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6 key trends that will change your job in the future

From artificial intelligence to a later retirement age: the ways our careers will change.

Image: Unsplash

WHEN WE THINK about the future of work, it can be tempting to imagine a far off time dominated by robots and space travel where we live to the ripe old age of 117.

In reality however, the biggest changes to the way we work aren’t in the future, they’re already happening. From evolving job titles to transformative working practices, here’s 6 ways your job will be affected.

1. Artificial/Augmented Intelligence

Automation is becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives from online banking to self-service checkouts in supermarkets.

In the world of work too, AI is being used to increase productivity and efficiency by automating the more administrative aspects of work like scheduling or note taking. In fact a lot of the work carried out by employees today has the potential to be automated. As such people will need to become more tech savvy to fulfil each element of their role.

2. The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (often shortened to IoT) refers to the interconnectedness of devices, how everything from your phone to your fridge to your car can connect and share data via the internet.

IoT has many potential effects on the way we work. One possible workplace use is the monitoring of employees through wearables which, of course, has positive and negative implications. Employers can deduce the times of the day when their team are most productive, what tasks cause them the most stress and even how many breaks they’re taking during the day.

3. Non-traditional workspaces

The standard corporate office will become less common with coworking spaces like WeWork and Huckletree rising in popularity. Expect to see a lot more remote working and hot desking too as 9-5 working days become a thing of the past.

The offices that do remain will be less structured in layout and look to promote good work-life balance. That means more pet friendly policies, better break out areas for socialising and brainstorming and even isolation pods for when intense concentration is required. These pods block out sound and even wifi to help users focus on the task at hand.

4. A later retirement age

We live longer, we work longer. Governments will struggle to provide pensions for populations with a longer life expectancy and so it’s likely the retirement age will increase if not dissipate altogether. A more gradual retirement process will be a more feasible option in terms of pension schemes.

To adapt to a longer working life, we’ll see people retrain and change careers at an older age. They’ll need to adopt new technology and build broader skills to remain in the workforce with their younger counterparts.

5. The emergence of new roles

We’re so preoccupied with what jobs are going to become obsolete, we often forget that there’s also a number of roles that will emerge as a result of improved tech. We’ve already seen new jobs such as Chief Data Officer, Social Media Manager or VR Developer become more prominent in companies.

As new technologies evolve we can predict people having titles such as Digital Currency Adviser, Drone Manager and Self-Driving Car Mechanic.

6. The gig economy

As the workplace develops and changes, so too does our definition of what it means to be employed. We’ll see less people in long term employment and fixed contracts and more people working on a freelance basis, focusing on projects rather than set hours.

For employers it means that they can outsource the more specialist tasks to experts without having to offer benefits such as healthcare or holiday days. For employees it gives them the freedom to work on multiple projects at the same time and the flexibility to determine their own hours.

More: How a new generation of ‘centennials’ will evolve the way we work>

From pool tables to biophilic design: The changing face of the modern office>

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About the author:

Aoife Geary

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