Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Workplace Will Be Radically Different By 2025; Are You Ready?

What this all means is that the labor force is adapting to take advantage of both changing and expanding opportunities.  It is possible to have a full time job and to also take on additional responsibilities such as been an uber driver.

More and more folks will adjust their lives to this.  Certainly I am seeing more and more of this.

Real full time employment comes from the communications sharp edge which is human to human selling.  That simply demands the biological component to properly establish.

In the long term, doctors need to become healers as well as technicians.
The Workplace Will Be Radically Different By 2025; Are You Ready?

NOV 30, 2015 @ 06:23 AM

Work, as we know it, has changed dramatically in the past few years. Many Americans are frustrated and confused about the smartest way to get in front of what is happening. Should we start taking coding classes at General Assembly, invest in a new degree, or launch a solo business so we aren’t dependent on a “steady” job that could disappear overnight?

There are no clear answers, but one thing is certain: Many of the changes we’re seeing now—automation, heavier reliance on freelance and other flexible talent, the rise of digital platforms that connect people with work in the “gig economy,” and a heightened demand for tech skills—are only going to gather momentum.

To get insight into how to thrive in our fast-evolving economy, I spoke recently with Andrew Karpie, a research analyst at Azul Partners/Spend Matters. He covers the ways in which technology is changing how enterprises find and procure their contingent workforce and labor-based services. Karpie is currently tracking and modeling digital ecosystems that are emerging to connect enterprises and the growing independent and freelance workforce. Here is an edited transcript of our conversation.

Pofeldt: Are robots going to take our jobs?

Karpie: For decades, we have been talking about the elimination of jobs through automation. That will continue. But now the discussion is also focusing on how technology is changing work arrangements and work itself. Today some argue that technology has always created new opportunity. But others argue it is different now. Technology has advanced to include artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, which can replace people in white collar jobs. They say the number of jobs eliminated will greatly exceed those created. We’re going to have a shrinking workforce, so that should mitigate the problem. Also, there are new ways emerging to structure completely new kinds of work arrangements. I think the bigger issue is going to be: When new work opportunities are created, who will be trained and capable of doing what needs to be done—and where will they be?

Elaine Pofeldt: How will platforms like Uber and Upwork change the way work gets done?

Andrew Karpie: What I call online “work intermediation platforms” have begun to have very significant and visible impacts throughout the economy—that is, enabling new ways of arranging work and conducting it. When work requirements and worker capability/availability are digitized, then work arrangements can be arranged and structured across a network. We are going from a place where work arrangements established between workers, businesses and consumers were barely intermediated by technology to one where technology supports the intermediation, often 100% with end-to-end-platforms like Upwork and Uber. In other words, technology is more and more the “digital middleman in the cloud” that can reshape and expand how work can be arranged and structured. An Uber driver—in any location, in any Uber city—can choose to work any number of hours any day of the week—even do one ride a day—and doesn’t have to invoice anyone, etc. Similarly, I can be a web developer anywhere in the world arranging and performing work through an Upwork, or I can be a scientific expert participating in a crowdsourced problem-solution challenge.

Pofeldt: What does it mean for the workplace that more people will be “coming to work” via platforms?

Karpie: There are enormous implications for the workplace that businesses are going to have to adapt to. The workplace today is structured to engage with individual workers—whether “permanent” or temporary contract workers—who actually “come to work” or sometimes work remotely—or alternatively to contract for labor-based projects or services. Platforms now introduce a whole broad range of new ways in which talent, expertise, skills, capabilities, etc., can be channeled into and applied in work situations in a business. While this creates new options to source badly needed talent and skills, it also poses a large set of new challenges: how to structure and manage the procurement and utilization of these new forms of work, how to deal with compliance and (what we’ve heard much about this year) classification risks. It will take some time, but I think well before 2025, the workplace as we know it today will be completely transformed.

Pofeldt: Does this mean the “job” as we know it is going to disappear?

Karpie: The big shift that we’re seeing is the dissipation of the industrial employment labor economy and standardized forms of work arrangements. What we’re seeing now is that technology is making it more and more possible support other types of work arrangements. Now the workforce is starting to make that shift as well. People are calling it the freelance and gig economy. I think we’re heading to a new paradigm of work, with various kinds of work arrangements. Full-time, extended engagements of workers by businesses are not going to go away by any means, but a business’s workforce will increasingly consist of many different kinds of work arrangements.

Pofeldt: So how can people reading this prepare themselves for this future? What skills do they need to navigate it? And can they actually navigate it successfully, in that they will still be able to work in the future?

Karpie: I think the answer to this question is simpler than it seems, and it’s just an extension of a long-term trend. Understand that you need to acquire skills, know-how, etc., that will be relevant and valuable in the economy that is evolving, and also keep in mind that the labor marketplace continues to become more fluid—meaning work requirements change more quickly and so do “jobs.” Whether or not you will be working in the future will depend upon whether you have human capital that will be valued in the marketplace. Much more so than in the past, workers will have to decide how much they will invest in their own human capital development, make the necessary resource allocation trade-offs, and become prepared to make changes and frequent course-corrections over the course of their careers. They will also need to begin transitioning to other support structures beyond “corporate welfare.” The good news: I think we are already seeing these adaptions occurring in post baby-boomer generations.

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