Unravelling the Future: How AI Will Impact the Workplace in the Next Five Years (And What We Can Do About It)

So here it is. The blog no self-respecting people-development or communications consultant can avoid. It’s the topic that’s flooding your feed right now. Everyone has an opinion. Us included. If you care about the world of work, then it’s already on your radar. Yup, we’re talking Artificial Intelligence.

What Now, What Next …

The transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a matter of speculation. As a disruptive force in virtually every sector, AI has redefined the way businesses operate and how people work. The next five years will see even more profound changes. Technologies will mature and become an integral part of our professional lives. It’s inevitable that the workplace will change as well. From automation to augmentation, AI is set to transform the way we work and redefine the roles of working people.

So, just what are the key ways AI is expected to impact our working day in the near future? Here are our top five:

Automation of repetitive tasks

One of the most significant impacts of AI on working people is the automation of repetitive and mundane tasks. Yay! This shift will free up time and energy for you to focus on more creative and strategic work. According to a study by McKinsey, roughly 60% of all occupations could have 30% or more of their activities automated with current technology.

Job displacement and creation

While automation may displace some jobs, it also has the potential to create new job opportunities. A report by the World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, automation will have displaced 85 million jobs while creating 97 million new ones. Consequently, you may need to adapt and acquire new skills to remain relevant in an evolving job market.

AI-driven decision making

AI will increasingly play a role in our decision making, with algorithms analysing vast amounts of data to make predictions and recommendations. This will augment your decision making, leading to more informed and accurate decisions across various industries.

Enhanced productivity and efficiency

AI-powered tools and applications can help us be more productive and efficient. A study by Accenture found that AI could boost labour productivity by up to 40 percent by 2035. It’s believed that this increase in productivity could lead to economic growth and potentially higher living standards.

Shifts in skill development and continuous learning

As AI continues to reshape the job market, workers will need to engage in continuous learning to remain competitive. The demand for digital skills, including AI and machine learning, is expected to increase by 50 percent in the next five years (Bessen et al., 2019).

The next half-decade promises to be an exciting (and let’s be honest, potentially scary) time as we navigate this transformative power. By embracing the technology responsibly and proactively, we can unlock new possibilities and redefine the future of work. But it’s not going to be easy. What change ever is?

So, what can we do to make the most of AI technologies and thrive in an evolving workplace?

Flex Your Narrative: a Growth Mindset

As AI transforms industries, it’s crucial to cultivate a growth mindset and embrace change to focus on continuous learning. Be open to new ideas, technologies, and ways of working. Focus on up-skilling and re-skilling to stay relevant in your field. And be prepared to adapt to the fast moving job market.

Be More Human: Build “Meta” Skills and Creativity

As AI automates routine tasks, the value of human (also known as soft – ugh!) meta skills, such as communication, empathy, critical thinking, and problem-solving, will increase. Additionally, creativity will remain a uniquely human trait that AI cannot easily replicate. Develop and hone these skills to differentiate yourself and stay competitive in an AI-driven job market.

What’s Good Now: Leverage AI Tools in Your Work

Identify the AI tools and platforms available now that can help streamline your work processes or provide valuable insights. This may include project management tools, chatbots, analytics software, or AI-powered writing assistants. Integrating these tools into your daily routine will enable you to work more efficiently and effectively.

You Can’t Beat ‘em, so Join ‘em: Collaborate with AI

Embrace the concept of human-AI collaboration, where AI technologies complement and enhance human skills rather than replace them. Focus on the aspects of your job that require human intuition, judgment, and empathy, while leveraging AI to automate repetitive tasks, analyse data, and offer insights.

The new ways of working offered by Artificial Intelligence are an opportunity. Embracing them will be key to thriving in the rapidly changing professional landscape. Just how prepared are organisations for the change? At the infrastructure and technology level… maybe. But at the human level there is a strong chance that they’ll fall behind. Leaving change to chance. If we don’t support our teams through this change the disruption will be even worse.

How ready is your team?