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FUTURE OF JOBS & PROJECTS
FUTURE JOB PATTERNS
Several jobs of today will disappear tomorrow while new ones will emerge as the world faces dual disruptions – technology-led and COVID-19 induced. Transformations such as automation of the workforce, digitization of workflows, and electronic collaboration are setting the way for the future of work.

Social, economic, and technological changes taking place globally are moving forward towards a highly uncertain future of jobs and contractual projects. The high degree of unpredictability is mostly triggered by the induction of the latest technologies, accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis, and preceded by a slow recovery from the global recession. Over the past decade, these factors have brought about a looming possibility of mass job displacement, untenable skill shortages, and human intelligence being challenged by machines in the future.

The onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution coupled with the COVID-19 recession has propelled digitization, remote working, and e-commerce. According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, over the next ten years, it is anticipated that between zero and 30 percent of the hours worked globally could be automated.

The potential impact of automation on jobs varies by occupation and sector. Jobs that involve physical activity within a predictable environment, such as preparing fast food are most susceptible to automation. On the other hand, jobs that involve managing people, applying skills, and interacting are less likely to be impacted by machines.

Studies suggest that the increasing adoption of technology may drastically reduce the role of humans in certain tasks, leading to substantial job loss globally. Yet with the elimination of many job roles, technology will also successfully create many others. Moreover, besides technology, a few trends will also catalyze the new and increased labor demand in the future such as rising incomes and consumption, changes in demographics, and, investments in sustainability.

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With new technologies and social realities emerging, the job roles, nature of projects, and skills in demand in the future will be discretely different than today. The relationship between people and work is evolving, leading to the emergence of new work models with a wide array of opportunities as well as challenges. Moreover, global internet access continues to foster new modes of collaboration between employees and partners.

As organizations are evolving, project economy is emerging as a thriving global phenomenon. Project economy encompasses delivering value to the stakeholders via the successful completion of projects. It is estimated that by 2027, around 88 million people around the world would be associated with project management, and the project-based economic activity will be valued at approx. $20 trillion. To that end, project management professionals will be the harbingers of innovation and the organization leaders of tomorrow.

With the entrance of millennials in the workforce, the number of people associated with the gig economy and digital platforms is on the rise as people are increasingly valuing the flexibility and freedom that stems from the nature of freelance projects. Further to this, flexible floor plans, lesser hierarchy, and smaller corporations will continue to thrive. According to McKinsey Global Institute’s report, the top three skill sets of workers that will secure the best careers for the future can be broadly classified as higher cognitive skills, creativity, and flexibility. The dynamism of demanded skills would require upskilling and reskilling across the board; whether as a safety net for those likely to stay in their jobs or as a displacement plan for those who lost their jobs.

EVOLUTION OF THE JOB MARKET
The job market is constantly evolving in an attempt to embrace the technological, economic, and demographic changes; becoming more inclusive, flexible, and competitive. The balance in the labor markets is influenced by dynamics on the supply as well as demand sides – highlighting the need for structural reforms and adaptation of new skills.
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How has COVID-19 impacted the future outlook of jobs & projects?

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly disrupted the labor markets, economies, and societies globally; resetting major work trends and reshaping the future of jobs. The short-term impact of the pandemic was sudden and severe as millions of people lost their jobs while others tried to quickly adapt to the ‘new normal’. On a long-term basis, the pandemic-induced disruption coupled with automation and augmentation of technology will impact the availability and quality of employment for the years to come.

For the first time in history, COVID-19 has brought the physical dimension of work into the spotlight. During the pandemic, the jobs in work arenas with higher levels of physical proximity and interpersonal interaction were exposed to the highest risk of transformation. Findings from a recent report by McKinsey suggest that the pandemic may instigate quicker adoption of automation and artificial intelligence, particularly in jobs that entail high physical proximity. Adoption of new technology is also spurring the emergence and widespread adoption of the project economy as the organizations are striving to become more flexible, fluid, and goal-oriented.

The massive disruption of technology alongside the disruption triggered by the pandemic has led to a scenario whereby human intelligence is now challenged by artificial intelligence. According to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), automation, in tandem with the COVID-19 recession has initiated a reallocation of tasks between humans and machines, and by 2025, humans and machines will spend approximately the same amount of time at the workplace. Subsequently, the key to preserving relevance in the turbulent labor market is to reskill and upskill, irrespective of whether you are likely to hold your job or at the risk of losing it.

ADAPTING THE NEW NORMAL
The rise of the gig-economy and pandemic-spurred disruption have challenged the foundations of the traditional 9-to-5 employment. Flexible workspaces, gig-workers, and project-based work options are increasingly preferred as the world resets the work models to embrace the ‘new normal’.
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Global career opportunities and mega trends in jobs & projects

The pandemic has had a drastic impact on the future of jobs, the workforce, and the workplace. As we turn the corner on the pandemic, work models need fundamental realignment according to the contingencies of the new normal. There is a drastic shift towards remote work as organizations and employees continue to collaborate digitally. Recent research led by Gartner suggests that approx. 48% of employees will likely work remotely post-COVID-19 as compared to around 30% pre-pandemic.

The economic instability on account of the pandemic led many people to lose their jobs while exposing others to non-conventional work models. Many organizations reduced their contractor budgets in response to the pandemic, however, there has been a shift since then. Employers are looking to hire contingent workers as opposed to full-time workers post COVID-19 to maintain more workforce flexibility in the future.

Organizations are basing their work around projects to achieve results, drive change, and create value. In the future, organizations will continue expanding their geographic diversification and investment in secondary markets to hedge the risk during uncertain times. In turn, this will complicate organizational management and career path and thus, employers will need to step in to provide career development support.

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