Half of human life is spent working, therefore, work has become an essential part of our everyday lives, not only does it provide means to achieve economic freedom, but it also gives meaning and structure to life. It also helps with attaining personal satisfaction and social inclusion. Work is a place of security, a place to chase dreams, desires and success.
The aim of this essay is to show how the fourth industrial revolution is affecting the society, focusing mainly on the future of work.
The impacts brought forth by the emerging technological advances make the future of work to be in question. /The rise of/in technological breakthroughs brings the future of work into question. The fourth industrial revolution is said to be the increasing integration of these technologies into business and production systems in order to make them self -sustaining and more effective. It is the combination of technologies and their interaction across the physical, digital and biological space that makes the fourth industrial revolution fundamentally differ from past revolutions. The technologies include but not limited to robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, driverless vehicle, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, virtual and augmented reality and quantum computing. While the effect of these advancements can be generally positive, the Fourth Industrial Revolution poses serious challenges for the society, and the implications for education and skills development are significant.
A wide range of these technologies are already influencing business processes, production structures and supply chains. Combined and connected, these technologies will open up new possibilities for creating value across multiple dimensions, for individuals, society, companies and industries. Disruptive changes to business processes will profoundly affect the work place over the coming years, ranging from significant employment creation to employment displacement, and from increased labor productivity to widening skills gaps.
Work in the present day
There is a fundamental change in the way in which work is done. Wealth is created nowadays with fewer employees compared to the past years, it is possible because digital businesses have minor fee that tends to zero. Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation are progressing quickly, drastically changing the nature and number of jobs available, replacing human duties and changing the skills that organizations are searching for in their employees. Technology has the ability to better our lives, increasing productivity, expectations for everyday comforts and average life expectancy, and helps people to focus on individual fulfilment. But it also brings the danger of social distress and political change if economic advantages are not shared evenly. Achieving success relies upon a productive workforce as big organization compete for first-class skills. Castell (1999) states that the places and companies that have the most advanced production and management systems continues to attract people with the best skills around the world, while the leave a part of their population whose education level and technical skills do not fit the needs of the new production systems.
Technological advancement is able to free employees from automatable tasks, liberating them to focus on addressing more complex business issues and giving them more independence. It is also able to provide employees with new equipment and insight to design more innovative solutions to problems that could not previously be solved. The technological innovations have also made it possible for globalization to rise, allowing entrepreneur have access to a wide range of available useful information worldwide and to increase their global market for both investors and customers. The more connected we are, the more opportunities and access to endless learning, enabling us to develop needed skills for productivity. However, people have become relentless in their chase of making profit allowing those with better connections to make even more money while others are left behind.
In addition, outsourcing has created a dynamic environment in which people are able to take on temporary positions and companies are able to hire independent worker for a short-term commitment. Tasks can be separated and issued widely through applications and online structures. The process through which tasks are advertised, relegated, and carried out allows for real-time, interactive and frequently common rating of the task executioner (both for vender and purchaser) and the dependability of users.
Work in the future
As time goes, the current workforce will age, which will bring pressure to the to the economy, social establishments and businesses. The extended life expectancy will influence business processes, talent eagerness and pension cost. Older employees will need to gain new skills and work much longer. The lack of human workforce and skills in various rapidly maturing economies will drive the need for automation and production amplifications. Developing nations, specifically those with a substantial working-age populace, that embody a business ethos, improve their educations system and attract investment are at a greater advantage. Castell (1999) found that in order for the technology to thrive in a certain place, the economy of that place should be able to adapt to the new technological improvements and also on capability of the population to be educated and understand and process complex information. He made use of the Asian Pacific economies example.
Developing countries face greater challenges as the technology increase the gap between them and the developed countries; joblessness and relocation will keep on being uncontrolled without significant, sustained investment. The disintegration of the middle class, loss of employment and income disparity as a result of large amount of automation will increase the risk of social upheaval in developed countries.
Employees with poor education and fewer skill are also at a disadvantage as the fourth industrial revolution progresses. The revolution is going to transform many jobs and bring about new kinds of other jobs that will drive the economic growth. Therefore, businesses and governments will need to adapt to the changing nature of work by concentrating on training people for jobs that will be available in the future. Skills development, career reinvention and lifelong learning will be crucial to the future of the working population
No investigation of the future of work will ever be conclusive. One of the characterizing qualities of our age is its ability to surprise. What the workforce of the future will become will be the consequence of unpredictable, changing and competing forces. Some of these forces are certain but the pace at which they unfold can be difficult to predict. The government, laws and regulations that govern them, consumer tendencies, resident and worker sentiment will all have an impact on the transition towards an automated working environment. Companies, government and individuals should be ready for a variety of possibilities, even seemingly unlikely, results. Therefore, to be better prepared for the future we have to understand it.
While much has been said about the need to change the current education system, provide the necessary training and upskill the current workforce, the bigger question is how do we go about achieving this. It is simply unrealistic to survive the current technological revolution by waiting for the future generation’s workforce to be better prepared. Rather it is important that organizations play an active part in supporting their present workforces through re-skilling, that people adopt a proactive strategy to their own lifelong learning and that government create the empowering condition, quickly and creatively, to help these efforts. Specifically, business collaboration within industries to create larger pools of skilled talent will become imperative, as will multi-sector skilling collaborations that use the same shared models that support a significant number of the technologically driven business changes in progress today. Furthermore, better processed data and planning measurements, for example, those in this Report, are essential in foreseeing and proactively deal with the present change in labor markets.
I believe the transformation brought by the fourth industrial revolution is inevitable, therefore, being able to harness its power to make the changes that we want to see will work on our advantage. It is said that technology alone cannot change the future, neither can it fix all that is wrong with the world, hence allowing it to continue making our lives easier and better we will all need to come together, to find ways in which it can help us, putting laws in place to make sure it is used the right way and for the right reasons and also making sure that its benefits are reaped equally. We will also need to make sure that it serves to empower other than divide and dehumanize mankind. The fundamental nature of the revolution means that it will affect and be influenced by every country, economy, industries and the society.
In conclusion, everything comes down to human beings and values. We must shape a future that works for every one of us by putting humans first and uplifting them. In its most critical, dehumanized frame, the Fourth the fourth industrial revolution can possibly “robotize” humankind and along these lines to deny us of our central core. Be that as it may, as a supplement to the best parts of human instinct—imagination, compassion, stewardship—it can likewise lift mankind into another group and good cognizance in view of a common feeling of fate. It is imperative on all of us to ensure the latter wins. Therefore I believe the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution have the potential to outweigh the negatives.