If you think the pace of change in the workplace has been fast lately, hold onto your hat. A new report published by Dell Technologies says things are about to get a lot faster.
So fast, in fact, that 85 per cent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven't even been invented yet, estimates the report, which was authored by the Institute for the Future (IFTF) and a panel of 20 tech, business and academic experts from around the world.
"The pace of change will be so rapid that people will learn 'in the moment' using new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The ability to gain new knowledge will be more valuable than the knowledge itself," Dell Technologies said in a statement.
In other words, get ready for a lifetime of skills training and retraining, in real time.
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And get ready for the very nature of work to change, the report argues. Rather than people chasing jobs, "work will chase people."
In an extension of today's "gig economy," companies will set out tasks to be completed, then use information technology to match the task with the people and technology that have the necessary skills, anywhere in the world.
"Instead of expecting workers to bear the brunt of finding work, work will compete for the best resource to complete the job," the report says.
"By loosening the ties between work and geography, it will be possible to chip away at the misalignment of global talent that exists today."
But the report notes this radical shift from full-time work to a "gig economy" could come with problems, including social disruption.
"Businesses will need to manage this shift carefully," the report says. "Upon first glance, any reduction in full-time employment could seem perilous for the economic stability of individuals and families."
But the shift in the nature of work "will unleash novel opportunities for a diverse pool of truly global talent."
The report avoids the "doom and gloom" scenario where machines take people's jobs and "humans become a non-entity," Dell's senior VP of marketing, Gaurav Chand, told IT World Canada.
"We don't believe that to be true, and the research does not believe that to be true. Instead, the notion is that the tasks that we are used to doing today are going to be replaced by tasks of the future, some of which we know, and some of which we have yet to discover."
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