When HR leaders made plans for 2020, few factored in a global pandemic that would forever change the way we work. Planning season is upon us again. And while it’s hard to predict what will happen tomorrow, let alone in the future, organizations that hope to move their business forward need to be thinking about it and preparing themselves today. And HR can lead the way.
The success of any business depends on people. And to drive it, organizations must anticipate changing conditions in when, where, and how work gets done and empower employees with the resources and tools they need to adapt and perform at their best.
What will work look like in 2035? According to the Work 2035 report, a year-long examination of global work patterns and plans undertaken by Citrix, here are three things you can expect:
Robots Will Enable, Not Replace, Us
One of the challenges we face is learning to say, “thank you,” every time technology takes on one of our work tasks. But we really don’t need to feel threatened, because robots will not replace us. They will instead make us smarter and more efficient.
75 percent of business leaders surveyed as part of Work 2035 anticipate that AI-powered digital assistants, wearable technology, augmented reality glasses, and even microchips will enhance our performance.
And 73 percent believe technology will make workers at least twice as productive by the time 2035 rolls around.
New Jobs Will Be Created
As we integrate more technology into the workplace, new roles will be required to manage the relationship between humans and machines. Among the jobs Work 2035 participants expect to see created:
HR leaders will not only need to develop job descriptions and compensation models for these roles but find people with the skills to fill them. And that’s a tall order.
It’s hard enough to find talent with the knowledge and experience needed to fill well-defined, existing roles, let alone emerging ones based on rapidly evolving technologies. To pull it off, companies must identify candidates who are eager to take on new challenges and continue learning and commit to reskilling and upskilling initiatives to support them along their journeys.
They will also need to rethink their work models and workforce strategies. And as Work 2035 found, many will leverage technology to do this.
80 percent of the leaders surveyed believe that in 2035, technology platforms will provide instant access to the highly specialized, on-demand talent required to power future organizations and accommodate rapid changes in business and customer needs.
39 percent of leaders believe a majority of high-value specialist workers will be on-demand and freelance workers.
Work Will Be More Meaningful
To thrive amid constant disruption, organizations must cultivate a workforce empowered to adapt to changing conditions and innovate quickly. Work needs to be designed around an employee experience that removes friction stemming from clunky technology and empowers people to work the way they want – wherever work needs to get done. Savvy companies recognize this and will embrace new, flexible work models and digital workspaces to simplify the work experience and give employees the space they need to succeed.
83 percent of professionals who took part in the Work 2035 project believe that by 2035, technology will automate low-value tasks, allowing workers to focus on meaningful work that creates value.
79 percent say it will be a significant factor in upskilling human workers, creating new opportunities for personal development and career growth.
Where and how work gets done will never be the same. But one thing will remain consistent: the need to provide a superior and consistent experience that removes the distractions that get in the way of individual progress and unleashes an employee’s full potential. Companies that recognize and plan for this can engage their people, and in doing so, unlock innovation and drive better business results