4 key topics that will define the future of work

Globalization and digitization have caused a great change in the day-to-day life of society and in the operation of companies. For years the most important companies have been competing with each other with the same weapon: technology. And this immediately affects employees.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the situation in which the previous working conditions were found and has put on the table the need to train employees in digital transformation.

With all this instability and change in the work environment, organizations such as the OECD or the European Union are implementing policies that will have an impact on employers and employees.

These are the 4 topics that organizations will support and determine the future of work

1. Digitalization

Nearly 14% of jobs in OECD countries are likely to be automated, while another 32% are at high risk of being partially automated.

Technology and internet access have allowed many employees continue their jobs at home during the pandemic, but not everyone has this option. Jobs that require physical access are more likely to be held by lower-skilled workers and those in retail, manufacturing and transport sectors.

The platform economy has created new employment opportunities, including in essential services during the crisis. But even before COVID-19, there were concerns about the quality and stability of some jobs there, concerns that the crisis has deepened.

2. Social protection

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on jobs, with millions now unemployed. Many countries have been taking unprecedented measures to keep people in work and to support those out of work.

Even before the pandemic, we were more likely to move jobs and to have a shorter job tenure than ever before. This was partially due to big changes in our economies, but also to new business models.

In many countries, social benefits and collective bargaining have been based on a model where people have a stable, full-time job with one employer, but this is rapidly becoming obsolete.

3. Job quality

Whether a person has a good quality job or not has a profound impact on their well-being. Job quality is determined by wages, stability, and working conditions, from safety to human relationships.

COVID-19 has had an impact on the quality of many jobs, affecting everything from workplace safety to wages or job stability. Even before the pandemic, those in non-standard work were more likely to have lower quality jobs.

Labour market regulation can help ensure jobs are of good quality, but may need to be adapted for some new forms of work and the unprecedented impact of the pandemic. Collective bargaining also can play an important role.

4. Skills and learning

Helping people successfully navigate the changing world of work means helping them acquire the right skills for new jobs and new tasks.

People will need to learn not only at school but throughout their lives. Governments and firms alike will need to explore ways to help them do this.

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