Future of workers
The world is changing. A fast-paced and technologically led world market abhors inertia and while automation, virtualization and the increasingly widespread use of AI are all exciting prospects for businesses of all shapes and sizes, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. While technological evolution can certainly drive efficiency, we must work to ensure that it does not come at a human cost. There are numerous industries which have made significant layoffs as a result of increased automation or simple economic necessity.
In an ever-changing technological landscape, in which we regularly pontificate on what is possible and what is inevitable, businesses and their workforces alike must concern themselves not with the ‘future of work’ but with the futures of workers.
Conversations about the ‘future of work’ may make for some pithy editorial think-pieces or twee websites that will tell users exactly how redundant their skills will be in 50 years’ time but they do little to address the fundamental industrial and socioeconomic cost of an increasingly redundant workforce or corporate structures that habitually sideline skilled front-line workers. Indeed, it could be argued that these conversations have exacerbated the problem, creating a sense of looming catastrophe that is more concerned with the future-proofing of corporate structures than with creating sustainable futures for skilled workers.
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