The world is changing in ways we could only have imagined ten years ago. Hurtling towards us is an avalanche of computing power, embedding itself into every fabric of our lives. Artificial intelligence will seamlessly guide and influence our every day, our phones, our watches, our clothes and our homes while robots take over many of our jobs and tasks. By 2020, an estimated 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet with information access and flow transforming our homes, healthcare, education, communication and travel. Everything is up for grabs – nothing will be left untouched by this new wave of change.
Some of the changes coming our way are access to virtual libraries for instant translations overcoming communication barriers, smart bracelets replacing smart phones, 3D projection monitors bringing digital media to life before our very eyes, digitized blackboards in classrooms that resemble entrepreneurial hubs, paper thin electronics (imagine swiping the news feed across a newspaper!).
Steve Brown, Intel’s chief futurist, talks about IBM’s “Watson”, a machine that is being taught how to diagnose tumours and suggest treatments by a team of Oncologists in New York. ! Picture an army of nano robots travelling around your body, wiping out cancer cells. Sounds like sci fi but in reality, this kind of technology is not far away with robots already performing surgery on intricate cancers with surgeons sitting in a control centre in a different city (even country) from the operating theatre. The way doctors will work into the future is definitely changing.
A recent Canadian study predicts that 40% of current jobs will be replaced by automation within 10 – 20 years, with the most likely affected jobs in retail sales, administrative assisting, food counter attendants, cashiers and transport truck drivers! These findings are replicated in many global studies, and the message to all entrepreneurs and governments is this, wake up and prepare! Revolutionize the school Education system, fine tune the Diplomas, Certificates and Degrees you are offering, redesign your work spaces and homes, and prepare your emerging Leaders so that they’re well equipped for leading in such a different world.
I’m imagining whole new careers opening up: what about drone flight path controllers, robotic docking station operators and driverless car fuel station managers? Workplaces are likely to look very different, manned by people and robots working side by side.
So let’s go on a journey and explore the 10 ways in which your own work may change:
1.Machines will become your colleagues: Leaders will need huge Emotional Intelligence skills to manage people who are dealing with robots. What does this mean for the future of HR and performance check points? What will the office Christmas party of 2050 look like?
2.Five generations working together in the same office: with Gen 2020 hitting the workforce, be prepared to work with an 18 year old and a 75 year old, and all ages in between.
3.Commutes to the office may change: With a global population of 9.5 billion by 2050, and 4 billion projected cars on the road, many organizations will start to recognise the benefits of tele-working from home. Fully integrated virtual offices will enable you to teleconference on your way to the office.
4.A different kind of office: open plan, hot desking, home offices and virtual collaboration the norm.
5.Bye bye salary: The Intel Future of Work report found that employee remuneration is more likely to be tied to their results rather than hours worked.
6.Many jobs at once: we may find ourselves more in consultant roles, switching between companies, following opportunities and upskilling constantly as the need for keeping ahead of the game increases.
7.Enterprise Social Networks will replace email: the way we communicate will change with email becoming too time consuming, unproductive and stodgy. Programs such as Slack will flourish.
8.Devices will plan your days: The cyber digital trail we leave behind us will enable devices to predict our tastes, preferences and likely our schedules.
9.Standing desks will be the norm: Sitting is the new smoking! Organisations will encourage you to stand for much of the day at your desk.
10.Mindful workshops, Sleep pods and Me time rooms will give you a creative and relaxed time out zone: we are at our most creative when we can turn off our default brain mechanism, and tap into Mindful focus for brief periods in our day.
How do you feel when you read this blog? Are you starting to prepare yourself for this wave of change?
They say that the magic happens outside of our comfort zone, so I encourage you to do something each and every day that scares you just a little – stretch your thinking to embrace change and develop a positive mindset about the opportunities that are coming your way.