Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Will drivers go the way of encyclopedia salesmen?

Some predictions on work, from Jeff Bleich, writing in Pacific Standard.

The Future of Work: Who Will Thrive, and Who Will Not
Predicting workforce trends in the United States is a hazardous business. Today, 40 percent of the GDP relies on business that did not exist 10 years ago. So, were I asked 11 years ago to predict the most important changes affecting work and workers, I would have missed many crucial ones. For example, I would not have predicted that fracking would revive traditional manufacturing (and simultaneously retard progress in clean-tech jobs); that the sharing economy would produce a new breed of part-time workers; or that there would be a generational shift in communications (with older professionals still stuck on email and phones while younger professionals migrate rapidly to SMS and social media). 
So, knowing what I don’t know, I will limit my predictions to the implications of technologies that already exist, and that are likely to fundamentally disrupt employment sectors and work-life. Based on these, I think U.S. workers of the future will not drive (and will exploit time and efficiencies from not driving), will perform fewer dull or dangerous activities, will develop more home industries, will find more jobs meeting emotional needs, and will have much longer work lives with new (and distinct) phases of their career.

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