Are you ready for the future of work?
Director of Commercial,
Product and Marketing
17th January 2024
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Over half of UK workers under 50 are unsure about the job they will be doing in 20 years, according to our Future of Work study.
In light of this uncertainty, we have worked with leading futurist Tracey Follows to explore what the future of work could look like and how it will impact both desk-based and deskless workers.
Here are some of her significant predictions and how they can help you achieve success in 2024 and beyond.
Deskless workers will have intelligent uniforms
Advancements in technology will mean the introduction of new tools and equipment to make work easier for employees. But what if this could also benefit customers?
Within 20 years, connected clothing may be used to help employees respond to environmental conditions such as temperature, air quality, and even noise, according to Tracey Follows.
This will help workers to analyse individual customers, automatically scanning for information such as preferences, loyalty schemes, or dietary issues. This, in turn, will allow employees to anticipate customer needs and provide a more personalised service.
Even now, technology is transforming customer experiences. For example, we partnered with retailer Homebase to upgrade its wide area network across physical stores. By providing secure access for all team members and customers, employees can more effectively meet customer requests and run stock searches on their own devices, meaning quicker and easier customer service.
With so much innovation possible, it can feel daunting. So, it is important to ensure implementation processes are as streamlined and thorough as possible. To do this, lean on your suppliers. The right technology partner should offer advice and expertise to ensure spending.
The majority of workers will have an AI coach
Tracey Follows predicts that the majority of workers will start using AI coaches as training companions to input goals, missions and purposes into algorithms that build bespoke learning pathways. Tech to train you on other tech – it just makes sense.
58% of the workforce will need to develop new digital skills to perform their current jobs successfully and sustainably, according to Gartner. Technology that allows employees to build more personalised and engaging learning experiences will be crucial.
As new tech gets introduced, even at a gradual pace, there is a snowball effect on the skills curve. It can easily get out of hand, which is why digital training will need to be provided and updated frequently.
To achieve this, ensure your infrastructure is flexible enough to quickly roll out new innovations. With a scalable tech portfolio, you will be able to keep your employees happy and boost their productivity across developing technologies.
10% of deskless industrial roles will be part of the safety sector
Deskless workers are seeing their job roles evolve as upgrades across logistics and warehouse management come thick and fast.
With AI helping automate the co-ordination and management of supply chains, deskless industrial roles will soon shift into management and safety positions where workers will supervise automated workstreams.
It’s an exciting area of growth, but one that requires specific and specialised infrastructure investment. After all, more automation means more data, and you’ll need to be equipped in the right way to make the most of it.
For example, we worked with leading manufacturer British Sugar to develop a private and flexible 4G network across its four large factory sites. This means that instead of relying on a central control room, staff and managers now have access to a centralised hub of information on their mobile devices, with real-time updates across all sites.
Faster and more seamless data flow will help your supply chain work more effectively, and help your employees grow into new roles. But to unlock that growth you’ll need to ensure you use this technology in the right way for your business.
Businesses will need solutions that suit them
Working with a partner who understands your particular business case and how new technology can work for you is crucial. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to changes like this, so make sure you are on board with what the path ahead might look like.
One way we do this is to ask your customers – they’re the ones with their boots on the ground, after all.
At our last Customer Innovation Forum, for example, we discussed use cases for extended reality and spatial computing, investigating how technology is bridging the gap between the digital and physical world.
We found that different customers brought very different challenges to the table because they are using the technologies in various ways – from entertainment experiences to infrastructure management.
These discussions are invaluable for painting a more accurate picture of the future of work. Technology can pave the way forward for all kinds of businesses, so start having conversations now about where technology might be able to take you in the future.