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Is the Future of Work Bright?

Since the pandemic, the landscape of work has undergone substantial changes each year. These changes include the rise of remote work, the emergence of TikTok Gen Z trends like “lazy girl jobs”(also known as “antiworkgirlboss” on Instagram) and “quiet-quitting,” as well as global phenomena such as “The Great Resignation” and “The Great Rebalancing” that have garnered extensive coverage in news outlets and social media. As we approach the end of this year, it is crucial to consider the outlook for 2024 and how these predictions will impact our professional lives. Here, we present four significant trends that are rapidly gaining traction in workplaces worldwide, demanding our attention. Is the Future of Work Bright?

Working Remotely

Remote work is undergoing changes, much to the disappointment of many employees who have grown accustomed to and preferred the remote lifestyle during the pandemic. The prevalence of a full week of remote work is diminishing, as businesses and the workforce are increasingly adopting hybrid models to meet evolving needs. These models aim to strike a balance between in-person team collaboration and the autonomy of remote work. It is projected that the adoption of the hybrid work model will reach 81%, with Gen Z showing particular enthusiasm for it. Therefore, it is crucial for both employees and employers to maintain open communication and address any concerns they may have together. They should reach a mutual agreement on the most suitable work models, the implementation of hybrid work, and the specifics of its day-to-day operations. This could involve determining the number of days spent in the office, such as one, two, or four days per week. Professionals who have experienced job displacement or are considering a career change should also keep in mind that limiting themselves to solely remote job opportunities significantly reduces their chances of securing employment. To maximize their likelihood of receiving a job offer within a reasonable time-frame, it is advisable to remain flexible and consider the extent of in-office attendance they can commit to, as well as their willingness to commute.

Additional Jobs

The increasing popularity of side hustles, particularly among younger generations, is a notable trend. A significant percentage of Gen Z and millennials, 70% and 50% respectively, have acknowledged engaging inside hustles. This can be attributed to factors such as inflation and the rising costs of living, which compel individuals to seek additional income from small businesses and odd jobs in order to meet their financial needs and occasionally indulge in vacations.

In addition to this, influencer marketing has experienced a substantial surge as a side hustle. The influencer market is projected to reach $21.1 billion in 2023, marking a 29% increase from the previous year. While this side hustle is popular among working professionals and younger generations, there are also signs of older generations embracing this trend. If you find yourself content in your current role, it is advisable to consider pursuing a side hustle. By saving a portion of your monthly paycheck and investing in a business venture that aligns with your passion, you can establish a backup plan and an additional source of income to rely on in case of emergencies or layoffs. This prudent approach ensures financial security and provides peace of mind. The workplace is evolving rapidly, and it is crucial to stay informed about emerging changes. Refusing to acknowledge these changes and remaining stagnant can hinder your career progression and render you obsolete. By staying informed and making informed decisions, you can confidently navigate your career path and embrace the opportunities that the new year brings. Prepare yourself for the challenges ahead and utilize the insights shared in this article to fuel your career journey.

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Generation Z is becoming dominant

By 2024, it is projected that Gen Z will make up 23% of the global workforce. This generation is known for its rapid growth and is currently recognized as the most ethnically diverse, with over 50% coming from non-white backgrounds. Growing up, they observed their Gen X parents navigating the challenges of The Great Recession, and they have also personally witnessed and experienced the impacts of discrimination and the aftermath of the pandemic. As a result, this dynamic generation is brimming with innovative ideas and possesses the creative ability to bring about meaningful change in the workplace and its culture.

Gen Z, having grown up during the rise of social media platforms and smartphones, possesses a natural inclination Deepfakestowards technology and is more adept at utilizing it compared to their older counterparts. They also exhibit a greater willingness to embrace AI tools, social media, and other technological advancements to advance their careers and establish themselves in the business world. While Gen Z is not generally averse to taking risks, they tend to gravitate towards trends like the gig economy, side hustles, and holding multiple jobs simultaneously as a means to avoid poverty, financial instability, and the rising cost of living caused by inflation. In anticipation of this influx of Gen Z talent, their slightly older counterparts, including Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers, must prepare themselves and welcome the fresh and innovative skill sets that Gen Z brings to the table. It is crucial to provide training and development opportunities to enhance their soft skills, thereby bridging the gap in the workforce. Additionally, Gen Z can take a proactive approach by honing their soft skills through self-awareness, attending training sessions to acquire new skills and develop leadership capabilities, and seeking guidance from older generations through mentorship programs.

Generative AI

The impact of Generative AI, specifically, is becoming increasingly noticeable in the realm of work. EY’s recent “Work Reimagined Survey” highlights the significant influence that GenAI is projected to have on the labour market, career paths, learning opportunities, and the overall nature of work. As the demand for AI and machine learning specialists is expected to surge in the next five years, both employees and employers are already setting expectations and making investments in this technology. GenAI is not limited to the technology industry alone; it is permeating various sectors by either replacing human involvement or enhancing existing processes where humans are not replaced. A prime example of this can be seen on LinkedIn, where the number of job postings mentioning ChatGPT as a desirable skill has increased by 21 times. Additionally, the occurrence of generative-AI keywords like “ChatGPT” or “prompt engineering” on LinkedIn profiles has experienced an average monthly growth of 75% since January 2023. Therefore, it is crucial to familiarize oneself with different GenAI tools, comprehend their functioning, and acquire the necessary skills for their utilization and development. By incorporating GenAI into your professional portfolio, you can ensure your relevance to potential employers.

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