A few weeks ago, we
have turned the calendar pages - maybe even got a new one - but this is just a
small, symbolic act. In fact, it is only a chronological change, as economic
trends and processes slowly evolve. For this reason, the projections for the
most typical labour market trends in 2020 contain few revolutionary news:
features already present are expected to intensify or break through, as was the
case in recent years.
New Entrants in the Labour Market
With more and more members of Generation Z working, there will be an increasing number of employees born 2000 onward. What took past generations long time to learn, or they are still learning, is all-natural for them: work-life balance, a workplace that balances work and private life; home office and a multitude of tasks that can be done remotely without having to sit in the office. And in terms of the workplace, post-millennials expect to work for companies where not only is the job exciting, but it is also a good place to be at. While it seems tempting to play it down by promising bean bag chairs and endless coffee supply, as these are slowly becoming standard perks, employers need to come up with some new tricks if they are to attract or retain employees. A young, high-spirited team and an informal work environment no longer seem enough.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
Skynet gaining self-awareness and machines taking over are yet to come - but the proliferation of automated processes and artificial intelligence is apparent to all of us. Chatbots help resolve complaints, robotic operators take care of customer care; not to mention all the smart devices we rely on in all walks of life or the robotic machinery used in any state-of-the-art, 21st century factory. Predictions claim that if you can imagine your work to be automated or to done by a smart device, this will likely happen in the future. And it's not just about manual workers. An extreme but not ground-breaking example cited by a Forbes journalist: instead of an aging, shaky-handed and vision-impaired doctor, you can always have your surgery done by a robot in the future – in addition, robots do not go on vacation and they are available 24 hours a day. That is why it is particularly important to learn new skills and abilities and continuously train ourselves; we will not necessarily be out of work in the future, but the labour market will certainly be transformed.
The Economic Crisis is Around the Corner
For years, analysts have been talking about the inevitable downturn after long prosperity. It is the nature of economic crises that not only their onset cannot be predicted, but also their causes remain unknown; apparently, if they were known, they could be avoided. That is why companies are trying to get ahead of them: they are reorganizing their work structures and trying to stay competitive by cutting costs. Outsourcing is expected to increase further, and the role of independent entrepreneurs may continue to grow.