Of all the factors impacting the future of work, the pandemic is one of the most significant.
Rachel Lipson, an expert based at Harvard University’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, discusses three trends that the workforce will need to adapt to in a post-pandemic economy.
1. Remote work isn’t necessarily here to stay
Two years on, we have learned to adapt to the pandemic and work in a hybrid, productive way. But will remote work be a permanent part of our future?
There are pros and cons of remote work, including wellness concerns such as loneliness and burnout. There is also inequality in remote work, as some people don’t have adequate space at home to work productively.
“There is some research that implies that certain groups are going to be hurt more by the lack of in-person contact and interaction”, Lipson said. This could prompt changes in the way remote work is carried out.
2. The connection between education and finding work
“The future of work in a lot of ways is dependent on the future of education,” Lipson said.
However, the focus is on the transition from the education system into good jobs. This could involve more and better job coaching, practice interviews, and better job matching, enabling workers to get into paying jobs much quicker.
“But it is a place where we need human support and technology investments to make those transitions smoother.”
3. Don’t fear tech – adapt and grow with it
Ninety percent of work historically done by humans is now done by technology, according to Lipson. But that doesn’t mean your job is about to get taken over by a machine.
“Technology has changed over the course of U.S. history, and human jobs have changed with it.”
The key, and “the biggest challenge” is to invest in education to enable workers to keep up with changes and grow with them.