The industrial revolution led to many advances in terms of job organization and management, but now that we have entered the fourth industrial revolution, it is time to reassess the way we evaluate and aid work productivity.
With the onset of new tech practices (AI, Blockchain, RPA etc.) we are anticipating a shift in how humans will be working. With terms like the future of work and work-force redundancy popping up across conferences newspapers, and other forums, there is a lot of anxiety in which careers will survive this wave of tech disruption.
A recent report by McKinsey Australia estimated 3.5 million to 6.5 million full-time jobs would be lost to automation by 2030. Although this is a solid report, it also opens up businesses to innovation without purpose, where they move all their efforts towards innovation without purpose (actual use-case development).
As of now it is important to for local businesses to understand what employment is useful for. The answer is simple, the gap that exists between demand and supply is where business opportunity resides.
Both work and employment will exist because they are there with a purpose in mind, to keep the economic engine and help deliver sustainable profitability. In short, employment is a necessity, one that will not disappear, but evolve.
The evolution of work
Evolution is a natural process, one that favors natural selection as a means to rationalize any species. Survival of the fittest also applies to work as well, with the best practices constantly evolving and being replaced with new tools and techniques.
This is something we as human beings need to understand right now, mediocrity no longer works, now that we are able to build algorithms that can predict the stock market we can replace a lot of the grunt work that goes into jobs.
This isn’t supposed to scare people, it’s supposed to inspire them, that the world is moving forward, like the generations before us we are raising the bar on modern work practices – in theory, the practice of work will evolve and a complete layer of jobs will be replaced by machine learning, robotic process automation etc. and organizations can spend more time on performing tasks that are critical to the core of their business.
Technology to aid work-practice
Why we say in theory in the paragraph above is that nothing is predictable about the human race. We are an organism that may or may not act a certain way. Innovation will always happen and is happening as we speak, new discoveries are being made and new products are being built. But how we choose to implement them is a question that needs to be answered.
First and foremost we have to understand that this new wave of disruption, through technology is not intended to disrupt jobs, or the work people do – it is here to evolve the way that we work, which means we as employees, leaders of industry have the opportunity to now focus on further business pursuits.
An example of this would be Deputy’s scheduling software. A robust solution that can help organizations build and manage multiple job rosters. Managers can easily drag and drop employee schedules, share rosters with staff through email, SMS & push notifications and through artificial intelligence see the best possible scheduling scenarios. This can help streamline operations further and reduce hiring overheads with respect to manually planning and coordinating these work-flows.
Another example is a marketing tool called Canva, which helps you create marketing collateral on-the-fly. This tool is a godsend for startups that don’t have the budgets to hire agencies etc. With Canva you can design social media posts, broadcast them from the platform, design client presentations etc. Practically helping reduce marketing overheads in one area and assign those budgets towards some much needed promotion and advertising.
From fearful to fearless
How local organizations can assimilate tech into their environment is by picking a business area, one where they feel where they need immediate solutions (marketing, finance, HR etc.). The next step is to check out if there are tools in the market that can help them evolve their current work practices.
Experimentation is a necessary component to innovation. To help disrupt fear and mediocrity organizations need to build a culture of experimentation. This article should serve as an invitation for innovation and hopefully organizations can put their best people on this agenda to help them navigate the future of work.