With the rapid advancement of technology and the uncertainty brought about by the global pandemic, it’s natural for employees in different industries to feel anxious about the future of their jobs. By 2023, AI automation could at least partially affect as many as 66 percent of all existing jobs, with 400-800 million global workers facing the risk of becoming redundant.

This anxiety is well-founded, especially with the emergence of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Bard, Midjourney, DALL·E and others, increasingly brought in to perform high-level tasks once carried out by humans. They are transforming the way we work and ushering in a new era of change.

The ongoing shift in our work methods requires us to recognize that the traditional career trajectories and work styles we’re familiar with are evolving. The birth of fresh opportunities and the fading away of old, entrenched job roles stem from the increasingly interconnected relationship between human beings and technology.

For success in this fluctuating scenario, it’s imperative that we adjust our viewpoint. We need to see technology not as a menace to our jobs, but as a collaborator capable of improving our work lives.

Work-from-home: Yes or no?

The landscape of work has been indelibly changed by remote and hybrid work models, with a rising number of companies adopting flexible policies that allow employees to work from anywhere. This not only enables organizations to achieve greater financial efficiency but also fosters a more flexible and agile work culture that is better equipped to meet the demands of the modern business environment.

Employees have drawn numerous benefits from this transformation, like improved work-life balance and fewer commuting hours. For 67 percent of remote workers, the greatest benefit of remote work is flexibility in how they spend their time​.

However, the shift toward remote work has brought its own set of hurdles. It has become harder for employees to maintain visibility in their companies and nurture meaningful relationships with coworkers. A majority of remote workers identified collaboration challenges and feelings of loneliness or isolation as their primary difficulties.

In order to overcome the hurdles that come with remote work, employees and managers have to put in place robust systems to maintain a high level of communication, collaboration, and connection. By giving priority to these vital components in a remote work environment, team members can more easily overcome the feeling of distance from one another.

Embrace new skills and let go of old ones

The global talent pool has experienced substantial growth in recent years and is predicted to reach an unprecedented level by 2040. As a result of this expansion, job competition has increased. Employees are anxious about job stability, with more candidates vying for the same positions.

The current shift towards AI and automation—especially for mundane tasks—offers a new opportunity for professionals to reflect upon the skills necessary for future job roles. Employees should be encouraged to prioritize the development of skills that are beyond the reach of AI and automation technology.

In less than a decade, around 375 million workers globally may have to change their occupations or learn new skills, as per a report by McKinsey. Two-thirds of all jobs will be soft skill-intensive occupations. But what are the necessary skills required for one to remain an invaluable asset throughout the AI revolution? Research points to three things: creative thinking, decision making, and adaptability.

Employers are also recognizing the importance of continuous learning. They are looking to hire individuals who are not only knowledgeable and skilled in their areas of expertise, but also have the ability to learn quickly and adapt to new technologies and work processes. In addition, the good news about soft skills is they can all be improved through continuous learning. Building resilience through skill development will become increasingly critical for success and longevity in today’s competitive job market.

See technology as your ally

To fully adapt to the modern workforce, we have to understand that emerging technologies are not meant to replace our jobs, but rather to enhance them. They serve as valuable tools that allow us to concentrate on more creative, strategic, and value-added tasks, freeing us from repetitive and time-consuming work.

A ‘beacon of hope’ example amid this transformation is the emergence of no-code platforms. No-code technology empowers staff members to develop software applications without needing any coding expertise. They simplify procedures and workflows while facilitating more effective data management. The flexibility of these platforms, accessible at any time and from any location, ensures that remote workers remain connected and engaged. This not only fosters a sense of unity and teamwork but also alleviates worries about isolation and job security.

No-code platforms also provide a preview of the future work landscape. By adopting these tools, employees gain more autonomy, control, and accountability in their careers, thus fostering a sense of purpose within organizations while also driving efficiency.

Turn technology into opportunity, not insecurity

As we navigate an ever-evolving business landscape, automation has firmly established itself as a crucial component of contemporary enterprises. Gartner predicts that in two years’ time, approximately half of all organizations will have already installed artificial intelligence (AI) orchestration platforms to operationalize AI. In light of the current landscape, certain apprehensions regarding work’s evolving nature are bound to arise. We have to bear in mind that automation is only a new chapter in an ongoing saga. The way people work has been transforming and adapting since the beginning of history.

Embracing change and focusing on opportunities is crucial as we move towards a more automated future. We can capitalize on the fact that with automation, organizations can streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. Employees should be encouraged and empowered to concentrate on high-value-added, deeply purpose-driven tasks.

We can’t control what new technology emerges, but we can control how we use it. We can guarantee that AI and automation will become positive forces for growth and development by directing our attention toward its more creative applications. The transition toward a new workplace paradigm is already underway. It’s our responsibility to direct the arrow of progress toward better, more meaningful work.

Tsubasa Nakazawa is the Managing Director of Kintone Southeast Asia Sdn. Bhd.

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