The site uses its own technical cookies, anonymous third party analytic cookies and third-party cookies that could be used in profiling: in accessing any element/area of the site outside of this banner, you consent to receiving cookies. If you want to know more or refuse consent to cookies, click here.

Five insights from the World Economic Forum for the future of work

Until recently, the perspective of a fixed place, of a desk that was filled with photographs and personal items, was the security on which to base an entire life. In more recent times, the world of work has changed completely.
Certainly, the deep economic and social crisis we are experiencing does not help young people to build a future for themselves and to live peacefully in the present, but there is no doubt that, once barriers and borders, rules of various kinds have disappeared, vast perspectives open up for anyone who has the initiative and the audacity to grasp them.
Swiss flag in Davos
More and more people talk about flexibility and corporate welfare, offices become co-working and the desire for smart working is growing, modernity is a liquid society in which, citing the philosopher Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017), "change is the only permanent thing and uncertainty is the only certainty".

Davos and the future of education and employment

The annual World Economic Forum, which took place in Davos, Switzerland, at the end of January, featured some of the world's leading businessmen, politicians, and cultural leaders. This year's theme was globalization 4.0 and the focus was on the issues of work and education of the future, which are interrelated and highly dependent on the development and technological innovation.
World Flags
How will the changes already underway in the world of work materialise? And in which directions will education evolve to meet future challenges?

The search for happiness: work engagement and well-being in the company

Lynda Gratton, writer, researcher and lecturer at the London Business School, summarised the main topics discussed at the convention in five points,
Workers in a firm

Improve our skills

  • We are going through an era of profound change and, rather than scaring ourselves or creating scaremongering, it is good to start to reckon with the idea of having to improve and retrain our skills.

Collaboration between business, the world of work and education:

  • It is precisely this need to update and modify skills with some urgency that makes us face the need for the economy, the world of work and the educational offer to find more constructive meeting points and dialogue that is currently the case.
Balanced life, wellness and work

Deal with the gender issue

  • Since only 23% of the participants in the conference were women, Gratton reported a feeling of general frustration at an issue that had remained so stubbornly at a standstill. It is in fact very important to deal with the gender gap that also exists in the technological professions, because women are significantly under-represented in the data analytics sector, while their contribution would serve to make machines much more efficient.

Getting used to flexible working

  • Flexible work, with the necessary differences from country to country, is becoming the norm: if in Australia it is now unanimously accepted, in Japan flexibility is still punished, but in general, technology is bringing us more and more clearly towards the territory of mobility and collaboration.

The future of humanity is inclusive education

  • Inclusive education is the great hope to look forward to and, above all, to invest in. Initiatives to bring and spread teaching to the most remote areas of India and Africa are flourishing, but there are many challenges to be overcome since in many areas an Internet connection is almost completely lacking and therefore the promises of technology as a vehicle for spreading culture are still unfulfilled.
Electronic calculator
In general, the fears until a few years ago, according to which robots would take the place of men, have gradually disappeared and the awareness is growing that we must act quickly and on a large scale to make the best use of the tools that technology offers, for the benefit of a more productive society, organised and, consequently, happy.

Guide to the jobs of the future

Already in 2017, the American multinational Cognizant, specialised in digital and technological consulting and management services, published a guide entitled 21 jobs of the future: a guide to getting - and staying - employed over the next 10 years, which highlights, in the face of the inevitable and undeniable change in the world of work, the importance and centrality of the human factor, to try to provide a brighter vision of the future.
Flags of the world
The research highlights the constant change in the working environment, recognising that machines have gradually improved the conditions of some jobs at risk or those that are unsatisfactory; moreover, it points out that machines, as tools, need man and his irreplaceable creativity, curiosity and imagination, and that technologies can improve many aspects of our society, but, in addition to solving problems, they contribute to creating new ones and therefore the work of restoration and improvement will be constant.

Guide to the jobs of the future, part two

In October 2018, a second chapter was published, 21 more jobs of the future: a guide to getting and staying employed through 20129, which confirms the speed of the changes that are taking place.

If, however, the human touch of the works proposed in the previous research was shared by the 3Cs of coaching, caring and connecting, that is to say, educate, cure and connect, in this case, we focus on activities related to ethical behavior, security and dreams, that an (also) technological progress can finally help us to achieve.

Human capital as a founding value

Since human capital is an essential value, in recent years we are witnessing more and more a revaluation of the person in their work context.

Many companies, especially from North Europe and North America, but more recently also in Italy, have developed and implemented corporate welfare programs, applied the principles of sustainability and green practices, invested in corporate fitness, adopted smart working among the possibilities offered to employees and implemented the  Workplace Health Promotion, the program of the World Health Organization to promote health through proper lifestyles at work, perhaps using the advice - free or subsidized - of physiotherapists, cardiologists, nutritionists, psychologists or other specialists.

New York Stock Exchange

The advantages of corporate wellness

In general, all these "benefits" offered to employees have a value, defined ROI (Return of Investment), which can only be estimated, but which is between 15% and 25% of the initial investment. The benefits flow into the pockets of companies in the form of:

  • increased productivity
  • better quality of work and performance of the individual
  • reducing absenteeism and the risk of accidents and illnesses
  • creation of a more relaxed and collaborative climate, even among colleagues
  • employee loyalty and satisfaction, which are also indirectly translated into communication strategies and relaunching the image of the company itself
There are companies, such as the American Great Place to Work, founded in San Francisco in 1991 and now exported to all continents, that certify the best workplaces and provide advice to those who want to get closer to this virtuous cycle and help companies in the process of growth that everyone hopes to achieve.

The new work figures in charge of wellness

In this search for well-being, there are those who have created the profession of Chief Happiness Officer already present in many U.S. realities and that in Italy can be translated as "Manager of Happiness": a figure in charge of making the workplace a happy place, which has as its focus the psychophysical, but also financial and emotional well-being of employees, who knows how to know and maybe predict the needs, and who seeks to improve the degree of satisfaction within the company, so that it can benefit the entire system.
A precious and growing initiative, but perhaps, at the end of the day, there would be no need for a specific professional figure to guarantee all this: it would be enough to rediscover the ability and pleasure of making a kind gesture, the wealth given and received by giving a smile, the virtue of listening and empathy, all human qualities that no machine can ever replace.

/related post

Technogym's Excite Live Climb enters the Malaysian Book of Records by breaking three new records

Soh Wai Ching, Asia No. 1 Towerrunner, chooses Technogym's Excite Live Climb and breaks three record...