New Economy: What is the future of work?

By Isadora — In Artigo Autaza, Automação Industrial, Industria 4.0 — October 30, 2019



Over the past decades, the man + machine relationship has been accelerating in an almost symbiotic process, especially if we speak of a social and production aspect. Today we live in a frantic race for innovation and new technologies. In this scenario, the advancement of automation is inevitable for companies that want to survive and fight in the more and more competitive global market. With technology, it is possible to increase efficiency and reduce costs within the company.

It is a matter of time, but the industries that we know today will be fully automated with systems that combine machines with digital processes.

A McKinsey study on the work automation points out the areas that are most impacted by automation and the number of jobs that can be substituted for it. Globally, agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and construction are the sectors most likely to be automized in the overall analysis. But what will we do in the future?

“We shape our tools and then our tools shape us back,” said the famous philosopher Marshal McLuhan. Human labor is undergoing a profound transformation and it is clear that artificial intelligence will eliminate many jobs we know today. However, new professions will also arise. We will have more time for a more complex human thought by outsourcing automatic or simple calculation tasks. The context may not be so catastrophic as some movies and science fiction series predict.

In an event on the future of work that took place this year, the President of Microsoft Brazil Paula Bellizia said that “We are in the fourth industrial revolution, not in the first. This transformation of the work has been going on since the first one. What happens now is that the speed and the break are higher. So, speaking of technical training or cultural change, of adapting those people to deal with all this technology and improve their work from it is very important. It will depend on us, businesses, the government, academia, to prepare the human being for what lies ahead. What I think is that we can’t stop this process.”

The challenge will then be the qualification and development of new skills in this new era. According to data raised by CareerBuilder in early 2018, which is one of the largest US job search sites, 45% of HR managers surveyed said they were unable to fill vacancies due to a lack of qualified professionals for them. pelo CareerBuilder no início de 2018, um dos maiores sites de busca de emprego dos Estados Unidos, 45% dos gerentes de RH consultados disseram que não conseguiram preencher vagas abertas por falta de profissionais habilitados para elas.

To Martha Gabriel, considered one of the leading digital thinkers in Brazil and the author of the book “Você, Eu e os Robôs” (You, Me, and the Robots), analyzing the numerous studies and impact of technology trends at work, we can condense the key skills we need to develop this century into four topics:

1- Critical Thinking

In environments with fast-changing pace, there's no time to wait for someone to analyze the events and support our decisions. The more complete the environment becomes, the more essential the ability to learn to think alone becomes, critically, to validate and correlate the information to understand emerging threats and opportunities.

2- Creativity & Experimentation 

If the pace of change accelerates, the problems and opportunities of the past are different from those that arise today, requiring, therefore, new solutions. Thus, we need creativity to solve new situations which may require experimentation and acceptance of trial and error process to generate results in environments with a high degree of uncertainty.

3- Connection (with people and technology) 

The greater the complexity of the world, the more interdependent we become – both with people and with technology. Thus, developing intentional networking and continuous learning technology connects us to the complementary skills of other people and technology features for us to be more sophisticated and achieve better results.

4- Resilience:

In environments with high uncertainty and that require trial and error process, resilience is essential for us in order not to give up on failed attempts and be able to practice creativity and innovation. Without resilience, we cannot make progress in complex environments. So, to develop the ability of resisting and continuing in adverse circumstances is the basis of other skills for success.

One thing is certain: as the world goes through this rapidly changing from analog to digital, emotional intelligence – like self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management – will be a key requirement for success in the coming years.

Beatriz Bevilaqua, journalist and passionate about technology!