In the future, new jobs and roles will be created to support a technology-driven workplace, such as robot / AI trainer, virtual reality manager, and advanced data scientist.

What does the future of work hold? In a world where it’s impossible to predict what will happen tomorrow, it’s a tough question to answer.

To help, Citrix Systems has undertaken Work 2035, a year-long examination of global work patterns, to understand how work will change and the role that technology will play, in enabling people to perform at their best.

Citrix teamed up with Oxford Analytica and Coleman Parkes to survey over 500 C-suite leaders and 1,000 employees within large corporations and mid-market businesses globally on current and future workforce strategies and work models. And here’s what was learned:

The first key finding: Robots will not replace humans – But they will make us smarter and more efficient. More than three-quarters of those polled (77%) believe that in fifteen years, artificial intelligence (AI) will significantly speed up the decision-making process and make workers more productive.

New jobs and roles will be created to support a technology-driven workplace and the changing relationship between humans and machines.

Here are the positions respondents believe will be created:

  • Robot / AI trainer (82% of leaders/44% of employees)
  • Virtual reality manager (79% of leaders/36% of employees)
  • Advanced data scientist (76% of leaders/35% of employees)
  • Privacy and trust manager (68% leaders/30% of employees)
  • Design thinker (56% of leaders/27% of employees)

The second key finding: Work will be more flexible – Technology that allows for seamless access to the tools and information people need to collaborate and get work done wherever they happen to be will fuel flexible models that the future of work will demand. As a result:

  • 60% of workers believe permanent employees will become rare by 2035.
  • 80% of leaders believe that technology platforms will provide instant access to the highly specialised, on-demand talent.
  • 39% of leaders believe that in 2035, the majority of high-value specialist workers will be on-demand and freelance workers.
  • More than half of those surveyed (57%) believe AI will make most business decisions and potentially eliminate the need for senior management teams.
  • 75% think most organisations will have a central AI department overseeing all areas of the business.
  • 69% believe that the CEO will work in a human-machine partnership with a Chief of Artificial Intelligence (CAI).

The third key finding: Productivity will get a major boost – Technology, closely integrated with humans, will drive step changes in productivity. “AI-ngels” - digital assistants driven by AI - will draw on personal and workplace data to help employees prioritise their tasks and time and ensure mental and physical wellness.

These worker augmented assistants will, for example, schedule meetings to take place at the most effective time based on factors ranging from the blood sugar levels of participants to their sentiments at different times of day. And while the meetings are taking place, they will monitor concentration levels and attitudes and adjust as necessary to drive optimal outcomes.

More than half of professionals surveyed (51%) believe technology will make workers at least twice as productive by 2035. Among the solutions they believe will be commonplace:

  • AI that anticipates and performs tasks based on habits and preferences
  • AI personal assistants
  • AI-guided digital wellness to ensure employees’ mental and physical wellbeing
  • Wearable technology to interact with systems
  • Augmented reality glasses
  • Neuro-linked technology for controlling devices
  • Exoskeletons to enhance performance-related tasks

"The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to reimagine the way things get done, and over the next 15 years, they will face more challenges and disruptions than ever,” said Tim Minahan, Executive Vice President of Business Strategy, Citrix.

"But as Work 2035 makes clear, within this chaos lies opportunity. Savvy companies are using this crisis to begin planning for the “next normal”. Not just return to where they were, but to embrace new workforce and work models to power their business forward."

Photo / 123RF

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