapidly changing world.
The End Of The Nine To Five
Mobile platforms have gone mainstream over the last decade or so. And now businesses are cottoning on to the full ramifications of this. A flexible working pattern is replacing the 9 to 5. It’s not one dictated by the fixed time and effort slot that the 9 to 5 implies. Rather work is centred around an outcome or a result.
Some have argued that this is what is going to lead to a reduction in leisure time and an increase in working hours. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rather, it appears as if this working model simply allows teams to come together when it’s necessary, and then quickly disperse.
Projects, Not Functions
Recently, we got the exciting news that Google’s AI managed to beat the Go world champion. The reason this was so exciting was because Go isn’t a game that computers can win, just by brute force. There are just too many different directions the game can take. Rather it’s a game that must be learned. It must be experienced in order to get a feel for what one must do to win.
Google’s showcase was just one example in a long list of recent AI advances that look set to transform the workplace. It seems as if we’re going to see the end of rote tasks of all stripes. I’m not just talking about the factory worker who sits around pressing a single button for eight hours a day. I’m talking about anybody who does anything that is rote and repetitive.
Working is not going to be about performing a function. AI will take care of that. It’s going to be more about creating new ideas, product lines and so on. Work is going to be a big project to achieve the next milestone, rather than doing work in the context of the presence.
Of course, this process won’t be complete by 2026, but it’s certainly where we’re headed.