How has the future of work been affected by the pandemic?

Hi, ingenious_forest here.

Recently, I posted a question for Debbie Marks on the ask an expert post here:

https://burnetnewsclub.com/issues/future-work/the-discussion/ask-your-questions-experts/

I asked; "How do you think that the pandemic will affect the way working will develop, and workplaces/jobs will change?"

As I said in my post, this question has been bugging me for a while, so I am going to answer it in this post.

Firstly, how has the pandemic affected jobs?

  • Jobs have been affected in so many different ways:
  • People have had to work from home
  • People have been furloughed (not working, and being paid 80% of their salary - funded by the government)
  • People have been made redundant - let go from their jobs because of lack of work
  • The number of people working has fallen significantly - 600,000 people stopped working during the first national lockdown!

The future of jobs will be affected similarly:

  • People may work from home more
  • The government will know to furlough people in crisis
  • Redundancy may be a lot more common, as AI (Artificial Intelligence) begins to take over jobs
  • The number of people working online, and using online meetings to call people will rise significantly
  • How people decide to work, and what jobs they do will change

There will be a lot of different jobs being developed, e.g computer programmer, or a technician, to work on robots for different jobs

Secondly, how has the pandemic affected workplaces?

  • A lot of workplaces have close, due to lack of funds
  • Again, the new workplace for a lot of people is at home
  • A lot of workplaces have been sold due to lack of funds
  • Some workplaces have been converted into NHS hospitals
  • Workplaces are not able to cope with the tiny amount of employees coming into work, so close, or only stay open on certain days

The future of workplaces will probably change:

  • We will see fewer people going to work, and more people working from home
  • More workplaces will be changed to a technology workshop for AI
  • The workplaces of a lot of small businesses will close down as they are taken over by tech giants

The main thing that we see in that list, is that a lot of places will be changed to be a part of the AI business. I think that one day, the majority of major jobs a the moment will be done by robots, and the main jobs for humans will be maintaining the state of technology, and creating new technology.

Finally, the question; "How will working develop, and how has the future of working been affected by the pandemic?"

I think, as I have mentioned above, that most jobs in the future will be to do with Artificial Intelligence. So what the pandemic has done, is it has stunted the development of that AI, so that it will not be brought into the world as early as we might have hoped (or feared).

This could be quite an important part in the history of developing technology, as people may need to change the programming for the tech to be able to deal with a situation such as the one we're in now.

In conclusion, the future of work has been affected in many ways by the pandemic, but the main thing it has done is that it has slowed the growth and development of certain AI technologies, and it has changed the way we see and perceive working - we will probably all in the future look back on the 2020 and think: "Oh, why did people worry about going to work? You can literally just work at home..."

Thank you for reading my extremely long post!

ingenious_forest

Comments (4)

  • 327379P_LThumb.jpg EXPERT: Charlie Dyos Hunter Communications Analyst @ Bank of England
    12 Nov 2020

    Hi ingenious_forest, well done for answering this so well. You have talked about the future of work changing as AI becomes more prominent (as you have said, this could lead to people losing their jobs). Can you think of any times in the past where changes to technology have changed the way people work?

    What could the future of AI do to the jobs market? Could people seek different types of jobs, as machinery one again replaces some of the work carried out by human labour? Could AI mean that there are new jobs that didn't exist before?

    Reply to this comment
    1. Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg ingenious_forest | Faringdon Community College
      Charlie Dyos Hunter Communications Analyst @ Bank of England's comment 16 Nov 2020

      Hi Charlie,
      Thank you for reading my post, and thank you for the questions as well; I aim to answer them in this comment.
      For your first question: "Can you think of any times in the past where changes to technology have changed the way people work?"
      An obvious example of this would be the Industrial Revolution; new technology was introduced, people had to do slightly less labour intensive jobs, and they were able to do things a lot quicker.
      For your second question; "What could the future of AI do to the jobs market?"
      I would say that the jobs market - if my understanding is correct - would shrink in size, but the competition for jobs would be a lot fiercer; people would have to be online to find jobs every day, and as soon as a possible job comes up, whether you like it or not, will be taken.
      For your third question; "Could people seek different types of jobs, as machinery once again replaces some of the work carried out by human labour?"
      I think that a lot of jobs relating to AI will become a lot more common, such as technology consultant, or technician will grow in size. But the types of jobs that cultures are associated with will decrease rapidly as they are taken over by new technology.
      Finally, for your last question: "Could AI mean that there are new jobs that didn't exist before?"
      I would say that a lot of jobs to do with AI, and technology, would pop up, such as Artificial Intelligence technician, or technology fitter; someone who puts the robot/technology into place, and makes sure it works properly.
      I hope I have understood your questions correctly, and if not, or you want to ask any more, please do comment again, and I will be happy to answer any other questions!
      Thank you again for the questions,
      ingenious_forest

      Reply to this comment
      1. tom Tom @ the BNC
        ingenious_forest's comment 16 Nov 2020

        A superb set of answers, ingenious_forest! I won't say much more in case Charlie comes back to you with some more comments!

        Reply to this comment
      2. 327379P_LThumb.jpg EXPERT: Charlie Dyos Hunter Communications Analyst @ Bank of England
        ingenious_forest's comment 19 Nov 2020

        Some wonderful ideas you have developed here, well done!

        You have certainly thought carefully about how the labour market shifts as new technology is introduced. Here at the Bank, it is important for us to monitor things like this for us to support the economy.

        Many people view this as perhaps the 4th industrial revolution, each creating lots of new jobs requiring new skills. Unfortunately these revolutions have also left people unemployed with the wrong skills. Economists like me call this 'structural unemployment'.

        However, it is not all bad news. Each industrial revolution has changed the job market dramatically, but it has always led to more demand for employment. While this changes over time, in the end, there has always been more demand for labour than before.

        This is an important topic, which gets a lot of attention of governments around the world. So well done again!

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