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​The Future of Work II: Who Will Do the Work? 

The rapidly evolving landscape of technology and automation has ignited discussions and concerns about the future of work. As we enter the digital age, it is becoming increasingly important to understand how technological advances will shape the workforce of the future. The second edition of the "Future of Work" report by ManpowerGroup explores the key insights on who will do the work in the future and the crucial role of human skills in an automated world.

The Rise of Automation

Automation has emerged as a major force in reshaping the global job market, leading to concerns and opportunities. The report proves that an overwhelming majority of companies, 97%, as per the survey, have already adopted automation in some form. Of course, the rise of automation has raised concerns about potential job loss. As machines and AI become increasingly capable of performing routine and repetitive tasks, there is a legitimate fear that specific job roles may become obsolete. However, it is crucial to recognize that automation also brings forth opportunities for innovation and the emergence of new types of work.

Automation can create new jobs more focused on human interaction, creativity, problem-solving, and complex decision-making. This shift in job responsibilities can increase job satisfaction and enable workers to contribute to more meaningful and challenging work. Automation can also drive innovation and economic growth by streamlining processes, reducing errors, and increasing efficiency. This can spur innovation, drive competitiveness, and create new job opportunities in emerging industries and sectors. Automation can improve workplace safety and reduce risks associated with certain jobs. However, individuals and organizations must adapt to the changing landscape of automation, which may involve acquiring new skills, reskilling, or upskilling. 

The Role and Importance of Humans in an Automated World

The report highlights a positive outlook for the role of humans in the future workforce, pointing out that automation and AI cannot fully replicate the full range of unique abilities and skills humans possess. This understanding opens collaboration possibilities and strengthens human potential by working with, and not against, machines and technology.

Humans have an innate ability to think critically, have original ideas, and find creative solutions to complex problems. These thinking skills are difficult to replicate in machines, requiring imagination, intuition, and the ability to connect seemingly unrelated concepts. Furthermore, humans have emotional intelligence, essential for building and maintaining relationships. Despite their advanced capabilities, machines still struggle to understand and respond to human emotions, so roles that require soft skills, such as counselling, negotiation, and caregiving, will remain within the domain of humans.

Collaboration between humans and machines will become a key driver of success in the future workforce. Machines can perform tasks with speed and precision but lack humans' contextual understanding and nuanced decision-making capabilities. By combining machines' automation with the efficiency of human judgment, creativity, and emotional intelligence, we can unlock new levels of productivity and innovation.  

Upskilling and Reskilling for the Future

The report emphasizes the need for people to upskill and reskill to remain competitive in the job market. Employers, educational institutions, and governments should work together to give accessible and affordable upskilling opportunities to help workers thrive in the digital era. Individuals must develop skills of critical thinking, problem-solving, adaptability, and emotional intelligence to work alongside machines effectively.

New Job Categories and Opportunities

Automation Ethicists: 

Automation Ethicists ensure that automated systems and algorithms are designed and implemented ethically. They analyze the impact of automation on individuals, society, and the environment and develop guidelines and best practices to ensure the responsible use of technology. This role requires technical knowledge, critical thinking, and ethical reasoning.

Digital Tailors:

Digital Tailors are becoming increasingly important due to digitizing products, services, and customer experiences. They work closely with clients to understand their needs and tailor digital platforms, applications, and experiences to deliver personalized interactions. They blend technical expertise, creative problem-solving skills, and a deep understanding of user experience.

AI Business Development Managers:

AI Business Development Managers are brand-new job roles created by automation. They identify potential AI applications, develop strategies for implementation, and work to ensure the successful integration of AI technologies. This role requires a strong understanding of business operations, technological trends and bridging the gap between technical capabilities and business objectives.

These new job categories prove the evolving landscape of work and the need for individuals to adapt and acquire new skills. Individuals must embrace the potential of these new roles and be open to continuous learning. Developing expertise in emerging technologies, staying updated with industry trends, and acquiring the necessary skills will enable individuals to thrive in the automated world. 

Preparing for the Future

The Future of Work II report by ManpowerGroup emphasizes the need for a comprehensive approach to navigating the future of work. Automation will reshape the nature of work, but humans will remain indispensable. Individuals must embrace a continuous learning mindset and develop soft skills to succeed. All business owners must work together to prepare the workforce for the future, ensuring a positive integration of technology and human potential.