The future of X #1: the workplace

The future of X #1: the workplace

The future workplace is beyond the office. And our tools are becoming smarter and more powerful. How and why will our work change over the next 50 years? What does the next generation of the workforce care about? 

Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø, Future Navigator, is proud to be a part of OZY’s newest season of the podcast, The Future of X: The workplace. She talks about how frustration, curiosity and creativity is the key to success in the worklife of the future. To also give their input about the subject, was CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, James Canton and CEO of Smartsheet, Mark Mader. 

Based on OZY’s journalism and timely interviews with leading futurists, the podcast examines the ways in which technology will improve the contributions humans make to the world.

Watch out for the robots! Or what?

People often get really worried when they think about their future. Especially when it comes to their worklife, and especially in these times. Over the years, the technological era has really shown its face. The development of machines and robots is so fast, it’s hard to keep track of what we’ve got and what’s still yet to come. We talk about how almost every job that we see today is going to be a machine driven job in the future workplace and we ask: “well am I then going to be out of a job?”.

The truth is, human work has been evolving for a long time. It’s less than a 100 years ago that almost 100% of the jobs back then was found on farms. Who does the work on current farms? Machines! And the farmers are still not unemployed. They just found something better do do with their time. Doctor James Cantor states that as it is, humans aren’t event qualified to do future jobs. They need to learn new skills to stay in work. Human, emotional skills, that no robot can master.

We need to understand as individuals – as leaders of companies and organizations, as leaders of even nations – that we are in a seismic change in the workforce.”

-James Canton, CEO of the Institute for Global Futures.

From being an on-looker to doing!

Maybe the robots will overtake the future workplace. But does that stop us from working? Or does it give us room to do what we’re actually qualified to do? We no longer need to be machines and do the hard work. In the future, people will study to become great humans. Learning human skills and mastering human emotions.

“Everyone should be creative! And creativity needs oxygen which we’ll get when less meaningful work is done by AI and machines.” 

-Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet.

Think about the inventions and ideas that have been brought to life over time. Robotic vacuum cleaners, loan mowers etc. Where did they come from? Why did we start inventing machines in the first place? Because we didn’t want to do the boring housework ourselves! Frustration leads to a better, smarter solution.

“For me creativity is also being lazy. It’s also being irritated. It’s also being curious. It’s basically being all the stuff that machines are not.”

-Liselotte Lyngsø, Future Navigator.

That’s what the machines are for!

For the next generation, a job is never going to just be a job anymore. And future leaders will also expect so much more from their employees. Not just that they do the paperwork – the machines can do that. But that they bring creativity and innovation into every project that they’re handed. The future workplace is not about looking at what everyone else is doing. We have to make the best out of people and create mening wherever we go.

How do we prepare people for what to come? Are people without a degree in science or math going to be jobless in the future? Not according to Mark Mader, but that’s for you to hear about in the first episode of The Future Workplace by OZY.

You can also read more about the future workplace in these articles with Liselotte Lyngso.