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The future of work is automation. Tips on how to avoid replacement

Future of work

The technology-driven world we live in is filled with promise but also challenges. Self-driving cars, ridesharing apps, algorithms that respond to customer inquiries, etc. These are manifestations of the future of work and automation.

There’s also growing public concern around the way technology affects our lives. Many believe that the widespread use of automation will substitute activities humans currently perform.

«It’s been 50 years since the first message was sent across what became the internet. In 50 years, we’ve seen technology transform our enterprises, our relationships, and society itself. The next five years may bring as much change as those last 50.»

Will there be enough work for everybody? Which skills will be needed? What are the possible scenarios for employment growth? What impact will automation have on the future of work? How do we manage upcoming workforce transitions?

Let’s try answering these and others that are crucial to the global labor market.

The challenges we face with the future of work

list-item-1 The division of labor is evolving fast. By 2025, it’s expected to change to 48% human, 52% machine or algorithm. In addition to the workers’ concerns in the face of this changing landscape, employers are worried that the processes they have now won’t be sufficient for the adoption of automation.
list-item-1 New tasks will demand new skills. By 2022, it’s reported, the skills needed to perform a particular job will have shifted significantly. Most “human” skills are likely to increase their value. Creativity, networking, analytical thinking and active learning will become as important as technical proficiency.
list-item-1 We will all become lifelong learners. Depending on industry and geography, many full-time employees are likely to become either contractors, temporary staff or freelancers to bridge skills gaps. Businesses will have to adopt advanced workflow planning strategies to handle the transition while employees adopt new skills.

Will automation and AI increase unemployment rates?

The job market today is mainly driven by:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Automation
  • Machine learning

What do these trends promise businesses? Will we soon be living in a beautiful world of leisure where robots do all the work while we sit back and relax? Or does it mean robots will take away our jobs? The reality is, of course, far from being so straightforward.

Martin Ford, futurist and author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, says that those jobs which “are on some level routine, repetitive and predictable” are most likely to be automated.

Tax preparation faces a 99% chance of being automated since it involves systematically processing large amounts of repetitive and predictable data.

Finance and accounting are at risk for the same reason. Today large parts of these jobs can easily be automated.

However, a recent WEF research states that 75 million present job roles are going to be displaced by the shift in the division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms. At the same time, 133 million new job roles will emerge.

Occupations that will grow in popularity include roles such as Data Analysts, Software and Applications Developers, E-commerce and Social Media Specialists. All these positions are significantly based on and enhanced by the use of technology.

Job roles based on distinctively ‘human’ capabilities (customer service workers, sales and marketing professionals, organizational development specialists, etc.) are also expected to grow.

Future of work: augmentation instead of replacement

In the 2020s, the debate will shift towards what technology can do WITH humans rather than WITHOUT them.

Although ‘robots’ will phase out many jobs, they will create even more. And by acquiring skills in new technologies you win the game by making yourself future-proof.

«AI Will Create 2.3 Million Jobs in 2020, While Eliminating 1.8 Million»

According to Gartner, by 2025, 40% of enterprises will adopt human augmentation technologies (technology for improving human productivity), refocusing from designing tools for humans to designing humans for augmentation technology.

Airslate plan b

Note: Augmentation is a business strategy that consists of evaluating the existing staff and determining what additional skills are required. Augmentation’s most significant advantage is that it leverages existing resources and utilizes an outsourced workforce.

Today, the need to quickly and flexibly address workflow issues and bottlenecks is as relevant as ever before. Staff augmentation may help companies manage most of the tasks with their regular internal teams and with minimal assistance from IT. This trend is especially visible as more and more robust no-code solutions appear on the market.

Three points to consider to future proof your career

Since the global economy is rapidly changing, employers are in a restructure and change mode. That’s why every organization now wants agile people because they’re more likely to adapt to change.

An eagerness to learn, and indeed relearn, has never been more necessary for those whose roles are at risk.

  • Think globally and scan the environment.

Time to look beyond your local business community. Find out more about your competitors and your business sector in other countries. Learn about their techniques and attitudes. Be open to changes and don’t be scared to follow them. By keeping yourself informed you’ll be ready for rapid change. 

  • Develop personal skills.

Learn the transferable skills that all employers seek. For example, leadership, communication, innovation, and stress management.

Developing a broad range of such skills will make you more flexible and secure your current job or open the door to new opportunities. 

  • Remain tech-savvy.

Even if new developments don’t look directly related to your profession, don’t hesitate to learn more about them. Today technologies are deeply connected with each other and without knowing a little bit about one of them, you can struggle with others.

Yes, this may include learning how to code, virtual whiteboards, wearable technology, or even AI. However, being proactive will set yourself up as a perfect candidate for almost any job in 2020 and beyond.

The future of work and why it requires learning automation

Although automation will phase out many jobs, even more will appear. By acquiring skills in new technologies, you get a unique opportunity to make yourself future-proof, enhance your career and business development.

Future of work

With educational platforms like airSlate Academy, you will learn how to build efficient working processes and design workflow automation at any complexity.

The airSlate Academy teaches students everything they need to know about the future of work trends and the emerging industry of digital transformation, and gives them a real chance at becoming a pioneer in workflow automation.

You’ll get a chance to master in-demand career skills. These days, whenever a new employee is hired, they should possess some level of digital skills.

Learning automation will help you grow your business. You’ll learn how to apply the right process automation strategy to your company’s workflows, calculate ROI, and how to deploy solutions inside your organization.

And what’s more, you’ll accelerate your career. Even if you’re afraid of drastic change and don’t plan on changing your work, learning automation strengthens your professional position.

Future-proof your career

Start learning workflow automation today for free

A little bit more on how to keep your enterprise afloat

As AI tends to augment jobs, human roles need to be expanded as well. The biggest challenge for every organization today is to start preparing for the skill requirements of tomorrow. After all, you need to ensure that your employees can keep up with the pace of change.

list-item-1 Employee engagement. In the current race for talent, engagement is the key to holding onto the right employees. Engaging employees long-term requires a corporate culture that fights career stagnation and role immobility. Allow your workers to move within the system, find their niche and reinvent their skillsets. It’s a great way to help employees grow and retain them.
list-item-1 Faster, Better, Simpler HR Technology. With AI and ML making roads into core HR functions, the future demands better integration. Automation of HR processes is another essential trend that organizations need to adapt along with the enterprise mindset and smart budget planning.
list-item-1 Collaboration, Communication and Creativity. The future of work requires organizations to invest in creating a culture where creativity thrives, a collaboration between teams is facilitated and communication is encouraged.


Work in the decades ahead will no longer mean what it used to. Learning and collaborating is what will help you future proof your career. Learn, transform and adapt to new models. The future of work is just as likely to bring opportunities and developments, as it is to bring disruption and uncertainty. And by taking steps today you get a chance to be on top.

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